I've only done normal things; fulfilled normal obligations--went to school, did my work, went to college, did my work, got a few internships, did my work, went to graduate school, did my work, got a job, did my work, got a new job, did my work, got married, had children, did my work. I am persistent and stubborn and, often, determined, but I am not brave. That is just not the word for me.
There are a couple of things that I have done that others have said were brave, but I did not do them with that sense of courage. I did these things more out of stubbornness:
1. I had unmedicated childbirth two times, but I decided to do that and once I decided, I was not going to back down. I was stubborn. Also it was easy; not bad at all. I really believe any woman can do it if they want and the circumstances are right (e.g. no emergencies arise). It was not brave.
2. On a work trip to Belgium, I found myself alone and with a day off from work; my trip back was not going to happen until the following day. Rather than sitting in the hotel in Brussels, I decided I was not going to waste my chance to see something else special in Belgium, so I walked to the train station and boarded a train to the town of Brugge, not knowing the language and not knowing the country at all. But it turned out to be easy and well worth it. I got to Brugge, followed my nose into the downtown area, went into a local shop, bought a map and spent the rest of the day exploring that beautiful town. I only wish now that I had been into photography at that time. One of my friends exclaimed afterwards when I was telling her about how fun it was that I was so brave to do that; perhaps I was, but I did not feel that way at the time. I just did not want to miss out.
I find dandelions to be symbolic of many things often, especially when I capture them in a photograph. These two photos symbolized acts of bravery to me because I think it is brave to take the plunge, go out on your own, let go of the familiar.
Yesterday, I did do something that was a bit brave for me: I applied for a new and different position in the company that I work for. I do not know what will come of it, but I have been ready for a change for a long time. I have been reluctant, though, because athough I do not really like it, I am comfortable with my current position; I know what I am doing; I know the people; I know what to expect every day. At the same time, can I really spend the next thirteen or so years (until I reach retirement age . . . ugh) doing this same thing that has become so unsatisfying to me? Maybe. Well, yes, I can, sure . . . but should I? So I decided to take that first step and apply for something new. For me, that was a bit brave.
Of course, it would be even braver to try to start over and do something that I really want to do for a living, but there is more to it than that; that could also be quite foolish because it would come with a massive pay cut. I know I have a responsibility to contribute to the financial stability of my family; that is the way it works in our household because my husband and I have fairly equal earnings and always have--and we both want to have an early retirement!
Kim also challenged us to write down our photography dreams, as an act of bravery . . . yikes. Here they are:
- Get a photo or two published in something (something that is not self published; something where someone else actually picks my photo) . . . a magazine, a map, a calendar, a book.
- Win a photography contest (this is just a dream; I do not feel like it is important for anything in particular, but it would be nice.)
- Collaborate with someone or a group of people on a photography book or some sort of project.
- Admit that I am a photographer and join a photography club (I know this should be easy, but it is not for me. It is so hard).
- Sell photos more widely and/or participate in a photography exhibit locally and more 'in person' (whether that is actually doing a booth or putting work in my local art co-ops or getting in on a show of some sort--many possibilities, but so hard to do because I have lots of hang ups about putting myself out there).