the two way connection between wings and bravery.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: sometimes you have to just jump and grow wings on the way down. Something along those lines, at least.

I think it’s very true, more now than ever. I’ve done things outside my comfort zone before, but never to the extent of these past few months. I’ve ridden elephants, killed cockroaches, made my way in new cities where no one spoke my language, gotten tattooed in Bangkok, gone dancing in Ugandan clubs, learned to speak (some of) a new language, said goodbye to friends and loved ones, and made new friends. It all required a certain level of bravery, I suppose. I had to be brave to try so many new things and go my own way. It wasn’t only bravery, though. Thanks to parents and friends who helped me grow into a confident woman, I also trusted my own ability to grow wings.

When I moved to Uganda, I was not equipped to deal with life here. It wasn’t that I was inept or didn’t have the ability, but no one could be fully ready for a country they’d never even visited before. I didn’t have the tools to succeed, and I knew it, yet I was still brave enough to force myself to move anyway – new job, new home, new city, new country, new continent – only 2 months after graduating from college. I promise this post isn’t just about tooting my own horn. I might have been brave then, but I’m braver now. I was wondering how that could be, but I think the path to more bravery is quite simple. You need to be brave enough to take that first leap, but when you find that you easily grew wings during the fall, it gives you enough courage to take the next, bigger leap.

Bravery isn’t about being born without fear. It’s about taking small step after small step toward self growth. When you realize you can handle risk and uncertainty, you are emboldened to be even braver. You need enough bravery to push you off the ledge, but then the wings take over. You grow them, glide on them, and they take you to new heights. Then you jump again, because you’re more sure than ever of your ability to fly. Risk and bravery form an upward spiral, and the best thing is that there’s always a higher ledge.

Here’s to the next cliff.

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