How did you end up there, you may ask? How exactly did I end up sitting at a table in what used to be my sweet little bakery? The little 1000 square feet where I poured every inch of my soul. The little 1000 square feet that I have avoided for three years. The little 1000 square feet that I only just recently started walking past, glancing in from the sidewalk on my way to get my haircut.
The reason I was at my old shop was because I mix-up not only the date of my hair appointment but also the time of the appointment. So, armed with a new time and having an hour to waste, I decided to be brave. I walked the two doors down and in the door of the shop. I went right up to the counter and ordered a coffee like it was the first time I had ever been in the building. I sat down and did the only thing I know how to do when I’m stressed, nervous or scared, I took out my laptop and started typing.
As I sat at a table that was completely different than the tables that were in my bakery, with my latte, I could still see my tears and sweat mixed with flour on the floor, and I felt like a ghost. This little shop that is now an artisan truffle shop, it looked very different, it smelled different, it sounded different. It was just different, but then again, so am I.
As I started filling the page with words, I felt calmer. I found my heart beat slowing to a reasonable rate and I started to breathe. As I sipped my coffee and looked around at the shop, I couldn’t help but reflect over the last three years. The two people behind the counter had no idea who I was, and I liked that. I liked that I was unrecognizable because I felt unrecognizable. I, for about twenty minutes, sat there, unrecognizable, calm, and brave. Then the owner walked in, and I panicked. I took a large gulp of my coffee, packed up my laptop and in a flash, I was out the door. Yes, it was irrational and unfounded, but I ran. Before I knew it, I was back in the safety of the salon and with people who understood me, people who loved me. I couldn’t bear to face someone who use to know me in my old life.
It’s interesting, how when you are brave enough to confront even your largest fears; you feel like you can rope the moon and bring it down to you. But, that feeling doesn’t last very long. I suppose it comes in doses, and the more you practice being brave, the easier it gets, but at that very minute, I panicked, and I bolted. So, for now, I’m taking the win and repeating my mantra “Be gentle with yourself.”
That’s how you become brave for a minute. I suppose if you keep adding onto those minutes, minute by minute, you can turn them into hours and then into days, but being brave is hard. Being brave is scary. Being brave is best taken one minute at a time.