I am borrowing this topic from Carrie at The Slow Dripped Life. It was part of her hammock give-away series of questions. I let time get away from me and didn’t answer many of the questions to participate in the give-away (which I did not win), but I thought this question was too interesting not to write about myself. She asked when you’ve been brave.
I don’t consider myself to be a very brave person. I’m afraid of the dark. I’m nervous going new places alone. I’m terrified of snakes. I refuse to watch creepy movies. I don’t think I’m brave at all, but I have the privilege to know people who I consider to be brave.
I’m not talking about the throw yourself into oncoming traffic to save a child kind of brave. I’m talking about what Wikipedia defines as “the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation”. I think I know quite a few people who are brave in one or more ways that fall under that definition. To name a few:
My maternal grandmother: She grew up in what many of us might be inclined to describe as hell on earth. Her father was a pedophile. He repeatedly sexually abused and assaulted my grandmother and her sisters. To make matters worse (at least to my way of thinking) her mother and grandparents knew what was going on, yet they did nothing to stop it. She escaped when she bought a bus ticket for as far away as she could afford when she was 17 years old.
She met and married my grandfather and brought her two younger siblings to live with them because she wanted them to escape the abuse as well. Furthermore, she never once allowed my mother to be around her father. She broke the cycle, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to happen very often. In a time when sexual abuse was a very taboo subject and there was really no help available, she escaped, went back for her siblings, and kept her abuser away from her child.
My mom: My mom quit work when she found out she was pregnant with me and became a stay at home mom. She also never lost the baby weight from me, or my sister, and added more to it over the years. Just under four years ago, my mom had gastric by-pass surgery and has since lost over 200 pounds. She also went back to school (she had never finished high school) and obtained an Associate’s Degree.
She went to the same technical school that my sister and I had graduated from years earlier, and was older (she was already in her 50s) than most of the people in her classes. Many of her classmates were actually younger than my sister or me. She was even older than one of her teachers. She said it was odd and uncomfortable at times, but she stuck it out, and now has a job she loves.
My husband: He’s a volunteer firefighter. Enough said, right? Except before I met him I didn’t realize how much they do. Going into burning buildings is enough, but they also go to medical calls, which can include going to some pretty rough places in the middle of the night, or going to tend to the victims of violent crimes. They don’t know who or what kind of situation is going to be waiting for them. Yet still he goes.
I think they’re all brave. They’re brave in different ways, but they’ve all (successfully) confronted fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, and intimidation.