I’m Not Brave

person standing on wooden bridge
Benjamin Davies / Unsplash


you’re so brave

they say

well I appreciate the compliment

but that’s simply not true

bravery is for the heroes, the doctors, and the mothers

the people of color and the new citizens

the native americans

the women who escape hate, the refugees


call me brave for fighting my demons

call me brave for learning to love

after my perception of affection was so skewed

but, please

don’t call me brave for following my heart

but rather

ask yourself why you aren’t


I am a pretty young white woman

there is hardly a threat to my life

when I take the chance of

going to unfamiliar places

I don’t have to face that threat everyday

in my own backyard


I don’t fear my life when I ask a police officer for help

I don’t fear my livelihood when I go through immigration lines

I don’t fear my heartbeat when I get pulled over for speeding

if I bat my eyes and smile enough

anyone lets me go

what kind of fucked up shit is that


I live a privileged life

where people think I am brave

for crossing borders with a passport that acts as a golden ticket to the world

I am trying to understand other people’s lives

when I couldn’t ever possibly come close

I am following my happy

and I recognize that not everyone has that opportunity

in fact

most people on this planet



so, if you think I am brave

for following my heart


but, you

if you have the opportunity

to do what makes your heart soar

even if that means no take-out food

and no green juice

or expensive yoga class

for a few months

fucking do it


I promise you’ll see

that traveling does not make you brave

but living in a world

where your life is at risk

every single day

you step outside

does Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I can lick both my elbows (Not at the same time, obviously).

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