Trying To Be a “Bravey”

A couple of confessions.

First, I had no knowledge of Alexi Pappas until recently.

Second, I don’t remember how I first learned about Alexi Pappas and her memoir Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas

But I’m so glad I did.

I borrowed a copy from the library, but it’s full of so many sticky notes that I had to order my own copy. And then not only will my copy have sticky notes, but I’ll go ahead and highlight passages. 

Alexi and I are very different. She’s an Olympian, for crying out loud. (And a filmmaker, an actress, and a writer.) Yet, her words resonated with me and touched me so strongly. 

This week I’d like to share with you some of my favorite passages.

“It was the first time I used the word bravey, and it stuck. It became a label for a mini-movement, a self-identifier for those who are willing to chase their dreams even though it can be intimidating and scary. It celebrates the choice to pursue a goal and even relishes the pain that comes with effort. There is nobility to it; it’s something to be celebrated.” 

“Imagination, at the very least, brings us joy; at the very most, it empowers us to suspend disbelief and chase the impossible. Imagining things into existence is a superpower.”

“Asking for help is a superpower anyone can have but only some people use. It is brave to ask for help.”

“You have to believe you are deserving of good surprises in life. You set yourself up for it. You walk with your eyes open enough to catch the eye of the person who will invite you in. Maybe they won’t but maybe they will. Luck can be cultivated.”

Supposed to was another phrase I couldn’t let go of — I was supposed to do this and I was supposed to do that — so I kept doing things that helped me appear normal to the outside world, but none of which would help me heal myself.” 

“That’s what being a Bravey is — you are making a conscious choice to tell yourself what you’d like to be until it becomes part of you. You choose to replace “can’t” with “maybe” by acknowledging your feelings but focusing on your actions. Your actions encompass everything from what you do with your time, to who you surround yourself with, to the words you feed your mind. To know you can do this for yourself is the most powerful thing in the world.” 

“You have to take care of yourself first. You are your own most precious resource. Everything you are in this world hinges on you facing yourself before you face the world.”