Courage comes after

How often do I wait?

Wait for the courage to come before doing the thing that matters?

How many opportunities have I wasted waiting for that friend called Courage who stands me up every time?

I bring flowers and await her at the train station before boarding. I can only stand waiting in the rain for so long before I return home with my tail between my legs. Defeated.

Every time, I’m a sucker. Every time, I get stood up.

But wait. I’m looking at the note now. The promise. It seems it’s been a communication problem this whole time.

See, Courage never told me she’d meet me before boarding. She told me she’d be there when I return.

Now I see that, all along, I’ve been standing her up.

Courage never shows up before doing the thing. She arrives afterwards. Without fail. And she always brings flowers.

George Clooney said it best in the movie, Three Kings

“The way this works is, you do the thing you’re scared shitless of, and you get the courage after you do it. Not before you do it.”

I must board the train. I must take that leap without her. Knees shaking. Hands trembling. Lips quivering. Teeth chattering.

And I know that, when I return, she’ll be waiting for me. And the next time won’t be so terrifying. Because I’ll know she makes good on her promise. Every time.

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Jonas writes short daily essays here at Higher Thoughts. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.