Sunday, January 9, 2011

What does it mean to be brave or to have courage?

Lately I have been giving a bit of thought to the idea of courage.  What is it?  What qualifies as courageous or brave?  What size, shape, and color do brave and courageous acts come in?

For those of you that don't know me, or haven't read back through this blog, let me fill you in on a few things.  When my son was about 4 years old, I packed us up and left our abuser.  In the process, I managed to get my undergraduate degree despite no shortage of attempts from our abuser to halt my progress towards that goal.  Then, two years ago, I applied to graduate school and was accepted.  I deferred admission to work on my financial situation, and this past August, my son and I packed up again and moved from California to New York so that I could attend school.

In both of the above situations I heard over and over from friends and family, "You are so brave!"  or "That is so courageous!"  and "You are so strong!"  But, I repeatedly wondered, "Why?  What makes me so brave or courageous or strong?  I'm just living my life...nothing too special about that..."

Today I read THIS article from the New York Times about courage and bravery.

I'm still not sure that my leaving an abuser and moving cross-country to pursue a positive life changing dream count as bravery or courage.  But, maybe they do.  After all, I am proud that I took these steps.  I am proud that when some said, "You can't do that..." I said, "Yes, I can.  Watch me."  I am proud that I took a stand against an abuser and protected my son.  I am proud that I found a way to finish my undergraduate degree despite numerous obstacles put up by my abuser.  I am proud that I was accepted by a top graduate program and moved cross-country to open up my career options and follow my dreams.  I am proud that I am showing my son that you CAN live the life you want and on your own terms.  If that means I am brave or courageous, well, so be it...but I'm still just me...


  1. Stopping by from the Hip list! Love your free homeschool stuff! :) Thanks again!

  2. Well I think you are both brave and courageous! Thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration! Stopping by from the Hip Homeshool Hop

  3. What an amazing testimony! Thanks for joining in the Hop!


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