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Fearless: Standing Boldly in the Face of Fear

The question: "What is your New Year's Resolution and what would you like to see out of the Invisible Wave movement in 2020?"

Because I'm quirky, original, and not like the other girls (groan- the other girls are fabulous!), I don't like resolutions, and I don't feel the New Year is the only time or best time to work towards a new goal. However, I'm a big fan of choosing a word to define my attitude and what I want to adjust within myself for that year (aka something I CAN control), and my word for 2020 is FEARLESS.

If you search the definition of "fearless", not only will Taylor Swift's sophomore album pop up, but the definition itself is simply "lacking in fear". As a proud graduate of multiple courses in writing and rhetoric, I know that words are more than their denotation, or their specific dictionary definition. Words are fluid, and their connotation, or how people perceive a word, is more important especially in situational context. I don't believe that in order to be considered fearless that you have to lack the ability to fear things- in fact, the word "fearless" is meaningless without our notion of "fear". When I was looking for a way to describe why I chose the word "fearless" as my 2020 word, I found this quote from business coach and speaker Peter Scott: "(Being fearless) does not mean you live a life without fear. (Being fearless) means you will boldly move in the direction of your fears until you overcome them".

As a person who has battled depression, anxiety, migraines, and three concussions (still working on number 3), I like this idea. In my world, there's no living without my diagnosis or the three hits to the head. I have to face them every day, move in their direction, and manage and conquer them with everything I have to give. That's why the statue of the Fearless Girl was facing the bull statue- her creator, artist Kristen Visbal , was either consciously or subconsciously aware of this and wanted her statue to overcome societal sexism and how it affects young girls. Before I make too many more sappy and feminine-leaning similes, I'll answer the latter part of the question posed above.

Pictured: me and the Fearless Girl in Oslo, Norway, in April 2018

What do I want to see out of the Invisible Wave Movement in 2020?

I think it's only appropriate that I say that I want it to continue being fearless. It's difficult for a lot of folks to talk about, let alone advocate for change for, chronic illness. Having a diagnosis, needing to take time and energy away from the societal standards set for work, school, and other arenas of life, and all of the medical treatments are stigmatizing and can make folks feel othered. By speaking up and speaking out, it allows people to stand by their truth and give others hope that they can be their authentic selves in the world as well. By advocating, it forces lawmakers, organizations, and institutions to think about the needs of chronic illness warriors and creates a greater platform for a larger conversation on acceptance, inclusion, integration, accommodations, and a better humanity. I want to see a widespread message of understanding and fact in an era of division and clickbait. I'll close this out with a quote:

“F-E-A-R has two meanings: 'Forget Everything And Run' or 'Face Everything And Rise.' The choice is yours.” ― Zig Ziglar

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