Ready to PounceAs I signed books in Pennsylvania today, a woman approached me and told me my book “will help people to be brave.”

“I thought people were brave,” I said, and then corrected myself. “Well, I don’t know if it’s brave, per se: We’re all scared. We do it anyway.”

“But we don’t,” she said. “Haven’t you noticed how people hesitate? Not everyone, of course, but quite a few people will wait to drive, put off going to college, wait to leave home, wait to get married… They sit on decisions rather than act.”

“Perhaps they’re better planners than I am,” I offered.

“They’re not planning. They’re hesitating.”

(1. I meet the greatest people, in all sincerity. 2. I liked this lady.)

Her words reminded me of a memory:

When I first moved to D.C., I had a terrible time getting to and from work everyday with all of the road construction amidst the nation’s third worst traffic problem. One particular day, I was witness to three accidents, all right in front of me. That was the good news; I was not a victim. When I finally did arrive home, my roommate’s mother was at the apartment. She encouraged me to get back out there on the road. I told her I’d think about it, and get a good night’s sleep first.

“Oh,” she said. “You’re that type, eh? Crawl off to the corner to lick your wounds before pouncing again?”

“Yes,” I said kindly, while thinking that the corner suited me just fine and I needn’t ever venture out again.

“Good,” she said, acknowledging my agreement. And then, speaking to my sulk, she said, “Just don’t sit in the corner too long.”

I didn’t. I emerged from the corner, sooner than I wanted to and entirely because of what she’d said. The challenge was offered. I accepted. It made the whole world of difference.

Lick your wounds, and get ready to pounce.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at