I’m not a brave person. I’m scared of a lot of things. I’m scared of dogs, of fast vehicles, of blood, of drunk. I’m even scared of dentists, of nurses, of crossing a busy street. Sometimes, I find my fears irrational and very embarrassing.
In my nearly four decades of life, I can name very few things I did that I can consider courageous. Among such things were: joining a writing contest in college when my chances of winning was very very slim, joining a nationwide search for writers in a popular magazine, staying with my father when he was dying of the big ‘C’ and accepting failure of the thing that I thought I was exceptionally good at.
It was my last semester in college when I finally joined the annual writing contest. I wasn’t after the price money nor the prestige of being a winner. I simply felt that I would regret not taking that last chance. I ended up third place in the contest making that single moment of triumph my most memorable in college.
I was a mother of two girls when I found out about the nationwide search for the members of the Wise Moms Club of the Good Housekeeping Magazine in 2001. I was after the free subscription of the prestigious magazine if I became a member. Getting accepted made me realize that I really could write.
In 2004, my father came home from the US. He was dying of cancer. I was able to watch him catch his last breaths, not because I was brave or courageous, but because I couldn’t stand the idea of not being with him at the last moments of his life.
Last year, I gave up a longed-for position as a preschool teacher in a nearby Christian school. It was the bravest thing I’ve done in my life so far. I had to do it, though, not for myself but for the sake of the students under my care and my colleagues who would get affected if I mess up big time. Giving up something I’ve always wanted to do was a big blow to me. I felt as if I wasn’t good enough for anything, I was worthless. I was useless. Though I knew, I shouldn’t dwell on that, I still did. But only for a time. I gave myself a chance to mourn over something very very important.. my self esteem.
But that was several months ago, practically history. Here I am now, trying to make things better not because it’s the least I can do, but because I strongly believe I could make it.
‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. (The Princess Diaries)’