“Ok, we’re diving today.” Instantly, I look at her. I try to read her face. I immediately give a thumbs up! As a mom, that’s what I’m supposed to do, right? Support and encourage. I could tell she was apprehensive. I was too. I could tell that she had big thoughts and feelings about this new experience. I did too. Diving off of the high board?! She had never done this before. But I also know that she has confidence in her ability. So do I. Still as a mom, I watched her take each measured step inching closer to the top of the diving board. She’s intentional and nervous, and steady. She reaches the top, walking so delicately across the board. Holding onto the bar, but the rail has an ending. Quickly, her swim coach sees her reluctance and speeds up the stairs to be the bridge. He was a bridge from rail to end of the diving board. She gets to the end; there’s only one way down. She dives into the pool.
The pride on her face is etched in my memory. I watched her overcome fear in real-time. That’s what being brave is. That, in my opinion, is the definition of being fearless. Not the absence of fear but the pushing through it. The overcoming. The dive.
I am proud of her always. At that moment, my pride overflowed. Not just because she accomplished a first— it was how she did it. The confidence that she had in her swimming ability outweighed the fear of the jump.
I have been in many situations where the rail ends. My faith has always been the bridge. People have been placed in my life to be the bridge at times. Ultimately, I have had to believe in my ability, no matter the link. Whether it was packing up and moving to a new city, losing a job, death of a loved one, writing a book, or starting a business, at some point, the rail ends, and you have to dive. It can be scary. It can feel lonely. But without the dive, there’s no reward. There’s no rising out of the pool with pride. It can feel comfortable, playing it safe, but we all know that tug, that emptiness, that what if echo that murmurs in our spirit when we don’t follow our heart.
I take this motivation with me every day. I live differently because of it.
Let’s start facing our fears and believing in our abilities. Here’s our gentle reminder, this year — we’re diving.
Tiffany Reneé is a writer, poet, and activist based in New York. She is a free spirit who loves to truly connect with others. She believes that life gives us opportunities to learn and grow daily if we are open to seeing the beauty in the expansion. Family time, deep conversation, wine, cooking, music, laughter, and travel are a few of her favorite things. She’s a soulful dreamer from the Midwest who has always been drawn to the city lights and the possibilities that exist in choosing “more” of what allows you to live a life that you love.Instagram lovenotesandsunshineWebsite lovenotesandsunshine.com