Tag Archives: Daily Prompt

being married to me… a story about learning to love myself…

If you’re not new to A Little Bit Brave, you know that I’m all about me. I don’t say that to sound selfish, but instead to make a point – I am all about doing what is best for me, not making my decisions to please someone else.

Thanks to my time in Korea, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be and feel confident. I’ve learned to appreciate and embrace my independence. Two years ago, I decided I wanted to make a statement, so I got a tattoo to represent that I was married to me:

This was something that made me feel powerful – like I could do anything and be the woman I had always dreamed of. It doesn’t mean that I absolutely never want to get married; it just means that I know I have to love myself first.

Self Love is Real

Last fall, after showing off my tat to a new friend and talking about living a single life abroad, she emailed me a video a few days later that encapsulated a lot of what I have been trying to say all along.

So much of what Ms. McMillan states is what I’ve felt for a while now. I couldn’t relate to everything, but there was one thing that stuck out more than any other: I have to love myself first.

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to all the brave girls out there… this is for you…

When I started “A Little Bit Brave” in early 2013, I meant for it to chronicle my experiences living and teaching abroad for what I thought would be just a single year. Since it’s inception, my hopes for the blog have changed and grown.

I had started a couple of blogs a few years before during a very difficult period in my life and I hadn’t really shared them with anyone… I complained a lot and, in my defense, was experiencing some pretty serious depression. After what seemed like an eternity of difficult years working shitty jobs and feeling like I was drowning in a sea of depression, I set out on a new adventure: teaching English in South Korea. I felt like I was truly embarking on a new chapter in life, finally, and seeking the happiness I so desperately had been searching for over the past few years. I deemed my leap to move halfway across the world to teach English as being “a little bit brave,” and so the title was born.

Since starting the blog, I have tried (not always successfully) to share some of my cultural experiences here in Korea. Despite my poor blogging habits, I’ve also rediscovered my love of writing. I found my voice again and started sharing my opinions on things, wrote about things I think are funny or that will make you, Reader, laugh. I also realized that there are other women out there whom I truly respect and admire. The internet is a scary and beautiful thing – it has opened a door to me that I didn’t bother to open before.

All across our world, women are taking steps that are leaps for them. They are writing their own stories and making their own rules.

They are a little bit brave.

After finishing a series telling the story of my journey to Korea, I wanted to keep the “series” habit going, so I reached out to a friend about doing a guest post about her “brave” story. After two of these posts by two awesome women living and working in Asia (you can read them here and here), my plan for the blog evolved yet again.

In asking these women to write and starting the recruiting process to find others, I started thinking about women I know back home in the Americas: many of my friends in the States hadn’t left the shores of our homeland, and yet I knew they were still living and writing brave stories of their own. Suddenly, it was clear to me that “A Little Bit Brave” wasn’t just supposed to be about me. It wasn’t just supposed to be about other women who had left their homeland to find an adventure. It was about all women who were taking leaps and risks, no matter where they were. 

We live in a time where women are becoming more empowered and encouraged to take these risks. It’s time that we embraced this and shouted our stories into the wind.

It is my hope that this blog will be a place of empowerment and encouragement for women of all ages. No matter where you are in life, no matter your story, this is a place for you. We are women and we are strong. I hope you find the story here that will convince you to take your own leap and start writing your new story.

We may not be fearless, but we are a little bit brave.

*This post was written partly in response to WordPress’s The Daily Post: Singular Sensation.

shame on you, Springfield… my gay flame is ignited…

I read in the news today that the home of my alma mater, Springfield, Missouri, repealed the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) bill, an act protecting rights of the LGBT community. Along with several others in the community, I am thoroughly disappointed with this decision by the people of Springfield. Though the tally at the end of the day was close – 51.43% for to 48.57% against (less than 1,000 votes separate these percentages, Reader) – it’s sad that a community of people who call themselves “Christians” have just sent one of the strongest messages of “hate” to a community of people they claim to want to “love.”

I get a little heated about these sorts of topics, so hold on to your seat, Reader. I’m a little pissed and you’re going to know it. This isn’t the first time I’ve written something about how absurd some people can be when it comes to LGBT rights and basic life excitement, but it’s been about a year so it’s time to reignite the gay flame.

Let’s get into the gritty part of what this ordinance repeal was all about. (You can probably already guess…) Back in October, the city council added to their current anti-discrimination laws: the original ordinance protected LGBT people when it came to housing, work, or public facilities. Based on the repeal (because you’re smart, so you get this), now gay and transgender people can legally be turned down for housing, restricted from public facilities like bathrooms, or even be fired from their job simply because they don’t fit the “mold” the greater Springfield public wants them to fit.

So, how did this happen in this day and age?  you might be wondering. I’m so glad you asked. Springfield is home to the headquarters of the Assemblies of God – a rather conservative, Pentecostal, evangelical Christian denomination. I was raised A/G and now avoid them like the plague for many reasons… We won’t get into that story here because it doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that the city of Springfield is infiltrated with Christian people. Now, I know just as much as anyone that not all Christian people are bad or hateful. Hell, I used to be one and I promise, I had the best intentions (though they were totally wrong). But, unfortunately, many of them are so closed-minded and fighting against issues (like this particular ordinance) that is a complete slap in the face of fellow humans.

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a little bit brave… in the Philippines

Reader, I’m so excited to announce a new project I’ve been working on. Let me tell you how it started.

Several weeks ago, I completed a project outlining the story of how I was a little bit brave and came to Korea. (You can read them all here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4…) In an attempt to share with you how others have been a little bit braveI decided to start asking some friends to share their stories with you as guest bloggers on this site.

Each month, I’ll be posting an article by another blogger who took a leap and moved themselves away from everything that was familiar to find the next “right” step in their life. First up: Anna Wickham. Anna is a friend of mine from university and is living (as you guessed from the title) a little bit brave in the Philippines.

To read more of her awesome stuff, check out Anna’s blog, The Worldly Blend.

So, without further ado, here’s a little bit brave… in the Philippines. Enjoy. :)

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It’s not that I’ve never left home before. But when I was invited to come live on a remote island in the Philippines, where there are frequent “brownouts” (power outages) and many residents don’t even have running water, I had a few reservations. After all, the 6-month temporary position I was filling had been filled before by 7 people: all men. More than just my mother expressed concern about a young woman venturing out on her own.

To tell you the truth, the basic living conditions in my new home, Puerto Galera, and the 4-hour trek from Manila were the least of my worries: I was going to the Philippines on a sort of work sabbatical, to “get away from it all” while I started my own online business. Building a business proved hard in Arizona, where I was living before. The distractions of my social circle, as well as the pressure to pay rent interfered with my productivity while I tried to start up my business. That’s why I was going all the way out to this remote island in the first place: to learn how to sustain my lifestyle singlehandedly, with no employer.

But all of that fear was swept aside as soon as I got off the boat at the pier in Puerto Galera. Smiling, friendly faces greeted me at the dock, and everyone was so friendly and warm. I immediately felt at home in this small town so far from home.

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i’m a girl… but apparently also a woman…

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I had a pivotal moment where I realized that I’m in my late-20s. It was as if, all of a sudden, things came crashing in on me and I realized that 30 is just around the bend. And that “Thirty Before 30” list on the Life List? Yeah. Time’s running out.

While I am well aware of the fact that I’m getting older, that the edges of my eyes are beginning to show the fine wrinkles of my lifetime of laughter, and that my face is sprouting annoying tiny hairs that require removal, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I felt like a “woman” instead of just a “girl.” I can tell you, however, that I realized my own “womanhood” over a series of moments throughout this year.

It’s kind of weird to realize you’re not just another “girl” and that you actually qualify as a full-grown woman. The other morning, I was standing in the shower thinking to myself, “I’m not a girl. I’m a legit woman now. I’m a lay-DEEE.” I don’t know where it came from, but in that moment while washing the conditioner out of my hair, I knew I wasn’t just a girl anymore.

Frankly, my year of freedom and newfound appreciation for casual sex also made me feel like an actual woman. You might feel like this is too much information, but I think I speak for all women when I say that attention from someone you’re attracted to (or, at the very least, is attracted to you) makes you feel pretty freaking awesome. Sexy, even. Being desired is a good feeling.

Or the moment I paid off an $800 credit card balance last month that I’ve been carrying for a few years. I felt like a “real adult” fixing mistakes I had made as a stupid “young adult.” I was a woman making up for my girlish financial irresponsibility.

Regardless of exactly when it happened, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that it happened sometime this year. I’m a real-life grown-up. An adult. An independent WOMAN. And may I say, hear me roar.

*This post was written in response to WordPress’s The Daily Post: All Grown Up.

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