There comes a time (or several times) in everybody’s life to think about what they should be, or how they should be. I admire two kinds of people, those who are adventurous and those who are brave. Let this be a Friday feelgood post about the way we would like things to be. Whenever I read a letter to “myself when I was a teenager” I feel quite emotional. There are so many things I wish I would have realized back then. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy.
On my way to work each morning I have approximately ten minutes to think about my sins. Or hopes. It is in the morning that I usually pass an Italian coffee shop. The smell of Italian coffee and the cheerful voices chattering away on the radio usually wake me up, it gives me some perspective in the morning. And it makes such a nice contrast to the ordinary slightly grayish Stockholm atmosphere.
Lately, during my morning walks, I have been thinking about the characteristics I admire the most, the ones that I would like to enhance in myself. You guessed right, I’d like to be a bit more adventurous, and a lot braver.
I like to believe that wherever you go and whatever you do, there is always an adventure lurking behind the corner. I don’t necessarily think that being adventurous equals to packing your bags and moving abroad without much thought. Even though that has happened before. Experience is a good teacher and it has taught me that an adventure can happen here and now. In one way, courage is about seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. It is also the second phase that follows bravery. Will return to that thought in a while.
So, my piece of advice to the teenage me would be: don’t stop looking for adventures and let them come to you. But be (somewhat) sensible, sometimes the greatest adventures are the ones closest to you. Keep an open mind, be adventurous!
Talking is easy. Doing is more difficult. There are so many buts and ifs, and a lot of frightening things in life. But, really (I’m trying to convince myself here) we have nothing to gain if we at least don’t try. What’s the worst thing that could happen? And what happens if you decide to trust life?
Actually, I think I (and probably many other women) have learnt that being too brave is not a good thing. There are so many expectations on how to behave that we are eventually tangled in a complicated web of societal norms where our own wishes and desires are well hidden from the outside world.
There are a lot of ways to be brave. Not all of them are big. These are the ones I have on my list. And I wish I would have considered these at the fine age of 16.
- Put yourself first when you need to. You’re not doing anyone any favors if you’re not well.
- Learn to say no. Do less things you do not like.
- Be yourself and cherish your uniqueness.
- Let go when it’s time to let go. You only harm yourself and others if you cling onto things that are no longer meant to be.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Laugh. Life is more fun that way.
- And remember to say yes to the things you do want.
I think that adventure and bravery go hand in hand. On the one hand, one needs to be brave in order to make great decisions – both big and small. But it is adventurousness that takes us that extra mile – by being adventurous we look for solutions, and go peeping around the corners.
Yesterday we booked plane tickets for South Africa – that’s quite an adventure to look forward to, don’t you think?
Have you been brave today? Or adventurous?