J J Hanna
20 Seconds of Courage
There are times when all you can do is go find a quiet place. In times like these, there is usually enough going on that you have to sort of search for a space to make your own, a space to breathe just a little bit. It is important, then, to be sure to always find that space when it's needed. I have always needed that quiet space. It is only when I am alone in a big world that I don't have to worry about making sure the people depending on me are alright. Whether I'm in charge of getting something done or getting people where they need to be and at the time they need to be there, I feel the need to be on top of things. And when I don't actually know what I'm doing, I find myself getting anxious. But when I'm alone I can find the space I need to just be me. That is when I feel all sorts of weight lift from my shoulders. It gives me the permission I feel I need to treat myself, to explore new places, to be free to do with my time what I want to do, even if that means sitting in a quiet hallway, on the floor, with no one around me. Because that's how I like it. Granted, it's equally important to have the balance of interacting with other humans in person as well, texting or chatting doesn't quite cut it. It's necessary, at times, to go out and walk up to strangers and introduce yourself, even though it's terrifying. But some of the best advice I've ever gotten was to "never underestimate the power of a few deep breaths." They cleanse the soul, ground your nerves, and almost allow you to breathe in courage. Everyone lacks courage in some way. In my life I'm usually afraid of giving myself a few simple pleasures (like ad free Spotify or a brand new dress). What are you denying yourself that maybe you should allow yourself to enjoy? Next time you get a bit nervous, take a deep breath. Because as Benjamin Mee said in We Bought a Zoo, "sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."