I am not Brave

May 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm (Life) (, , , , , , , )

“Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, I’m scared of who I am…”

Baby (Jennifer Grey)
Dirty Dancing (1987)

I am a creature of habit. I have had the same thing for breakfast for the last five years; oatmeal & raisins on workdays and toast on non-workdays. I don’t mind being a creature of habit. It works for me. It’s comforting and comfortable.

I am not Brave.

The first time I went away to school, at age twenty, I went by myself from a small town of under a thousand to a big city of over 200,000 souls. I played it safe. I went for a degree in child-care which was something I had already being doing for seven years. I didn’t complete my last practicum and still continued in child care for another eight years. I didn’t complete it because all the practicums were at Day Cares and I was, and still am, better with everyone one on one. Thus, I worked in people’s houses as a live-out child-care provider.

I am tenacious; like a dog with a bone.

The second time I went away to school, at age thirty, I traveled over 3,000 kms and three provinces. I took the train out over the long weekend and started university, a week late, on Tuesday. I rented a place, by phone, before I got there. After six years I had both a BA and a Masters degree. It was the best time of my life, so far.

I am determined, dependable, predictable.

Since then, I’ve had four jobs in ten years. I’ve never been fired. Everyone sees me as reliable.

I am steadfast; loyal, steady. I am a worker bee. Give me a task and I will complete it.

I went to live with my father as an adult, as a thirty something, as I looked for jobs. My youngest half-sister and her young son were living there at the same time. She would argue with my father, she would stand up for herself. I can only argue – oh who am I kidding – I never argue. My baby sister is Brave.

I am not Brave.

Tomorrow, I go to Scotland. Alone. For a week. I am terrified, still I will go. The tour (so not technically alone – just alone with strangers) is paid for, the plans are made. I am steadfast.

I’ve decided, if I were to travel again, it will be at a slower pace. I wish to be Auntie Mame. I want to see the world slowly. I want to travel by ship, by train, and on foot. I want to spend weeks, months and years elsewhere. Oh, for an endless pot of money (has anyone seen a Leprechaun?).

I wish to be Brave.

At twenty-five, I felt Brave. Perhaps, in another twenty-five years, when I am seventy-five, I might be Brave.

I am not Brave.



  1. bookjunkie said,

    I can totally relate. I have never taken a plane alone before. I haven’t done many things by myself before. Great post….very honest and insightful 🙂

  2. avisannschild said,

    Oh my goodness, you’re going to Scotland? Whoo-hoo, that’s so exciting! I was just telling B. yesterday how much I hate travelling alone: not the part where I’m alone in a new country, but the part where I have to take a plane somewhere alone to get to a new country. I’m a super nervous traveller. (I’m terrified of getting lost or missing my flight, etc.) I hope you have a fabulous time in Scotland. And good for you for doing it anyway, even if you don’t think you’re brave! (I think you’re braver than you think you are, for what that’s worth.) Take lots of pictures and share some of them with us!

  3. shellypolly said,

    OMG! I LOVE the quote you put from Baby! That being said I know it IS scary to face the world ALONE and have NO ONE to lean on I moved from the East coast of Canada to the West coast with NO FAMILY out here LONG story as to why.

    YOU ARE BRAVE! In what you’ve accomplished over the years. I’m 25 myself, will be (HOPEFULLY) be starting the Early Childhood Education program this coming February.

    • shellypolly said,

      I moved from Quebec to Vancouver.

      • solitaryspinster said,

        I have decided that we are all brave; we are just brave in our own unique ways.


      • avisannschild said,

        I think you’re totally right! And what is brave for one person can be no big deal for another, but that doesn’t make it any less brave!

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