Last Friday, after a long week, I took myself away for a weekend. Just a quick trip to Gettysburg – a bed and breakfast, a morning at the spa, and a day of historical tourism. A perfect weekend. There was much reading. There was a fireplace. There were freshly painted toenails. It was a perfect weekend.
On Sunday morning, I enjoyed breakfast with a couple of fellow travelers – and after explaining that I was, in fact, traveling alone and that I did so quite often, one of my new friends remarked that I was an “awesome lady”. It was brave, she thought, to travel on your own.
While I try to remind myself that I am an awesome lady as often as possible, I have not, generally, thought of traveling solo as a brave act. For me, it is firmly within my comfort zone to make a last minute reservation, throw some stuff in my car and take off for a few days. I can also acknowledge the immense amount of privilege in my life that allows me to do this without worry.
My intention with this short post is not to either shake off or lessen my own “awesome-ness”, nor is it an attempt at #humblebrag (although re-reading the paragraphs above, I’m afraid that’s how it has come across). My point is that someone else looked at my actions as brave, because it was something that she wished to do. I need to remember that things that I take for granted as easy and comfortable are, in fact, small acts of bravery that make me awesome.
But that is true in reverse, as well – those acts of bravery that I see others accomplishing that are awesome and courageous. Taking a yoga class for the first time. Raising children. Being a volunteer fire fighter. Standing up in front of a classroom of children or teenagers as a teacher. Driving a large truck. Performing on stage. Tiling your own kitchen backsplash. Eating exotic food. Running a 5K. Wearing white pants.
There are a million brave acts – some large and some small – that I observe with awe. Every single one of you has done something that I think is unbelievably brave, possibly without even a second thought. So you, too, are awesome ladies (and gentlemen). Embrace your unique brand of bravery!