“You are so brave…”

The decision to leave everything and everyone was not an easy one. It meant leaving everyone I love, everything familiar and everything that I have started.

So when I announced to my family and friends that I have decided to leave the country I had a mixed bag of reactions but there was one phrase that stood out for me that was repeated time and time again.

“You are so brave!”

And yet, every time I heard that phrase my whole being revolted and shouted. “NO! I am not! I don’t think I am brave because I feel scared! I am fearful and anxious, you shouldn’t be calling me brave because if I’m brave I shouldn’t be feeling like this right?!”

Right!?

So what is being brave anyways?
Well here’s what Merriam-Webster’s first entry says:
“having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty :having or showing courage”
And what are also it’s synonyms?
Also on Merriam-Webster:
“Bold, courageous, dauntless, doughty, fearless…”

And with that, can I call myself brave?

Maybe? Now, I think so, it says there having strength to face fear. Maybe I can.

It’s been two weeks since I’ve left and I still feel the same but there is a huge difference from then and now.

I realised a few things, that being brave doesn’t mean I have to be fearless even though that’s a synonym for brave.

Being brave is being ready to face your own fears, the difficulties ahead and still moving forward. Moving towards what we believe is worth fighting for and what will make us better people in the long run.

Being brave does not have to equate taking a drastic step like I have done and move to the other side of the world but for some it is.

Being brave can be getting out of bed, taking a shower and making a promise to yourself not to get back into that bed until it’s time to sleep.

Being brave is about talking to your friends and family about what you are going through.

Being brave is about tackling each day as they come and let tomorrow worry about itself even just for a while.

It’s never easy to be brave; have courage to take on life’s changes and challenges but that’s what makes us feel alive. It’s what makes me feel alive. And in saying that we must also forgive ourselves when we can’t be brave, it takes time and if you have to take your time, do. Everyone has their own battles to show up for and be brave for. There is no rush, as long as you know you have to show up in the end.

Being brave is accepting love and giving love even with when there is the possibility of heartache. Being brave is waking up each morning and facing everyday’s challenges for it’s potential rewards. Being brave is showing up even when the outcome is uncertain.

Yes, I am full of fear. Yes, I do not feel brave but I feel alive! I am taking a leap into the unknown and I am facing a lot of uncertainties but I have hope that it will turn out fine. I may encounter pain but I hope there is also pleasure mixed in there.

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