My intern, Brittney Bash, a junior at Cincinnati Country Day School is so wise beyond her years. In this post she shares her own, very personal meaning of the words courage, confidence and candor.
I’m one person out of 4,404,625,370 in the world, a single face among the masses. I am young, indecisive. I can be stubborn, snippy, and sassy. Life throws me opportunities and sometimes I can’t catch them. Too often I find my beliefs being swayed, like branches in the breeze, by those around me because I have yet to plant my own roots. It can be hard for people to establish a solid foundation for their morals, I believe this is because we have a seeming incapability to feel the same way on topics when we are constantly experiencing new things that have the ability to change how we feel. However, I also believe that once we look inside ourselves to at least try and find what matters to us, we will know what personal values hold steady in our hearts and benefit from incorporating those values into our lives. There are three traits about myself that I absolutely know are important to me and that I search for in others.
Courage is a value of utmost importance to me. Fear is humankind’s most prevalent and powerful obstacle. We fear everything, and there will never come a day when we are truly fearless. The only fear that we have any hope of squandering is the fear of ourselves. By acknowledging one’s worries and weaknesses we have the capability to discover our passions and strengths. Unfortunately, too many of us fear the acceptance of the idea that we are not perfect, and that fear entangles itself into every situation. Once we obtain that mentality of perfection being unachievable we can let go of our shortcomings and focus on the things that make us incredible. It takes a lot of courage to do even little tasks such as admitting when you are wrong, and following your heart. Fear is like shadows, every object has one and even in the light, a certain angle can enhance it, making the shadow (something nonexistent) seem bigger than the object itself. I strive everyday to stand up for what I believe in, even if it means I stand alone. Humans are creatures of constancy and any sort of change evokes an uneasiness within them. Due to this fact I never allow myself to fall into any situation that is too comfortable or easy. By pushing my limits I push myself to experience life in its rawest, truest form.
Confidence is the trend that never goes out of style and looks good on everyone, but it takes hard work to maintain a positive self-image. It takes self-affection and self-reflection. It’s a common occurrence, yet we let others define our own greatness. We crave opinions about ourselves from those around us because we want to know that someone sees goodness in us or to use their criticism as an excuse to believe we will never be “good enough”. Truth be told, we will always have a false perception of who we truly are as individuals as long as we let other people instill in us who they think we are. Instead of fighting for acceptance from others, I fight for my own self-acceptance. Once we free ourselves from the confines and expectations of those around us we can become independent thinkers and will no longer need to rely on their approval.
Life is a precious thing to me, there are so many aspirations and dreams that I have but I realize that the most fun and fulfillment come from the journey. My life is a stream of candid moments, jamming out in the car with my sister, dramatically missing balls at lacrosse practice, and joking around with all of my friends. I’m not graceful, and there are a lot of things that I’m just not very good at, but I live life for the experiences. My quirky personality encompasses both my courage and confidence. I believe that I am my best self when I’m surrounded by various different personalities and get along with all of them. I dance in the rain, I stray from trodden paths, and I climb on my roof to watch the sky. I battle with my fears and I sometimes have to remember its okay to dress down in public. I have high standards and goals and sometimes it hard to not feel discouraged or beaten down when I don’t reach them. Disappointment is a part of life and even if I’m unable to predict my future, at least I can rely on the certainty of my values and morals, which will always remain steadfast in my heart.