There is a quote from Anais Nin that states simply, ‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’. I have always found this a comforting thought, as being courageous is something that I wish for myself, and admire in others. I am sometimes accused of being dangerously romantic, and failing to see the hardship, pain, or risk in ways of life, or ways of thinking, that to me, just seem brave. I was the kind of child that wanted to run away and join the circus. I am now a grown woman that wants to run away and join the circus. Or failing that, perhaps a commune. Sometimes I know I can be a bit reckless in pursuit of my own ideas of what courage means – but when it pays off, and I see my world open up because I threw myself at something that everyone around me warned me to steer clear of, then my faith in my own instincts, and in Nin’s philosophy, is restored. This might sound like vague, hippy bullshit to you guys. The truth is I have to be vague for the sake of the individuals involved in my life, who have not elected to forsake their privacy for the good of the blogosphere. It is, simply, not my right to give details. But this viewpoint is something that I very often give out to people (poor, unfortunate people) who come to me for advice. It is something I would like to live by, because in the moments when I have, I have never regretted it. Being brave is not the kind of thing you regret.