Guest Writer: Hope Lynn Brandenberger
What’s the worst thing that could happen? Will your head pop off? This is such a silly question, one that may not make sense at first, but let me explain.
I have always been an anxious ball of mental contingency. My mind is constantly moving and has been for as long as I can remember.
When I was fearful or dreading the worst, my mum would say to me, “Hope, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Will your head pop off?”
I don’t know where she got this saying, but it worked. As crazy as it sounds, this saying helped to instill courage within me when I was just a wee tot. It still does to this day.
I remember one time when my mum asked me to call and make an appointment at the doctor. I was always sick growing up, and this particular time my mum, being a single mum raising five kids and juggling three jobs, was a little busy. She asked me to call and make the appointment.
That might not seem like much, but in the season I was in at the time, I was so fearful of communication with anyone other than my family. I have always struggled with putting words together out loud. That’s why I started writing songs and poems, so that I could express myself in ways that I couldn’t orally.
Thinking about having to call this random person I didn’t know and talk to them was actually so terrifying to me.
I fought my mum pretty hard until she asked me that one simple question followed by, “Will your head pop off?”
I honestly had no response. The worst thing that could possibly happen was a minor dignity loss, but I would still be alive and healthy, right? You bet.
I was a young’un, and I fought her for a little while after. I really don’t mean to spoil the ending for anybody, but I ended up making the phone call.
I have since grown so much with that simple but complex and odd question burning in the back of my head. All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and your life may change.
Have a friend crush? Tell them—this is how I have made the majority of my friends. It works. Want to sign up for a leadership position but don’t feel qualified? Do it anyway. Want to audition for chapel worship but are scared of rejection? Do it. Whatever you’re scared of doing, do it. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Will your head pop off?
Hope is a junior music business major from Topeka, Indiana.