What does this have to do with courage? I find that I am all of a sudden inspired to find my own. Moving to Boston, I suppose, required quite a bit of courage, but it was as if I used it all up before winter came and I sort of sat on my life for a while. While the break was quite welcome, I found myself recently not so certain of my future after this job ends next summer. Interestingly, while I struggled with creating a home here in this new city I really fantasized finishing my work, popping out the last day and walking away from science for a while, totally into some sort of setting sun, swallowed up into uncertainty and "real life" struggle. But as I have grown to love Boston more and more, to make friends and to fill my time this summer with interesting activity, I've been less and less inclined to continue this desire of a floating life. What takes more courage? Having no direction or taking steps to achieve a goal? I suppose one's goal could be broadly defined, but to me the vagabond life seems quite easy to achieve, but the work required of me to continue on my path in becoming a scientist is certainly daunting.
Currently, the synonym I've assigned to courage in my life is Integrity. The identification of a dream, once it is born from your inner depths, and taking the steps necessary to achieve it. This drive to identify the path and to follow it is courage. One is either born with it or one has to learn it. I know I am in the category of having to learn it. But I am learning it and I am thrilled about this. The problem, it seems, is that everyone has to learn it themselves. There is no instruction. Teachers exist, I believe, but they can only provide examples and recounted stories of their own struggles; the inspiration, perhaps, to move on to find your own way.
And today I may have realized that I am slowly on my way. Ha, didn't even know it.