It all began during one of those weeks when it seems that everything does not go well. In the workplace, I had to finish some arduous paperwork task; at college, I had to meet the deadline for passing an midterm project; and at home, the landlord had just informed me that he had wanted to sell the apartment so I’d better move out. It was the time of depression, overworking, and very little sleep, so one day I decided I was sick. I asked myself if I was sure that I was moving in the right direction, and could not firmly say “yes.” Then I started asking myself what the purpose of my life and, respectively, all this mess in it was, and could not find an answer either. And even for such an incurable optimist as I was it was too much that day when the alarm clock did not ring, I missed a bus, and I ended up too late for the train that had to take me to work.
When I finally seated myself on the next train and began heading towards my workplace, I was feeling angry (with myself), stressed, and absolutely unconfident. I made efforts to regain my composure by thinking of how to finish the essay and then visualizing my paperwork. Instantly though, I realized that I had left all my paperwork on the table and forgot to put into my case. I started scolding myself with renewed vigor and was on the brink of tears. I desperately looked inside my case hoping to see my folder there, scanned passengers’ faces, looked up at the ceiling, and then out the window, and then at my shoes…
A moan and righter after it a scream came from the back of the car. It was several rows behind me. “This lady has fainted!” shouted one passenger. “Conductor, conductor, please, someone get the conductor. She needs help,” I heard from all directions. Then someone asked if anyone was a doctor. I was not at all thinking. I just ran to where a lady was lying on the floor with terribly ashen skin. Well, I am not a doctor and have average or perhaps even lower emergency skills, but at that moment I clearly understood that it was essential for the stricken woman to regain consciousness and that she needed help. So I massaged her and comforted her while keeping asking her name. As I was trying to get response from her, I opened her purse and found a driving license with her name and her photo on it. I said, “Karen, come on. Come on out of it, Karen.” As the woman heard me, started breathing and her eyelids were flickering. She started mumbling something, which, I believe, was “Medicine, my medicine.” As I rifled through the purse, I found pills in a bottle, placed one pill on her tongue, and helped her sip some water that someone had handed. When the train made an emergency stop at some station, the EMS crew carried Karen to the ambulance and took care of her. When I phoned several days later, I learnt that Karen was alright.
That event opened my eyes to who I am and to my own courage. Instead of scolding myself for different trifles, I realized, I needed to appreciate myself more as a human being and as someone who can do well many important things. I realized I needed to trust myself more and had to stop thinking f myself as unconfident and unsuccessful. I opened courage and new richness inside my inner self. It reminded me of what Oz said to the Cowardly Lion, “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty” (Baum 80). In this journey to my courageous and confident self, I would pain myself in a form of a large multicolored balloon, flying high in the sky, among other balloons.