The other day, I was talking with an old friend about the project here and she made a comment that is getting to be quite common – “that really takes a lot of courage,” she said, before continuing to gush about the idea. This idea has been milling around in my head since then… Are Russ and I really being courageous by making this decision?
Sure, it takes strength to eschew the ordinary, chart a completely unknown course and rely on your legs to get you there. But courage?
I’ve been pondering this idea for awhile now. And I think it keeps rattling around in my head is because, honestly, I don’t feel particularly courageous. Maybe I should. And maybe I will over time. Or maybe I don’t really know what courage is supposed to feel like.
What I do know is that, for the first time in a long time, I am absolutely 110% sure that I’m doing what I’m meant to.
So maybe I don’t feel courageous because I haven’t felt any drama over this choice. No doubts. No fears. No having to slay any inner demons in order to come to this decision. Just a calm knowing that I’m heading in the right direction.
Of course, you might ask me again after that first night camping in grizzly territory. That might earn me some inner courage.
So, what do you think? Do you think it takes courage to do what we’re doing?
liz cook April 30, 2009 at 11:19 am
I think an event like this is also about courage – but because it all makes such sense to you, and feels so much like the right thing to do, it doesn’t seem like courage. When people are afraid, the have to drum up the courage to step forward. You’re not afraid. There are things about it that you could be afraid of, but they’re not big enough to rear their ugly head. MMMMMM your mom probably has more trepidation, than you. I think youth has something to do with it – it’s all such an exciting adventure, you won’t know the pitfalls until they happen, so there’s no fear. Nothing wrong with that! When I lived in Mexico for half of a year, (I was 20) and drove 13,000 miles there, we weren’t really afraid of anything because we didn’t know what to be afraid of. If we got caught in an uncomfortable situation, we were old enough to recognize and deal with it. You definitely know where to be and where not to be. You’re on a mission, so go for it, I personally am envious for your ability and passion to do this. It will be a highlight in your life, and an immeasurable learning experience!! All kinds of great things can happen! I’ll be watching and brewing positive safe thoughts for you both, you can of course stay here or whatever if you come through portland! Who says 2009 is a crummy year – I think it’s a GREAT year!!! xoxoxoliz
William Boyd May 2, 2009 at 4:33 am
“Tharsei” is a word from the Koina Greek. It means “be of good courage” and “be of good cheer.” Jesus used the word frequently. Read it in context and see if it applies.
RJ May 8, 2009 at 7:51 am
“The ability to do something that frightens one.”
YOU may not be frightened–
but those who are singing praises of courage are.
And not even afraid of the physical stuff: riding with cars, sleeping with grizzlies, carrying all your stuff with your two legs..
I think they’re afraid of “outside-the-norm” mental attitude you are able to have.
I always assumed that people believed in themselves, believed that they deserved the life they want and don’t care about what others think. Sadly, one of the first lessons I’m learning after college is that there are a LOT of people who are content or even excited to cookie cutter themselves into security.
RJ May 8, 2009 at 7:52 am
“Don’t let what others think you are doing affect what YOU think you are doing.”
That’s my mantra.
melt May 12, 2009 at 5:38 am
When I took a year out of my well-trodden career path to work in the jungle, I got the same comment many times. I think the courage lies in allowing yourself to believe in what lies beyond… So many of us do not dare to imagine or genuinely consider what other options are outside our immediate experience. Once the decision is made, much of the focus switches to practicalities. But to move towards a decision in the first place takes courage – and that is the stumbling block for most.
Marcey August 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm
Everytime I moved to a new city, people would tell me I am brave or courageous. I was moving forward in my life. You stepping out of other peoples comfort zone (aka the norm) and moving forward in your like.
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I don’t think courage is the suitable word, I would use ‘determination-the quality of being firm in purpose’. A fireman doesn’t courageously enter a burning building, s/he is determined to save a life. As I am riding my bike to work every day amongst road traffic, I don’t feel “brave”, but others who learn I bike commute, always say things like “wow you are brave”. No, I’m just doing what I love to do and others may be too intimidated to try it. I applaud your determination. Have you visited a website called warmshowers.org? Touring cyclists can stay overnight in a sponsor’s home. If you find yourself in Miami, FL, look me up! Wishing you safe passage…