It’s been said that the courageous feel terror, the brave feel fear. I think that must be true. Some consider me brave, but I suspect that’s only because I’ve learned to embrace my fears and carry them through my hardships. It would be a mistake to pretend that I’m not afraid – I know very well when I’m lying to myself. It never works.

I’ve been threatened at gunpoint twice and knife once, and I’ve been targeted in a triangular formation. So leaving the city life behind wasn’t remotely difficult for me. What was difficult though was learning to relax, to not feel fear and paranoia, to just let myself feel a breeze across my cheek. That was the real revelation.

I found peace in an open field of yellow flowers, but it took me months of being out of a city to allow myself that kind of feeling. It was something I had to allow, the catharsis. That’s when I realized that what I feel is a decision. It isn’t something that happens to me, it’s something I do, I accept, inside of me so much that it shows outwardly – and even affects others around me.