On Trying to Be Brave

“Some say fate is beyond our command, but I know better. Our destiny is within us. You just have to be brave enough to see it.”

– Merida, from the recent (excellent) animated movie, Brave

Austrian Alps

Sometimes life calls us to do big things. Most of the time, all we want to do, naturally, is curl up and be comfortable, to settle and do the norm.

I know recently I’ve felt that way, and many times in the past. I’d love to pull up a comfy chair, sink back into the cushions with a cup of great coffee and a book, and stay there, for a long time.

But that won’t work for me, especially right now. My family and I are in the midst of moving back to the US from a four-year assignment abroad in Czech Republic for my husband’s job. Physically, I wouldn’t be able to pull up a chair to sit in because our furniture is in transit in a container on a ship plowing across the Atlantic right now. We’re becoming experts at reading, sleeping, and eating on the floor. Ask any intercontinental expat and they’ll tell you a similar story. It’s how it works … the adjustment to a foreign country, and then back again, takes months. Things are going well, smoothly at times, even, but the whole experience is tough and terrifying.

I was listening to a favorite music artist, Nichole Nordeman, in the car and her song Brave struck me. She wrote it when her son was born, which means something to me. Don’t we all, as parents, strive to be someone brave for our children? “So long status quo …” she sings in the first lines.

It makes me think: what does it mean to seek out more than the mediocre, more than what is expected, more than the norm?

And as I think, a flash of understanding strikes. This is what we’re made to do. A well-lived life isn’t always about sitting back and finding the comfortable position. It’s about seeking out the things that make us tick, fuel our spirits, and stretch us to become the people we are made to be.

Excellence is never mediocre or halfway. It is stepping out of the box, even when it’s terrifying and hard. Being brave is one of the hardest things we can do as humans.

If you have seen the movie Brave by Disney / Pixar, then you’ve probably noticed a spunky female protagonist who learns to find herself, her voice, and her identity in relation to her mother. The movie brought a smile fore me, deep down, because as Merida journeys through the story, she becomes a person who is not unafraid, but who simply dares to be brave.

So even during these times of transition, of daring greatly to do something far beyond what we thought we were capable of doing, I need to remember that the path does not become easier or less scary. It’s all faith, all trusting in the hands that created and hold all of our days, and all believing in our ability to conquer the big things. It’s all about trying to be brave.

For you: One of my big things is reaching out and helping others. Great New Books is one of those endeavors I love because it’s all about connecting others with great books, because books help to open doors to a better world. And I love books and authors. Great New Books

I’d love it if you’d stop by Great New Books and check out what we’re doing there. We have some fabulous authors coming up, as well as from our GNB team. We’re also on Twitter and Facebook, we host authors who also recommend a favorite book, and we have frequent book giveaways (free books!). You can find us with a new book recommendation each week, each Wednesday.

Thanks for checking out Great New Books. Cheers, to being brave!

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

12 thoughts on “On Trying to Be Brave

  1. I really love all of this and especially this point: “A well-lived life isn’t always about sitting back and finding the comfortable position. It’s about seeking out the things that make us tick, fuel our spirits, and stretch us to become the people we are made to be.”

    Perfect description of GNB, too. I might have to steal it.

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  2. Beautiful post, likely made as you sat on an empty floor. Brave girl and Smart girl. Change stretches our mental/emotional muscles and you’ll be stronger for it. Wish I could throw out a welcome mat for you!

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  3. “Being brave is one of the hardest things we can do as humans.”

    So, so true! And the rewards are immeasurable. Being brave changes us forever.

    Wonderful post, Jennifer!

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  4. That photograph! Breathtaking. And I just absolutely ADORED Brave … and I love the parallels you draw between that movie and the adventure your family is currently on. xox

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  5. Dear Jennifer!
    What you write is very true. We are also in the midst of transitioning, but to yet another new country. And this move I found to be the hardest so far, for me. At times I think we should just pack up and go back “home” but after 7 years changing countries, home is not the same anymore…

    I try so hard to be brave for the children but crying is not, as a pressure “deflater” (didn’t find the right wird for this…), a very big part of my life anymore. So, since I tend to fall asleep easily reading at night, I watch a movie and then I can cry, if appropriate and ALONE. I should really do what you do, sit in a chair with a coffe reading!

    Thank you again for sharing so beautefully!

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    1. Oh, I can only imagine how you’re feeling. It must be tough, moving once again. You’re right– “home” is never the same when we go back after an expat assignment. But, it does feel really good to be here. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing, Margareta. I’ll be thinking of you as you transition again. Here’s to trying to be brave!

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