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If I Were 1% More Courageous

By: Megan Duenas | Union City, CA

There’s something beautiful about the morning, about waking up to the smell of English breakfast tea with a teaspoon of milk, or the smell of toasted sourdough bread and blackberry jam. The smell of coffee and buttery bread ensnares the senses in a trance of inspiration. Morning brings forth a new beginning. It brings forth the opportunity to approach life in a new perspective from the day before.

I have an insatiable desire to write, whether it be on the crummy pieces of binder paper, the sides of my psychology notes, or on my laptop; the feeling of writing, the act of jotting down my dreams...it’s that desire, that sense of  belonging that keeps me sane. It feeds my hunger and drives my ambition. It fuels the very passion that I have for my art.

"Morning brings forth a new beginning. It brings forth the opportunity to approach life in a new perspective from the day before."

Putting words together always seemed like a swift breeze, saying what I needed to in words always found its way through my lips. But as a writer I come to find that you will not get every work you submit published. There will be unanswered emails, heavily critiqued comments and various forms of rejection that can lead to lack of confidence and the feeling of inability to get to the desired location you hoped for.

But if I were asked what I would do if I were 1% more courageous, I would put down my coffee and take a last bite of my bread and think. I would first dwell on what it entirely means to be courageous before I could answer. Courage to me is having the strength, physically and emotionally, to combat challenges but also taking risks, finding passion in life, and pursuing it wholeheartedly. Courage doesn’t demand the strongest or the wisest, but more so the ones who will put themselves out there without the fear of judgement or failure.

Although people should live to be realistic, they should also take on the vision of optimism. As the co founder of ILOVECREATIVES and Maps, Jennifer Puno, puts it,“ But at the end of the day, just do it. Treat everything you do as a conversation.” Courage is more than sharing your viewpoint in a room of objections, but using the abilities given to you to pursue a bigger meaning, taking a chance and letting what’s suppose to be happen, happen.

Being courageous is as broad or simplistic as we make it out to be. My definition of courage most likely differs from the girl sitting beside me in Economics  or my English teacher, Mr. Hannigan who was the source of my inspiration last year. But being courageous is in all of us, we all amount to greatness if we allow ourselves every opportunity to be. As a good friend Sabrina Modesto says, “To live in moderation is to be courageous.Take a fear and use it to take risk. To be courageous is to live and breathe and have a reason to.” If I was 1 percent more courageous I would look into the prying eyes of judgement and proclaim that  it has no affect on my aspirations and future. I would tell people who wish to see me fall that although I will, I will get back up again despite the cuts and bruises, because just like any cut or bruise, it will fade and my skin will become thicker.

"Courage is more than sharing your viewpoint in a room of objections, but using the abilities given to you to pursue a bigger meaning, taking a chance and letting what’s suppose to be happen, happen."

I can’t say life is easy. But what really matters is the fact that despite the struggles and the negativity you can look at yourself and be content. Find something you’re passionate about and surround yourself with people and things that uplift you. Everyday we are confronted with obstacles and it’s a matter of how we face them that determines our self- worth. Being seventeen, I acknowledge the fact that I don’t know everything. but knowing that the power for change and self-worth lies in myself makes life more bearable and it gives me the inner strength to be courageous.

The beauty of mornings is more than sun rising above the horizon, tired eyes, morning breath and the deep yearning for more sleep, but the realization that another morning signifies a new beginning. A beginning that will not have a predetermined end. The act of getting out of bed to face the day is a sign of courage and although we may not see it as such, the simple acts that seem like routine are disguised under the cloak of countless blessings.

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