Recently, I was telling someone how I thought me traveling alone was brave. While I didn’t expect a “congratulations,” or a “you’re so brave,” their reaction really took me by surprise. They looked at me, dead serious, and said “That’s not brave.”
Of course, that comment got me thinking. Bravery, to me, means admitting you’re so scared, but doing it anyway. Sometimes we are brave because we have to be. Other times we are brave because we want to be.
Fighting cancer (or any illness) is brave.
Moving across the country is brave.
Watching a loved one die is brave.
Living with anxiety is brave.
Living with depression is brave.
I would never ever deny the bravery it takes to make it through any of the above, but bravery can also be changing your own life and taking control of your destiny.
I, who still proudly live with my Mom, struggled traveling alone in the beginning. I had never been away from home for more than a few days and I cried and cried when it was time for me to go to Italy (cried is an understatement. I could barely breathe I was so upset). At JFK, almost seven years ago, I had changed my mind. Luckily, my mom didn’t let me. I can’t imagine my life now had I not gone to Italy then.
So you want to know what else I think is brave?
Leaving your comfortable well-paying job for something you’re passionate about is brave.
Leaving a relationship that is sucking the life out of you is brave.
Taking control of your health – eating well and working out is brave.
Speaking your mind for what’s right, when everyone else thinks you’re wrong is brave.
And yes, I think traveling alone, whether to the next state over, or across the world is brave.
You may look at my life and think I’m not brave. And that’s totally okay. But to me, I am brave. And I hope you live a life where you too can say to yourself, “I am brave. I am so brave.”