I remember turning the corner around the building and meeting a group of the popular kids standing there. My heart raced for several beats as I came to a sudden stop. They looked me in the eye and told me to keep going. The entire class was to be running around the building a couple of times, maybe for a mile? We were in 6th grade, possibly, so it wasn't a hard run, just tedious. This group, however, was planning on more than just the run.
In the first moment I was grateful I wasn't their target, in the second I worried for the one who was. I realized I couldn't stand there and wait, they wouldn't allow that, but I thought maybe I could run as fast as I could around the building to help the girl I was pretty sure would be the one stopped.
Of course, I wasn't, but I don't remember all that happened. It was a "minor" infraction as far as physical bullying goes, but the mental anguish the group poured out on the rest of us on a regular basis was pure torture. Enough to make us look like the crazy ones.
But I don't think that was the first time I wanted to protect someone.
Now I'm old enough to make my own decisions rather than react to the crowd, but I still find that 12 year old choosing for me sometimes. Stay quiet. Stay invisible. Pretend not to notice. And I always regret listening to her. I know she's just trying to help me survive still, but those coping mechanisms are now harming me more than helping me, if they ever really helped me at all.
So many times we revert back to what is comfortable or safe, when in reality our life would be so much better if we listened to that other voice in our heart, the one that scares us to death. Step out. Speak up. Do something. But maybe it's time for all of us to do just that. What is it that you haven't done because you've been too scared to do it?
For me, one thing was starting over with my blog. I had become so attached to "Stacey Daze" that I didn't know how to move away from it, but I have been ignoring the voice telling me to do just that for, dare I say, years. It's a seemingly little step, which really makes no difference in the big scheme of things, but it made my heart race and I panicked. I tried to semi-step with "Encompass Defense" but after a few months I knew that wasn't the right step at all. I do believe this one is.
You can learn more about me and this space over at the about me page, but to put it simply: I'm going to talk about all the stuff I always talk about; self-defense, the Bible, physical fitness, life, relationships, our hearts, and my journey.
You see, that twelve year old girl who was so protective of others, still is. And I still don't know the best way to help all the time, but I'm not done trying yet.