Depending on bravery
Nominated by Jo Fisher
In this life, you have to believe in the hope of flying above all else so you can have a chance to soar.
My brother is my biggest inspiration. We’ve been through hell and back again together and in our own separate ways. He continues to astound me every day for his tenacity, resilience and bravery. Our adoption has created a “us against the world” alliance which is still very strong today. We have been invaluable lifelines for each other when things have crumbled. Often, I find that the narrative around adoption is deeply problematic. It’s heavily painted with a brush of “happy ever after” whilst missing out complicated narratives around identity, attachment, displacement, and the challenges of reconciling your former, present and future self. Adoption is a blessing in many ways, though it comes with a wealth of small print that most do not see. Being so close in age, my brother and I have frequently been compared against each other – from our academic competencies to our emotional development, from our weight, to our coping strategies of navigating life. Now that I’m older, I see that we have both developed an unquestionable amount of resilience. In one of my sessions my therapist once told me “children with the complexity of your back story and everything you’ve been through – don’t come out the other end as grounded as you – you’ve defied all the odds that have been stacked against you.” I remember shrugging her comment off at the time, but now I really hear what she is saying.
He’s taught me that bravery is showing up. It’s believing in something even when you’re believing on your own. It’s believing in yourself.
My brother is the bravest person I know. When he bleeds pain, I feel it tenfold. He’s brave because he’s had a thousand reasons to bail on life yet chose to try one more time, over and over again. Sometimes I just don’t know how he does it. He’s taught me that bravery is showing up. It’s believing in something even when you’re believing on your own. It’s believing in yourself. It’s asking for help when you are at rock bottom. It’s changing all your life comforts for the chance of accomplishing your dreams. It’s defining happiness and carving your own path around it. It’s letting go of the things that don’t serve you so you can walk a little lighter. We all build resilience for survival – after every hardship, breakdown, and setback. At each of these, the roadblocks we overcome are sometimes painful – because growth isn’t easy. It requires leaving a little behind for a chance for better: a state of mind, a place, a life situation. I will never get bored of saying how proud I am of my brother. I’m biased, but also I know it’s true. He demonstrates bravery in ways that kind of floor me. One of my favourite quotes is by Erin Hanson: “What if I fall? Oh but darling, what if you fly?” – I think that my brother shows that kind of bravery. He holds onto hope because his life does depend on it. And in this life, you have to believe in the hope of flying above all else so you can have a chance to soar.
Louise lives by the motto "unapologetically ambitious" and she carries this through both her professional and personal life. She's got a passion for equality through campaigning on issues from mental health and race. She's currently training for the Kigali Marathon, fundraising for Imbuto the charity of the First Lady and having numerous adventures in between. Get in touch with her or find her at www.takemetorwanda.wordpress.com Main image by Icons8
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