Brave looks like a seven year old girl starting a new school.
She doesn't know anyone in her class. Her school is huge compared to what she is used to. There are people everywhere. Rooms and offices and hallways surround her. Routines and transitions and protocol that she's never been part of before, while most everyone else has. She was known before - in her other school. She was centered in relationships with giggles and laughter, secrets and notes and play dates after school. Now she is starting over. She marches in every morning with determination - never hesitating. She holds her head high and listens, listens, listens so she won't miss a thing. She watches the conventions, the style of play, the names of the games and the way they're played. Always learning and observing and waiting for her turn to jump in. Waiting for the empty space that has room just for her.
Brave looks like a nine year old fitting back in.
Surrounded by faces and names of people she used to know. People that want to be with her and have her be with them. Expectations and wishes and lots of "just like it used to be". But it's not just like it used to be. It never is. And that is OK. She navigates and mediates and works her way through the crowds to find her place. She knows who she is - that much is sure. She's just not sure who everyone else is yet - and how she'll fit into the middle of them.
Brave looks like a twelve and a half year old girl.
She watches. And here is the soundtrack.... "What does twelve and a half look like here? Does it look like me? Do I fit in to the layers and levels and patterns and people? I'm not a little girl anymore and neither are they. Where do I leave myself? I want to be a part of something... I just don't know which something that is. Is anyone else like me? Maybe. But they don't know my story yet. I'm not ready to tell it. This is where it begins - the choosing, deciding, staking my claim and setting a course. But I'm only twelve and a half. I don't even know who I am - I'm just beginning. Does anyone else feel like me? Does anyone else see me? No one else knows how it feels to be me."
This is what brave looks like.