I remember what it was like before I resigned from my stable job as a full-time reporter and embarked on the scary but much more fulfilling path of a freelance writer. I realized that the only reason why I was staying was because I was afraid. I was afraid that I was never going to get anything better than what I already had.
But fear is no reason to stay. You stay because you love something. You stay because you are convinced that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Yet I couldn’t find the strength to leave. I knew I had to do it, but I just couldn’t.
This worried me as I always defined myself as a brave person. I thought, what if my brave days were over? What if I had finally grown old and scared and I wouldn’t be able to be brave anymore?
I was afraid of the effects of age. Young people are often brave because they’re naïve. They don’t know yet what it is like to be afraid so they do things that will shock those who are settled in their ways. I was afraid that I had finally grown fearful. I was afraid that I would capitulate to responsibilities, which would lead to too many compromises, up until the dreams that I originally dared to envision would be clouded in doubt and calcify into impossibility.
That fear and agony haunted me for a long time, and I was in a state of paralysis. Then the day came and the decision finally solidified. I don’t know how it happened, but I guess it just took the time that it needed. Then I remembered stories of people who gave up their childhood dreams of becoming a singer but found their gray-haired selves as active members of a church choir. This made me think that even if we abandon our creative dreams, those dreams will resurface in the end. They are inescapable because they are part of who we are. Same thing with bravery I guess. I shouldn’t be afraid that I will be too scared to do the brave thing. The strength will always resurface; it’s part of who I am.
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