Sometimes being brave means doing something that the outside world thinks is scary. More often than not, being brave is about doing those things that we find frightening or intimidating. Even with trembling knees and a racing heart, we do them anyway. That's being brave.
I'll never be as brave to the world as a soldier or a firefighter or a cop. That's not my calling. My bravery is in conquering those things that scare me.
Things like being 19 and having a lump removed from my breast or holding an oxygen mask to my newborn son's face, because he was having trouble breathing. It's visiting someone who is dying and spending the night holding a sick baby. Bravery is writing what I feel when it would be so easy to just say what I'm "supposed" to say. It's waiting for test results and driving to the hospital alone, because there's no one to go with you. It's realizing that your car is overheating viciously while driving on the highway with three kids asleep in the back - and pretending like you have it all under control when they awake to smoke pouring from out under the hood. Bravery is in phone calls and the last moments before you force a smile and pick up the phone. It's trusting others to keep their word, it's trusting yourself to believe them. Bravery is saying yes to things that scare you, and no to the things that don't.
For me, bravery isn't big and heroic. It's small and personal. It's everyday moments, it's those once in a lifetime chances. It's facing my fear head-on and believing that I can do it. And when I forget that, it seems there is always someone there to remind me. Someone reaching out to pick me back up, dust me off, and give me the old "go get 'em" encouragement I need.
You see, I'm finding as I get older, that being brave by yourself is good, but being brave with the support of others....well, that's even better.