Alright, let’s start with this first:
“Being courageous” doesn’t mean you have to suit up in your armor and go into battle. “Being courageous” isn’t just “for the superheroes”. Being courageous can be taken in strides or in small steps.
Today, I was courageous.
This morning, I finished my tea with one of the Lutheran pastors and had all the intentions of going to as few stores as possible and attempting to speak Hungarian as minimally as I could to get what I needed (conditioner, something for breakfast, LEGOs for a church program, etc).
I could have gone to PennyMarket (where I always go and am rarely asked questions- my comfort zone for shopping) for the majority of what I needed, but I decided I needed to do more for myself. It’s so easy for me not to “go out” on my own because my host family buys all the food I need and are willing to translate almost anywhere we go.
I told myself, “Okay, Syd. We’re going to be independent today. We’re not even going to go to Penny. We’re going to four different shops this morning, AND if you want breakfast- you’re going to go to the pékség (bakery) for the first time by yourself and order something at the counter.”
WOAH, ENTHUSIASTIC SYDNEY. CALM YOURSELF.
After a few deep breaths, ya know what though? I did it. I went. AND I understood almost everything everyone said to me: “Can I help you?”, “Do you have the 300 forints?”, etc.
The one thing I didn’t understand happened when I couldn’t open the door to a shop, so I thought it was closed. The woman on her smoke break was telling me to push the door, not pull it. After she had to physically show me what she was saying, she followed me in the store for a few minutes to make sure I wasn’t a looneybin. 😂 Definitely a moment I could have just walked away from in embarrassment and tried again another day, but I figured it was a time to push through and not retreat from.
After I had bought everything I needed, I made my way to the pékség… Did the woman at the counter know I wasn’t Hungarian because I mispronounced “bejgli”? Probably. BUT guess what? My virsli bejgli (a hot dog baked on top of bread, with ketchup underneath the meat and cheese on top) was WARM and FRESH… Much better than the cheese bread roll I would have gotten out of a PennyMarket basket that was baked an hour beforehand.
Be courageous, friends.