Foolish, I know

October 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’ve been told a few times that I was brave for doing what I did.

I remember the first time someone called me brave. That was in France, in the Alps. I was cleaning the kitchen windows for my hosts while they had company over. One of their friends walked by and struck up a conversation as I worked. I explained to him what I was doing and why. He used the word “brave” to describe me, a young white American female traveling alone for an unfixed stretch of time. Although his intonation suggested I was audacious, bordering on absurd.

The same thing happened in Dublin. A Brazilian traveler and I conversed late in the evening in the hostel dorm we shared. When I told him my reasons for coming to Europe, he called me brave. I took it as a compliment that time.

There was also the time when my mother told me via Skype that my grandfather thought I was “gutsy.” That made me smile.

I could see why people thought my travels were a “brave” thing to do, but all I did was travel. I don’t see how that’s exceptional.

I’m not even sure what it means to be “brave.”

Can you be brave and still worry? I still worry. Does it have anything to do with one’s inhibitions? There’s plenty I haven’t or won’t do for any number of reasons.

I feel more confident in myself than I did before I left the States. But brave? I can’t say.

I think in a lot ways, I haven’t changed at all. This disappoints me. I traveled partly escape myself. I wanted go wild.

I didn’t go wild. I’m still the same rational, level-headed individual I was two months ago. I guess that’s all right. Those are useful traits to have.

It was foolish of me to think I would undergo a dramatic personality shift in a few weeks.

Then again, I never could’ve predicted I would do something like this. Some might call that brave. Or completely crazy.

Was what I did brave or just completely crazy? I ask myself this question often.

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