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  • Writer's pictureJorge Bernardes

There is no courage without fear

The day after tomorrow starts the first year, ever since I began my work life, in which I will not have a salary at the end of the month. It is something new and, honestly, frightening.

I do not have as many certainties as before, I do not know if it will go well, but I know it will happen. Even though I’ve always had great pleasure in doing well whatever I did, I knew that there was money coming into my account each time the calendar flipped its page, something that I could rely on. Both when I worked in the Air Force and when I taught English at a school I enjoyed my job and I also enjoyed that security that came regularly on a scheduled date, but in both, after a while, I felt a need for change. And although sometimes it is us that decide to change, other times change comes to us without us being sure that we want it.

There is a certain imbalance, but the truth is that for movement, growth to exist imbalance is necessary. When we walk, when we run, we lean our body and then we put our foot in place and those who go through life putting their foot in place before leaning their bodies walk in a strange way… It is all a matter of finding balance in the necessary imbalance to keep evolving.

I don’t know exactly what is going to happen, I do not have all the answers and I have no problem in admitting it.

I surrender to uncertainty sailing into its sea like a sailor that wants to see the other side of the world and nothing assures me that even if I do my job very well there is a reward waiting for me, or a port to rest in. But the fact is that despite being safe at a harbor, that’s not what ships are made for.

But there are still some things I know and some certainties I have. I know what I want to do, I have my goals, I imagine the horizons I want to discover and above all I know my “why”.

To make people happy with my photographs and to be happy doing it.

I feel that ever since I started photographing professionally, about 3 years ago, I have managed to do that, and in this year that is now finishing in particular, I had the opportunity to meet people that, through their words about the photographs I made for them, gave me even more strength to continue. It gives me an enormous sense of pride when someone enthusiastically says that they are going to put a photograph I created on the wall in their home, and this year that happened!

I am also sure I have good friends and a family of people that care about me and even though they don’t always agree with my options they do not set me aside. Because they worry, sometimes, they advise me to take the safest route, the one with quieter waters, so that my life is easier. But normally the things that are worth doing are not easy. They are hard work, they demand learning, they impose persistence, and their difficulty leads us to be more and better than what we were. And I want to continue growing, learning and doing more and better what I love to do and if possible satisfy my “why” every single day.

So here I go, on my way, inexperienced sailor in the world of freelance, casting away, scared, but going.

One of the best quotes I know and one that I remember often, because it is applicable to many situations in our lives is this:

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Or in this version: “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of it.”

The quote is attributed to several people in its different versions such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mark Twain, and they did some cool things in their live, and I want to do that too.

What I wish for all of you in the New Year is lots of courage, despite the fears, that we all have. May we continue to grow, learn and love.

Happy 2017!


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