Trying to Define Courage

I am in that weird in between place where I have still two weeks until my move, my apartment is half-packed and the place isn’t comfortable. I feel a little aimless when I am at home. Do I sit on the floor in my living room or do I go into the bedroom? But where do I eat because there’s no real place to put a plate down?  Should I pack up my kitchen now and use my disposable stash or wait until the day before the movers come? Do I throw out this half-used jar of cinnamon or take it with me?  It’s all very weird. So I’m sitting here writing so I don’t think about how awkward I feel in my own home.

This past week I met up with several folks for goodbyes of varying sorts (which is a process that confounds me – to meet up to say goodbye; it’s weird no?). But,  I have had several terrific and interesting conversations. One thing that I have heard more than once: “You’re so brave,” or “Wow, that’s so courageous,” [to move, that is].

While I appreciate the sentiment (and thank you, that’s very kind and super supportive), New York doesn’t work for me anymore, so what the fuck else am I supposed to do? I can’t stay and become increasingly unhappy.

I’m rolling this courageous thing around in my head and whether or not it’s a fitting description of me for moving. Is something really a courageous act when it just feels like the thing to do?

So what’s courage, then?  I have heard it defined as being scared of something and doing it anyway. I also like some synonyms (see below): grit, nerve, audacity, boldness, and my fave, pluck. However, when I look at courageous people, what I see are individuals who simply are doing what calls them from the inside – it’s unignorable. Maybe the courageous part is that they listen?

Google says this


I know someone who owns a couple restaurants and a construction company here in New York. He didn’t graduate high school and didn’t go to college (overrated stuff anyway). Yet, he’s making big things happen and told me that being a business owner is, “just who I am. I have nothing else. It’s what I do.” Courageous, perhaps.  Listening to his calling? 100%.  

My father: an immigrant who opened and ran a successful business for 35+ years. He just woke up every day and took risks because it was his true nature to walk the edge, try things and go further. 

A very dear friend owns a fabulous set of yoga studios here in New York deals with hundreds of people every day who are desperately trying to find their inner peace. Every day is a tremendous feat, but it’s who she is. 

Another super bestie moved to Paris (not easy) because she found a loving partner and her heart wanted the mobility to travel the world.  She’s now doing that with him. Courageous? Okay. But denying her need to explore would also be wrong, so she moved.  

I could go on…

You could define these folks as courageous, daring or bold. What do I see? People living the fullest version of themselves, being true to who they are, owning up to their highest potential.  Moving may be a courageous act because I’m leaving behind a tremendous city. I’d prefer to define this move as simply my next right step.  Plain. And. Simple. And, from that next right step, I hope to keep doing “courageous” things because they feel right, they serve me and my true nature, they give me the satisfaction of knowing I’m doing right by me.

What do you think?

Also, if you wanna call me daring, bold or plucky, I won’t hate you.


2 thoughts on “Trying to Define Courage

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