Laura Olin runs the Everything Changes mailing list for The Awl and she asked her readers “about a time they’d been brave” (or perhaps when they’d wished they had been). Here are some of their answers.
I was raised in a pretty abusive household. When I was 14, I found a boarding school three thousand miles away, applied in secret, got a full scholarship, and left home. I haven’t lived at home since and have made it ten years later fully supporting myself in a city I love, a job I love, friends/community that I love. I sometimes think about that now, packing up everything and moving across the country without any support and building a new life for myself through a lot of luck and other people’s help, and know I probably couldn’t do it again. I left the worse place for paradise, both handed-out and self-made, and there’s nothing I’m prouder of.
Some regretted not having courage at times:
A few months ago, some coworkers made some antisemitic jokes in a team chat channel. I quit the channel and started looking for (and since found) a new job, but I didn’t say anything. I’ve thought about that time I didn’t say anything literally every day since. I wish I had been a better person.