This morning, as I was driving trough the rice paddies that has only have one lane made of bricks, I started thinking about courage. It took me a lot of courage to get on the scooter and start driving, and even more to start driving after sunset and to the next town. When I didn’t dare to drive myself, going on a scooter with a drunk driver was not a problem, since I didn’t really have other choice and everyone was doing it. Now I am responsible for my own life (and fellow drivers’), and it’s scary!
Besides driving a scooter (sometimes without a helmet), it took me courage to go in the water, against the waves and get rumbled upside down and around time after time. But I did that, too, and it doesn’t feel so scary anymore. Maybe it could be considered courageous to eat salad and fresh vegetables in a place where the water is not drinkable, but I haven’t seen that as a big deal. (Knock on wood, food poisoning.) To others, living in the same building with somewhat 20 other people would be beyond possible. We all have different challenges.
Different things require different amounts of courage for different people. Some might say I was brave to leave my job and home and to go to Asia without a ticket back, but for me that was just a way of going forward. Because if you only stay in your comfort zone and never do anything that scares the shit out of you, you’ll never grow, or experience the feeling of insane pride of what you’ve just done, even if it’s just making it home alive after dinner or being able to stand up on a board in the sea.
I am trying to learn how to give credit for myself even for the smaller things, not just life-changing decisions. Even the smallest choices lead to forming the big picture, though it is sometimes hard to see the effect of some tiny things. Balance between conquering and facing fears and being able to step back into comfort is the key, most likely.