Have you ever wondered where your courage hides?
A month after I discovered a library near the club I have been attending, it became my hobby to look around, choose 3 to 4 books that seemed interesting, sit at a corner and see which one to bring home.
One day, like I always do, I went there at 10 am, picked 4 books then headed straight to my favorite spot. On my way, I unconsciously looked over my left shoulder and the color of this book caught my attention:
“The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust” by Laura Smith
Ah, these words.. So I added it as the 5th book.
Since it was just an extra to my usual 4, I opened it last. At the back of the cover page, this phrase was highlighted:
“A young woman chafing at the confine of marriage confronts the high cost of craving freedom and adventure.”
Without flipping another page, I decided to bring it home.
The story is about Laura’s curiosity in the life of missing child prodigy novelist “Barbara Newhall Follett” who published her first book, The House Without Windows, at the age of 12 and second book, The Voyage of the Norman D., at the age of 14. Barbara was also an adventurer who explored many lives: she sailed on a sea, climbed a mountain and conquered a forest. On the other hand, she had been in a troubled family and marriage.
In this book, Laura seemed to relate to Barbara’s story that gave her courage to unfold her own, even if criticism might take place. So was I.
I am the kind of person who enjoys being in the shadow; who keeps all conversation short and slips out of the crowd unnoticed; who doesn’t want to leave tracks and wants to stay anonymous. Until today..
Two years ago, I was crossing in the rough road of my life. It shook my courage and pulled down my determination. I felt useless. I was broken.
During those days, I overthought, over-analyzed more than usual. To uplift my spirit, I tried to think positive thoughts everyday, every hour, every minute — it didn’t work. Until I watched the TED Talk video about “How to stop screwing yourself over” and made me realize that I’m just wasting my time on doing nothing, my energy on whining, and my life — yes, my only ONE LIFE.
I was stuck. I was left behind. To catch up with the journey of my life, I took the very first real decision I made after a year — to move forward.
As my decision sank in, the thought was overflowing. I felt that I could do many things. It’s just a matter of choosing which one I wanted to pursue.
Then I read this book. As I finished, it allowed me to think my life through. And a decision has been made.
Laura’s unmasked honesty and overflowing courage gave me strength. It helped me to gather my cluttered courage and be open — open to share my first story and this, my second. Hoping to help others, to inspire others who are going through the rough days of their lives, that they could too, if they choose, to move forward.
Sometimes, all you need to do is to decide.