Updated: Mar 10
Contrary to popular belief, the lion is not the king of the jungle. In fact, lions don't even live in the jungle. Go on; I'll wait while you consult google.
All my life, I never knew that the ABC's is sung to the tune of 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,' and for a long time, I didn’t know that a tomato is actually a fruit. Nevermind high-heels were initially invented for men, and Froot Loops, regardless of their rainbow of colours, are all the same flavour.
It's these would be insignificant facts that made me remember one thing. The more I learn, the less I know. Yet, for most of my life, 'I' had the audacity to think I knew more than I really do. Could no one tell me nothing! This, of course, played out in several intervals during my life. First, as a teenager, when I wanted to defy parental rules. Then in the workplace, when I couldn't stand being corrected, especially openly. But more predominantly in relationships where I thought I was the foremost authority on most subject matters. I don't know; somehow, I kept catching the Black Friday sales on Audacity. I was fully stocked. I mean never rationing or in short supply.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love words. I love the play on words. I like that certain words carry more weight than others, and depending on the context in which certain words are used, they can be insulting or complimentary. With that said, I do believe most persons have a working knowledge of what 'audacity' means, and I think it's safe to say the most common understanding of the word has something to do with being rude or behaving in a disrespectful manner. However, this word can also be defined as a bold risk-taker. Let's just say I specialize in both. We'll call it my double major.
Like many of us, I can have the nerve to do something rude or abrupt. But oooh, trust and believe it's a problem when that same attitude is aimed toward me. It took a lot for me to realize silence is most certainly an answer. And sometimes, my curt behaviour did not warrant a response. There I was thinking; some people had the nerve, I mean the unmitigated gall, to not respond to me. Me! Me! Hmmm, if 'thinking of themselves more highly than they ought to' was a person. This attitude was short-lived as 'life' found a way to cut me down to size. I mean, faster than cancel culture will have you forgotten.
Think of it; when you were a child, there was so much your parents said to you without actually saying a thing. Be not deceived; that stern look with no words was a conversation within a conversation. Yet as an adult, I saw my many unanswered prayers as God giving me the side-eye. I can see Him now, looking at me like, "Sis, we not having this conversation again!" Or "Child, didn't I ask you to leave that alone?" Or my ultimate favourite, "Girl, will you ever learn?" Let's just say my humbling experiences, like my audacity was not dished out sparingly.
Some years ago, I was deep in love with this lady's son. I mean, I might-as-well had tattooed his name on my forehead. Needless to say, we complete each other soon turned into a marathon of heated debates. You know, the kind that happens when Ms. Know-It-All and Mr. I's-the-Man collide? Still, he would always use this one word, "demonstrative." Yet, with my "like context clues self," somehow in my mind, I kept picturing something destructive (dumbness, I know). Believe me, looking back; I'm so ashamed. Anyway, any time he used that word, I couldn't care less what he was actually saying; that thing set hell's fire up in me, and believe me, it was on and poppin' from there. I'm still amazed that for the longest time, me, Miss. Encyclopedia Brown never thought to look this word up. I went on floating around in my 'ignorance is bliss' bubble, sunbathing in my audacity of being strong and wrong!
Anyway, years later, I started talking to some kid's dad, and as luck would have it, one day, he used that same word. Ooh, child, that very bitter experience came flooding back. But before Ms. Sassy McError-son could kick up a fuss, he went on to explain himself. "Demonstrative" as in 'the need to illustrate or act out his feelings. (Insert shamed face emoji). Believe me, when I tell you, I burst into hysterical laughter that was followed by unexplainable tears. I knew at that moment he must have thought I was five-pennies short of a nickel. Needless to say, an entire four-year relationship flashed before my eyes. While I'm not saying, knowing what that one word meant would have saved the relationship, but it would have saved us from saying many things we can't ever take back.
Audacity will have you heavy on the clownery. And as with most attributes, if not channelled correctly will cause you to display some questionable actions. When a person says 'the audacity' these days, it's not a compliment. Although the word can also allude to you taking a bold risk for the greater good, most people hear the negative before thinking of the positive. Just like I did all those times with whats-his-face.
'The more I learn, the less I know' is very true to me. Regardless, I am confident that having audacity does not have to carry the negative connotation it does. If we think about it, there are many folks whose story is demonstrative in the act of boldness (see what I did there?)
Take Moses, for instance; this dude had the kahunas to walk into Pharoh's palace with a message from a God he (Pharoh) did not believe in, much less could see and said, "Let My people go!" Now bear in mind these folks were enslaved for some 430 years. (insert song; it's the Audacity for me). (see Exodus 5) Man audacity must have been having an everything must go sale that day. Still, that boldness was not fueled by arrogance or entitlement (as he was a prince of Egypt) but quite the opposite. Truth is, Moses didn't even want to go. Ironically, the correct use of audacity' can only be driven by faith. It's 'knowing' that you have the right to take back what rightfully already belongs to you!
Now here I am, the adopted island girl who dared to want more than the 21 by 7 (length of my island New Providence, The Bahamas). I had the audacity to step out on faith and what I thought was my life falling apart was just a broken bone being rebroken to be appropriately set. That 'audacity' I had to walk away from everything that was once familiar on the surface looked real foolish. Still, the experience made me well aware that everything I need, I already have.
Here's what I know for certain: "God will do what He said He would do!" That's it. That's all I know. And better than any human, His audacity to wreck all of our preconceived plans is the quintessence of being a bold risk-taker! Hear me today, go big or don't go at all!