Courage, the cowardly lion

I had a conversation with someone I consider a very good friend recently. While he and I have always been friends (for a long time now) I feel that recently we’ve become better, closer friends. I reached out to him when he wasn’t expecting it, but I knew he was the only one who could help. Regardless of such bonding, the conversation gave me a bit of hope. Sometimes it’s all I need – I just a little hope.

Sometimes it’s easier to just run and hide from problems. To take the easy path, so to speak, and to run from our problems instead of facing them head on. It’s a natural reaction for some and for few, it’s the only answer. I knew someone (I say knew because I’ve not talked to him in over six years) who, whenever he was faced with a problem, would run and hide. He ran from everything: from friends, from family, from schools, from jobs – any bit of resistance created an inevitable sea of fear for him that he felt running from was the only escape. As a result, I don’t think he’s ever had a solid relationship with anyone, family or friends alike. I think about him sometimes and wonder how he is, but then I realize that I don’t even know where he is anymore. I don’t even know if he has a home, or a wife, or a girlfriend, or a boyfriend. All that running must have made him tired.

Aside from my ramblings about a friend whom I use to have, my friend said to me on the phone that he was proud of me for not running away this summer. He was proud of me for not giving up, giving in, and hiding all summer and letting everyone else get the better of me. It was very refreshing and rewarding to hear someone be “proud” of me in this time. I didn’t hide. I didn’t give anyone the satisfaction of not enjoying my summer, playing frisbee, as I normally would have in the past. I’m not pretending like nothing has changed, because that would be foolish, but I cannot completely alter my life to benefit everyone else. Some people are completely uncomfortable talking to me, and they are awkwardly expressive of such, with their meek and timid hello’s and responses to when I greet them as I normally would have. Others are exceptionally open, almost grateful, to have me come up them and tell them how I’ve missed them since our last encounter and that I hoped that their lives are going well. They, sometimes, tell me that they are happy for me – that I’ve been so strong – and sometimes they say that they are sad for me. There is an interesting influx of peoples emotions lately and how they weigh on me. I feel like every time I hear something negative a little rock gets placed inside an already heavy backpack. I’m just hoping to get through this summer and into the fall semester before my back breaks from little rocks.

What I’m most grateful for is the fact that I’ve had courage. I had the courage to do what a lot of women, and men even, cannot do. They cannot stand up for themselves when they know what they want and know what they need to do to better themselves. I had to have courage to do what I’ve done and I’m glad, very glad, that I’ve done so.

However, while I’ve had the courage to push through a very pivotal point in my life, I sometimes feel that I’m lacking the courage to continue to do the things that I need to in order to survive. I feel like I’m pulling myself from things, preventing myself from experiencing things, because I’m nervous about life. I’m nervous about the repercussions of actions now more than ever. I keep giving myself little glimpses of happiness, but then I retreat because I’m afraid of being happy. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it for a complete change; change of scenery, change of jobs, change of something – a new breath of fresh air – and actually just acting upon what I want instead of running from it because I fear the happiness associated with it. I wish I would take a risk.

Hopefully I’ll push past this soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to just let myself be….and hopefully I’ll learn that taking a risk can sometimes pay off.

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