Living every day brave – Rachel Linden

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By Rachel Linden

Today I am choosing to be every day brave.

What does that mean, you may ask? In essence, every day brave means choosing courage in the face of challenge. Believing that on the other side of fear is something better. It means embracing bravery as a mantra, a habit, a way of life, and embracing it every single day.

Five years ago I took a giant, nerve-wracking step toward my lifelong dream of being a published novelist and sent query letters to a dozen renowned literary agents in the US, asking them to consider representing my debut novel. I said a prayer, squared my shoulders, and waited for their replies. Eleven responses were rejections, which I was expecting. But one beautiful response was a yes!

Since that first yes, I have experienced a few dozen marvelous open doors, acts of grace, and sheer miracles on the road to publication and my dream career as a writer, but I have also faced far more rejections, disappointments and challenges. With each challenge and disappointment I have a choice. Will I buckle in the face of struggle and opposition? Or will I choose to be every day brave once more. Chin up, shoulders back, step forward. I CAN do this!

In my stories I naturally gravitate toward themes about courage, connection and hope. My central characters are strong women facing tremendous challenges both internal and external.

In my new novel, Becoming the Talbot Sisters, estranged twin sisters Waverly and Charlie take an unexpected road trip across central Europe. Although both are successful career women – Waverly is the star of a popular home entertaining show Simply Perfect and Charlie is an international aid worker living in Budapest- they each face significant challenges in their lives. The story features themes of infertility and surrogacy, career woes, past sexual trauma and the exploitation of vulnerable women. In the face of all of these issues Charlie and Waverly exhibited surprising grit, choosing to have courage and hope no matter how grave their circumstances. For me, the Talbot Sisters truly embody the essence of every day brave.

It’s true that Charlie and Waverly are fictional characters, but their struggles and triumphs highlight deeper truths about our lives as women. That is, after all, the beauty and purpose of literature, is it not? To illuminate our human experience and show us a higher way?

In the past five years I have had to choose to be brave in the face of significant challenges, both personal and professional. In addition to being a novelist, I am a wife and mother of two small children, and an international aid worker who has lived in central Europe and worked in over 30 countries around the globe. These past five years have been have been rich with opportunity, joy and potential for growth, but they have also held their fair share of rejection, loss, and disappointment.

We face myriad challenges as women and as writers. It is likely we will face significant adversity both personally and professionally at different points in our lives. In order to ascend, excel, triumph, we must make the choice to courageously encounter those challenges when they come, bravely facing every challenge, every day.

In the light of this truth, I want to ask the following questions. What does every day brave mean to you? Are you living every day brave? Why or why not? Today, how will you choose to be every day brave?

Chin up, shoulders back, step forward. You CAN do this!


Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She resides in beautiful Seattle, Washington with her husband and two young children and enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.

www.rachellinden.com

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