“I decided this is going to be the year of risk,” Hannah told me as she briefed me on her first day of school. “I’m not going to be afraid to talk to people or answer questions in class or try out for things,” she continued.
I smiled to myself. “You’re going to do like Brené says and dare greatly!” I cheered.
“Yeah!” she confirmed.
Man, I am so lucky I got a kid who is open to all the Growing Towards the Sun talk. A kid who really takes our conversations and runs with them. I often think about how I could have gotten a kid who kinda glazed over when I spoke about intention …or who complained about having to go to Oprah’s Best Life Weekend …or who just got sick of me talking about being vulnerable and daring greatly. But I didn’t! I got Hannah.
Over the next several days, she would tell me about what “risky” thing she did that day. One day it was reading a passage in class when the teacher asked and no one else would raise their hand. Another time it was starting a conversation with a girl in her science class she’d never spoken to before.
Then it was time to try out for the Fall musical. Ugh. Am I allowed to say I hate auditions? Because I’m saying it. I hate auditions. They’re such a roller coaster. Hannah told me (SHE felt) hers didn’t go well and lamented the fact that she never gets the parts she wants and will probably never get the part she wants. <Insert quick pep talk here>. Then she told me about a girl a grade below her who was at auditions and sitting alone.
“She seemed sad so I went over and asked her how her audition went,” Hannah explained. “She said she didn’t think she did very well. I told her a lot of 6th graders don’t even try out and that, when I was in 6th grade, I was too scared to. I said she should feel proud of herself for that. That really seemed to lift her spirits!”
Wow. Proud. “Hannah even if you never, ever get on that stage again, it is these things that make me the most proud of you,” I told her. The next day I put this Theodore Roosevelt quote in her lunch box. She got a kick out of it. And now she knows she’s in the arena.