Back in 2015 I wrote this piece on exploring the concept of courage and bravery in a culture of fear. It was strange reading it as I was becoming a different person back then. I’ve grown since and become a lot more sure of myself.
I had taken the title quote so inspirational that it has actually become part of my being. Back in that year, I was so sick of being scared that I leapt at every chance I was presented with, sometimes the courage paid off, other times…. I hurt people.
Courage alone is of no use unless it is reflexive to do something in that moment. Where there and then you can make a difference. Courage sprung from lying to yourself and impatience is stupid; it ends up with other people being hurt and you being a dick!
However, courage born from something to make a difference or to put right a situation where inaction and silence will lead to something worse is worth those twenty seconds of crazy!
Very recently, I dared to ask a complete stranger out for a date.
I was looking at a food menu through the glass window of a sandwich shop when, in my peripheral vision, a customer walked in then a few moments later stuck her head out of the door telling me to “Come in, it’s lovely!” Invitation by a cute blonde wearing hipster glasses? How could I resist? So I went in and placed my order. Blonde Hipster Girl turned around and flashed me a smile (she was very cute) and I started conversation by asking if this was her regular place to go. She told me she used to come here all the time until she got fat. She wasn’t fat at all, curvy, sure- I love curves on a woman! And so I laughed along with her, thanked her for her advice, collected my order (hers was taking longer to prepare) and went for the bus to get me to work. It wasn’t until I reached the bus stop and was halfway through eating my sandwich I thought to myself: “You idiot! You should have said ‘Fat? No way, you’re as cute as hell and I want to ask you out for dinner.’ So I kicked myself over that Friday morning encounter as a missed opportunity.
Over the weekend, I made a plan.
On Monday I went back.
With a letter in an envelope labelled “To The Cute Blonde With Glasses.” In it, I explained that I was thankful for her giving me the push to go into the shop, that I wanted to ask her out for a date and that her next meal at the shop was on me (I paid for it in advance) and signed it with my name and mobile number. This I passed on to the ladies behind the counter. Job done, and like a spell once cast….. I let it be. It’ll either work or it won’t.
She replied the next day!
Through the medium of Whatsapp, I received a message from the ‘Cute Blonde With Glasses’ kindly explaining she had just started seeing someone. She also told me the letter was cute and that things like this only ever happened in movies, and I should keep doing what I do as it made her year. Oh, and that she gave the money back for the lunch I bought her as she felt guilty.
And you know what? I was fine with that. Totally and truly. It wasn’t the outcome I was hoping, but I knew it would be one of the few that came to mind. I’m still glad I took the chance and feel the better for it. What happens now? Simple, I let it go and should I come across another opportunity, you can be damn sure I’ll give in to those crazy 20 seconds. It all comes down to the fact if you don’t ask, you don’t know. Would I rather have left it and wondered what would have happened if I never did something about it? I’ve wasted far too much of my life making that mistake.
Go out there step out of your comfort zone and do something amazing and even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll feel great for daring to take a shot!