Health Magazine

i Want to See You Be Brave

By Melissa Boles @_mboles

I took a break from blogging this holiday season, sort of inadvertently and without notice. It’s been a long month, and I’m working on a lot of things at the moment, but it’s good to be back.

I’ve been thinking a lot about bravery recently. I’m just a few months from being finished with my graduate degree, which means I am sitting deep in the mess that is the job search. I just returned to North Carolina from a job search that didn’t go as anticipated. I learned a lot, and hope to take everything I learned to my next job prospect.

Before I left, I was in Washington state for nearly a month. I had more conversations than I ever could have wanted about the upcoming job search, and late one night, one of them centered around being brave.

“You’re one of the bravest people I know,” were the words that came fluttering across the low-lit room to me. “You’re scared, and you have fears, but you do it anyway. That’s being brave to me.”

It’s as if I had the biggest revelation of my entire life that night. I never thought of myself as brave. I’d listen to Sara Bareilles tell me over and over again to be brave, hear Katy Perry promise me that I could roar, and read through inspirational quotes and emails reminding me that I’m brave; all the while thinking, “man, I wish I could really do that. I wish I could be brave.”

Bravery isn’t a canned behavior. You can’t pick up a dozen cans for $10 at the local supermarket and ingest one every time you need a little bit of bravery. Your brave won’t look like your sisters brave or your brothers brave or your best friends brave.

It can only look like your brave.


Maybe brave to you is getting out of bed in the morning. Maybe it’s walking between the buildings of your college campus with your head up instead of down. Maybe it’s speaking up in a class full of people who have different beliefs than you. Maybe it’s taking a new project to your boss, who terrifies you. Maybe it’s bungee jumping or sky diving, or packing all of your belongings and moving across the country or across the world.

Maybe when you’re brave, you’re not afraid. Or maybe, like me, you’re terrified. Maybe, like me, being brave means trusting your gut and knowing that, even if you’re scared, if your gut says it’s right, it’s right.

It doesn’t matter to me what your brave looks like. And only you have to know exactly what your brave looks like. All the quotes about taking risks and living life bravely shouldn’t deter you from living life bravely, your way. Even if you never leave your comfort zone.

Because honestly, love, all I want is for you to be brave. Whatever that means.

i want to see you be brave

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