YWRB: It Takes Nerve

do something

By Amanda Page It took nerve to go to the microphone and ask a feminist legend for some advice.

It takes real nerve to be a rebel.

It took a year of writing about rebellion for me to build up the nerve to finally claim my life as my own. I was 22 and ready to travel and it seemed like the whole world was telling me, “No.” I simply wanted to get on a plane.

“You can’t go,” I was told. “You can’t leave.”

My biggest rebellions have always been about going after what I want for myself instead of living in service of what others want for me. It’s hard to hold our own desires and protect and honor them. The wants and expectations of others can so easily become the “shit” that we’re not supposed to take. If we don’t respect our own wishes, then we’re taking shit from ourselves.

It takes nerve to take no shit . . . from others or from yourself.

Nerve is like a muscle. Rebellion is the exercise that builds the nerve muscle.

And you can do rebellion by writing it.

It took nerve to whip out our pens and legal pads in bars at midnight. It took nerve to declare that we were writing a book. It took nerve to share the idea with the wild woman from my poetry class.

Each action was a tiny act of rebellion, working my nerve muscle, making me more capable, more daring, more able to surprise myself.

I was told, “No,” but I said, “Yes.” Yes, I will.

I can now say, “Yes, I did.”

The stories we hold dearest are the ones that come from the times that we dare ourselves to do something.

Do something that scares you. Today. Anything. Ten years from now, it might be the moment that changed everything. It might be your best story.

Your best story takes nerve.