subject line: brave. April 12, 2015 by Hannah Brencher nashville, tennessee I’ve never been brave, ever. Coward has always felt like the word written across my forehead. But I’m writing this to you, whoever you are, to tell you that lately I’ve been learning to be brave. Because I’ve found brave isn’t jumping off of mountain tops without a parachute. It’s not standing on the railroad tracks as a whistle sounds in the distance and the lights get closer and closer. Brave isn’t flying a kite in a thunderstorm. It’s not a thrill. It’s not life and death. It’s small victories in the mundane. It’s telling that boy that you like him. It’s letting him in, even when every ounce of your being is telling you to run and hide. It’s meeting up with strangers at sketchy diners at 10:00 at night. It’s going for runs without your dog for the first time ever. It’s letting people read the words you’ve written. It’s accepting that you don’t have all the answers. It’s showing up everyday for that person who needs you the most. It’s loving. It’s forgiveness. It’s trying a new drink at Starbucks. It’s getting out of bed. Brave is small. She is quiet, but her door is always open. For years now she has been inviting me into her home, promising to make me coffee or tea, whichever I prefer. I am just now accepting her offer.