I think the bravest thing someone does sometimes is show up. Not go fight in a war. Not stand up to a bully. Not shoot a bow and arrow through some sort of coronation ring. Nope. Not any of those things that is typically considered a brave thing to do.
I’m talking about showing up to an event. People take one look at you and start sizing you up. You haven’t even opened your mouth yet and you are being judged by every eye in the room. At least all the sober ones. (Let’s be honest. The inebriated ones ain’t gonna remember you after it’s all over.)
I was at a party over the weekend and I felt brave for showing up. I knew the host and a couple other people on the guest list, but the majority of the people on the guest list I did not know. Right before going I had this nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach like the kind of feeling you get if you’re a quiet one like me and sitting in class hoping the teacher doesn’t call on you or the kind of nervous feeling you get before having to give an oral presentation to the class.
Showing up to a party where you don’t know most of the people is in a way, going to battle. You don’t know what these people think of you from how you act to what you say to what you’re wearing. You shouldn’t care what these people think, but there’s always a part of you that will no matter how many parties you’ve been to. Once they’ve met you, it’s all over. You can’t change what they first think of you or go back in time and make them not ever know you.
You may walk away without them remembering you, but you now exist in the world to them and there’s no way to make them think you don’t exist. Even if they forget about the party, meeting you will inevitably come back up in their memory, filed away with all the other fuzzy party memories. It just takes a key to unlock that drawer and once Tinker Bell comes flying out of there, ain’t no way of stopping a mixed up memory from surfacing, like trying to tell the difference between a thimble and a hidden kiss.