Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Brave is in the eye of the beholder

Today's blogging prompt: What is the bravest thing you've ever done?

I’ve never really considered myself to be a brave person. But one day, a few years ago, one of my sisters told me how brave I was to join the military when I was 20. I left home and started over from scratch.

At the time, I really didn’t see an alternative. I was working a dead-end job in a town where I just didn’t see a lot of room for growth. I felt surrounded by pitfalls and my own failures. I was unhappy.

So I ran away.

And I joined the circus. Or rather, the Air Force. I went in without a designated job, I was what they called “open general,” meaning that I’d be placed in whatever job came open. Lucky for me, I was a smart cookie and was made a computer programmer. Ended up spending way too long at Keesler AFB in AFI status (officially “awaiting further instruction” but we called it “another effing inconvenience”) waiting for an open class and then going to class while all of my friends from basic training went on to their duty stations. Finally, I left and went to my duty station—the Pentagon. It wasn’t a reflection on me or my amazing prowess; I was a warm body, they had an open slot.

And thus began the rest of my life. And I guess that was brave.

I guess it's brave to make a big transition, but I didn't see that as moving toward something, I saw it more as running away from something. I guess it's all in how you look at it.

You can be brave to wake up each morning, embrace the day and decide to live to the fullest. Choose to be happy.

You can be brave by following a dream, stepping out and taking a risk, even though there might be rejection involved.

You can be brave by being honest with someone.

I guess being brave is just choosing to do something that might bring you great reward (I like to think of personal, spiritual, emotional rewards) but makes you take a risk. You might look foolish. But if you never try? Shudder. That's worse than risking it all.

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