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20 Seconds…

I excitedly started writing about courage around this time last year… and what a year it’s been. For the most part, I’ve tried to practice what I write (let’s not call this preaching, please) and have fun while doing it. I’ve bought my hype. I’ve sipped my Kool-Aid. I’ve almost brazenly challenged others to name and face their fears, live life boldly, and let courage define them.

What’s the expression adults like to use? “Pride goes before a fall”? Yikes!

Suggesting I was overly confident and that it led to my own defeat may be a touch dramatic. I’m not quite at defeat… yet. What I do know is that, in some ways, I’m a big chicken.

Courage. It’s a value of A Woman’s Place (AWP). It’s a quality that we recognize and admire in others. It’s an attribute that we may strive to maintain. It’s… a quest.

Where I struggle (still not ready to admit defeat) is in my relationships. For those that are eager to see me coupled up (and you know who you are), I include, but do not limit “relationships” to dating. Sure, that’s part of it, but my relationship trepidation sweeps broader than that. To truly be in relationship with people in a meaningful way, there needs to be a vulnerability and openness to the joys and laughter and possibilities. But you can’t avoid the lows.

There is a full spectrum of feelings, ranging from high to low and everything in between. We connect with others through this spectrum. Sometimes you are connected through great love and joy. On other occasions, you are mired in pain. A year of writing about courage and passionately wanting to believe otherwise and really trying to live my words and I learned – I hold back because I’m scared of the hurt.

So my challenge to myself – courageously face this newly named fear. Run with the 20 seconds of insane courage and look forward to the something great that will come of it. When the sadness or disappointments or pain come, and I know they will, I must remember that I am strong enough to either stay standing or to get back up. Either way, something great will come of it and I really don’t want to miss out on the great.


Courage: A Woman’s Place acts bravely and boldly, notwithstanding fear.*

*excerpt from the Values Statement of A Woman’s Place

Ifeoma U. Aduba

Executive Director

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