Saturday, 11 June 2011

Courage

Sometimes, I wish I was brave. There are some things I just could not ever do because fear would overtake me and paralyse my limbs, robbing me of my ability to move or even speak. I shudder at the thought of throwing myself out of a plane for example and am in awe of anyone that can. And don't expect me to enjoy rollercoasters. I cannot think of anything worse. In that respect, I'm a coward.

I know that sometimes, it's good to push the boundaries. From time to time, I've done things that are, quite frankly, terrifying but I've taken the plunge, closed my eyes and gone for it - and it's worked out OK. Stepping into the void has turned out OK - but then, they haven't actually involved potentially falling at 100 feet per second with a cold, hard ground waiting to meet me. Although I learn to fire eat once, which was both fantastic and empowering and that didn't seem to bother me one bit. Odd.

Twelve years ago, I took what seemed to others to be a brave decision - to move, lock stock and barrel, 200 miles north to Lancashire, knowing very few people in the area and no family to turn to. My Dad was ill at the time and barely knew my name, but in a way, I did it for him. I know that, as a child, he had wanted to move from the town where I grew up, maybe to a new life. He didn't. The house where I grew up is still the family home. He lived the last years of his life in a home 7 miles away. That's the furthest he got to move. Maybe it's no coincidence that both his daughters moved away - my sister lives in Devon, whereas my two half sisters live much closer to "home".

I took a risk. It worked out. The job I took to move here didn't. It lasted just over 3 months and it made me so stressed that I dreaded work every day and it made me ill. I had to take another risk, go unemployed and work casual until I secured a contract for several months and then got a permanent job - although for a while, it looked as if my new life would be over shortly after it had begun. Of course, it worked out. I took a risk but it came good for me and I love my life here now.

That's what courage is, isn't it? Everyone has limits. Things they would never do. They are just different for everyone. I lived in Hampshire for 7 years and although I decided to move away for other reasons, I loved living there. I knew I could make my second move work for me. Perhaps I wasn't quite so courageous - although it was double the distance from family and friends, and what I knew. Relocating was still part of my comfort zone. Isn't courage about going beyond that? I don't see what I did was brave.

As I said, I'm a coward. I don't think I've ever risked life and limb to save someone. Perhaps I never will. I've never done anything particularly remarkable in my life. Maybe I've just hit upon the answer.

Those who demonstrate true courage to make a difference, they're the ones that get remembered.

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