photoAs another Polar Vortex arrives, I find myself dreaming about the ocean. And I found this journal entry, from my newspaper internship days when I lived in Pawleys Island, South Carolina:

“When I first got to the beach, I was afraid to go into the ocean past my knees. You never really know what’s lurking all around you in that dark salty water, and just the thought of something being able to see you, and you not it…

But then one day I went in with friends and we all held hands. I felt like a little kid having to hold someone’s hand, but the others insisted that we were going to swim away from the shore a decent distance, and this would keep us together.

It was terrifying, and then: I realized the ocean creatures couldn’t just see me, but could see everyone else in our chain, too. Somehow, not being alone on the menu made all the difference.

The ocean became my third love in life, behind football and hockey. By the time I left I’d learned to love swimming and diving into waves where I couldn’t feel the sand under my feet. I was still afraid, but I could be brave.”

Because fear can exist without bravery but not the other way around, whenever I’m afraid I remind myself to stop and remember: bravery is close by.

And every time I’ve plunged headfirst into fear, there’s old Bravery waiting for me, patiently, and sometimes, with a bit of a smirk.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is on Amazon.