Courage. I wish I had more of it. I wish it flowed out of me. I wish my skin radiated it like the sun radiates heat. Instead, I radiate a shallow complexion. A soft glow, a tease of the sensation that courage would give off if my body owned more of it.
Courage and not confidence.
Courage is the ability to do what scares you the most. Courage is outward. You look to the world, find a fear, and courage helps you get over it.
Confidence is inward. You look to yourself when you need confidence. Confidence is believing in a self truth. I think people are confused by my confidence. They don’t understand that I’m a paradox. I can command a room, speak in front of thousands, watch a scary movie, roam around a theme park by myself, but I can’t do the simple things. I can’t call someone first just to say “hi” because I’m scared they won’t answer. I’m scared they won’t want to talk to me. I’m scared that the same indifference I have when I ignore the call or text of someone I don’t want to converse with will be passed on to me.
Call me a hypocrite. I’m confident enough to know when to reject a call but not courageous enough to dial first.
I feel like Zeke, the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Too afraid to do what I really want to do. If there was a yellow brick road I’d follow it because it isn’t courage that I’m afraid to acquire, it’s everything else that I’m afraid of. Rejection, loneliness, failure. With more courage I wouldn’t have to worry about my greatest fears. With more courage there wouldn’t be anything I couldn’t accomplish. There wouldn’t be messages and phone calls I’d struggle to send.
A more courageous version of me would still be afraid, but she would be stronger in the face of pain or imminent grief. Talking about her feelings would be easier, expressing her love and joy would come more naturally. Being vulnerable would be a risk she’d be willing to take. With unlimited courage the world would be within her reach.
What then, is within my reach? What can I do with the courage I have today?