Dear Working Girl: Be Brave

Dear Working Girl:

Be brave.

And then live with the consequences.

Because they won’t always be good. Sometimes making a brave step ends in heartbreak. Sometimes accepting a new job, moving to a new city, and giving up your home, your friends, and your security for a new opportunity might end in unexpected unemployment.

Sometimes you’ll try something new at work, try to help out a designer and exercise your creative muscles by making wireframes for a website project, and the designer will let you spend hours on learning the process and making them. Then he might tell you to throw them in the trash can without looking at them.

Sometimes your teams will fail you; sometimes you’ll get shut down for making suggestions, sometimes you will get told your work is not worthy of a raise.

You will lose battles at work.

You will hire someone who turns against you, who might even get you fired.

You will get failing grades in school (or in life) because you tried something different.

You might wear something that, in retrospect, looks pretty silly on you although it looked great on the web page.

Write something. Start a blog. Fill a sketchbook. Read your poetry out loud.

Be brave anyway.

Because the world needs you, though it thinks it doesn’t. Don’t stop, even when you keep asking, keep making, keep looking, keep seeking, and keep trying new things and nothing seems to be working.

Because do you know what? Sometimes bravery looks an awful lot like patience. Sometimes it looks like failure. Sometimes it looks like waking up in the morning with smelly breath and fuzzy hair and looking in the mirror and going out into the world anyway.

Don’t freeze. Don’t stop yourself at status quo. Look for the new, look for the beautiful ideas, look for the hard, but wonderful, work. Do not be satisfied with less. Keep speaking up.

Because with bravery, as with prayer, the results are often not obvious. Be brave not because it gets you where you want to be, but because it will change your character deeply.

The world needs your bravery.

Even if it thinks it doesn’t.

 

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