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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gray

10 Things I think... Brave*ish Edition

I've been wrestling with this concept for a while. I like to think I'm pretty brave, but there's a really fine line between bravery and stupidity. Below you will find some examples. From there you can decide to which category they belong.

1. I just started a new job. It has the most flexible dress code I've seen at any organization. You can "dress for your day" which means if jeans are appropriate- wear them. I mean, I'm in love. I've always said I function better in comfort. Now, I prolly can't wear the sweat pants or leggings that seem to give me super productivity power, but jeans are a close second. BUT, with any liberal policy there is someone who will always take it as far left as possible. I have a colleague that is brave enough to wear a body con dress at least two days out of the week. What makes her brave? Bodycon hugs tighter than a second epidermis. A special kind of bravery is required to wear this dress anywhere. Cheers to you girl.

2. I'm becoming a real washingtonian y'all. I take the metro to and from work. Once I found out that monthly parking was $250 and that didn't come with a muscular man to carry me from the eighth floor down to 1B, the metro started sounding real sexy. But on the metro you see some things. And sometimes experience some things. For example, this boy who couldn't have been over the age of 16 walked past me and caressed my forearm while winking. This was followed up with me saying, "If you don't get yo... *insert expletives* away from me." Either he thought this was really brave or felt really dumb when he got publicly gone off on.

3. I'm definitely more aggressive than I was at home. Mostly because people actually get harmed back home for less. IDK. *Kanye shrug* {nvmd, we don't feature Kanye anymore}. Back to the story... DC has the most ignored crossing paths across busy streets that I've ever seen. Imagine (for those from STL) crossing the riverview circle foot. The bravery of the humans who walk with the faith that the cars will stop astounds me. This includes me death staring a woman in a supercharged mini cooper down like she had poop on her shoes. "YOU WILL WAIT"... maybe I have a bumper? Either way, in the moment, I always have a quick clapback but later the spirit says, "You idiot." I feel like this is what adulating looks like.

4. The bravery of getting completely naked in the locker room. There is a lady at my local planet fitness who has unlearned every bit of body shame she was ever taught. I kinda envy her for that, but that milk of magnesia colored skin that has lost its elasticity? Not so much. (Spirit always says, "Keep living girl...") Anywho, she gets booty butt naked every time. She has no issue with bare contortion either as she stretches on the bench with a towel. Now, if there's one thing I don't do, it's share bare body surfaces with others. You know how some showers have that seat? Can't pay me to sit on that. But she stretches on the bench without a towel and without any concern. She is brave and I still hide stretch marks from women whose bodies have been stretched also. Perhaps there's a thing or two she can teach me.

5. So up in Washington State a couple of bikers were attacked by a cougar. The first one got attacked and then second one ran away. The cat ran after the fleeing friend and attacked. The first person then gets on their bike and bikes two miles away where they report the attack and seek help. Now... if you're thinking what I'm thinking then you're a little perplexed. Either person one is really brave because they knew someone had to live to tell the story or they were terrified and biked faster than Lance Armstrong escaping drugging rumors. And the other part of this story that's more ironic is the fact that folks were pissed when they found and euthanized the cougar. #SavethecougarsIguess

6. People who start go fund me campaigns for non funeral or tragedy or school related reasons. I'm not sure why the ones listed above are exempt, but they seem to be more reasonable than raising money so you can a replacement for your missing side tooth. I have seen every kind of campaign from help me raise money a tooth implant to helps me buy a juicer so I can lose weight. I believe in asking for help, I do. I also believe in working towards a goal in addition to or before asking for help. Like if that tooth never got fixed, would the world be an awful? Perhaps, but I'm just not sure folks owe you a tooth. My spirit is vexed on this one.

7. So I tried to be brave. I slid into someone's DMs (twice). The first time I asked Michael B. Jordan to be my date to Howard's homecoming. He has even read the message. STILL. The second time, I had a little school girl crush on this guy and asked him to coffee. After I sent it, I was like really Ash... coffee? It seemed like a safer alternative than being like, "Hey, you wanna drink dark liquor together and talk about why Aaliyah's family won't release her music to apple?" But, anyway I sent it. He responded, saying that he would love to meet up. That was the last time I heard from him. Lesson learned: bravery is about you shooting your shot whether or not the outcome works in your favor. This is a gamble.

8. People who wear synthetic hair weaves are brave. If you know anything about synthetic hair then you know it can melt with very little heat. As hot as it gets in this city that is built upon a swamp, you would think folks would be conscious. Honorable mention is given to folk who don't use the proper amount of adhesive to the perimeter of wigs before engaging in extreme sports like twerking. Sis, you knew that wig wasn't tacked down right before Cash money took over for the 99 and 2000s.

9. My neighbor across the street is brave. Actually two of them are. The first put his family's washer on the side of the house and hooked it up to the outdoor water hose. You have to be brave to bring your drawers outside for a wash. There are some garments I never need others to see. Also, I'm concerned about what's going on in the house that the washer no longer fit. The second neighbor is "Troy" at least that's what I call him. Your name gotta be Troy for you to be free styling on the porch, while making a beat on an end table that doesn't belong outside and recording it on your cell. Bravery is required to get on. I hope you get on Troy. He's up before me every morning in his hooping shorts outside making music. That's bravery on another level.

10. On a serious note, bravery is essential to success. It doesn't always yield what you think it should but the gains are far beyond what you've imagined. This year, I'm brave enough to try my hand at love again. When bitterness and resentment are the easy destinations, I am choosing the road less traveled. I firmly believe that "When you want something the entire universe conspires to make it happen" and all that's required of me is a little bravery.

Sis was hella brave. Tear that schnoz up!

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