“You’re so young, yet so brave”

Jovana Jovanovska - Senegal


April 27, 2019

*”The thing about goodbyes , you see – is the beautiful medley of a sense
of loss and self-discovery, all at once.”*

I’ve learned how to take care of myself. Sometimes more, sometimes less,
but at the end of the day, I manage to do so. I like being there for
myself, being that stable structure of support for my own system even when
it’s an entropy – as it usually is. However, I never thought of myself as
being brave for that.

On the other side, I enjoy learning to the extent that I want to challenge
myself. I believe that going out of my comfort zone works as a catalyst in
my own growth and understanding. I love having many stories to share
because I think the experiences and the stories we have are the ones that
shape us the most. Once again, this wasn’t something that made me feel
brave.

Why did I decide to put emphasis on the fact that I don’t feel brave about
knowing how to take care of myself or challenging myself?

Now when I’m back in my own community, lots of people have come up to me
and told me that I’m so brave. I’m so brave for living for 8 months in
Senegal, usually followed by Africa. I’m so brave for surviving, for not
experiencing serious homesickness. I’m so brave for staying mentally and
physically healthy. I’m so young, yet so brave…

I was listening to the compliments and even though obviously I found them
flattering, I didn’t understand my bravery. I felt a bit lost – was
everyone around me seeing something I was not? Soon enough, I had time for
my own self-discovery. I realized that I am led by my curiosity, ambition
and enthusiasm. For me, my experience in Senegal isn’t connected to
bravery, but a passion for learning something new.

Now, every time I get a similar comment I learned how to articulate my
words so that I say what I actually believe in – I’m not brave, I’m just
extremely curious!

Jovana Jovanovska