Brave New World (On Bravery)

Day 12 of the Awkward Moments Experiment.

Ask yourself, “What is one action I can do to be braver?”

Wednesday October 12th, 2011. 5:50PM.

I walked to one of the emptiest places on campus.

To describe it:
-There is a path to the right that leads into one of the oldest buildings. Ironically it’s called Young.
-To the left are huge steps that lead into an underground area for advising, part of another huge building. The grey walls and dome-shaped ball on top make it feel like it came from Star Wars.

The whole scene was vast and quiet.

Even the white benches seemed lonely sitting there.

I decided to sit down at one of the white benches. I was waiting for a club meeting that began at 6:10PM.


Someone ended up sitting near me on one of the steps, next to my bench. She took out a book and started reading it.

I was handed a beautiful chance to be awkward. I took it.

I walked up to her and stated, “Hi, what book are you reading?”

During this moment, I had no idea what she was reading. I guessed that she was reading something I wouldn’t know.

She turned the book, which didn’t have a cover.

I saw the printed text on the first page: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. One of my all-time favorite books.

My mind splattered its wave of emotion into a slight smirk on my face.

I commented, “Wow, that’s awesome. What part are you at in the story?”

She shared that she was about two-thirds into the book where the female and the savage were headed to New Mexico. She stated this in great detail.

I ended up using that to talk about what I thought about past scenes in that novel, especially the first chapters.

I hadn’t read that book since my sophomore year in high school (five years ago). She totally resonated because she was re-reading the book to gain a better understanding of it.

After sharing more stories within that novel, we recommended other novels to one another.

I asked her to write down her recommendations to me.

As she was writing, I noticed her lovely southpaw style. “Lefty? Good choice.” She laughed: “Yeah I totally decided to pick that hand just now. Kidding.”

We also joked about how the scenery around us was like a high school, so maybe our “high-school recommended” novels weren’t so out of place after all.

As she finished writing the second book, I told her, “Well I better be going. What’s your contact? Write it down too. It would be cool to chat again.”

She wrote down her e-mail.

We’ll be meeting again.


All you need to gain more bravery is to be [socially] impulsive. Sometimes, great things come out of it. The scene described above is proof.

Chris Barba
Chris Barba

Sweet man! Your stories are always inspiring and you painted the picture beautifully. Felt like I was there watching you go up to this girl. So have you noticed these socially impulsive scenarios getting any easier or harder?

Kenneth Ashley
Kenneth Ashley

The one and only thing that stops us from being where we want to be, is us. You can throw up dozens upon dozens of excuses but in fact you are battling against yourself. Your mind is making your mind not going where we want. She is a pretty girl, but IM NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I want to lose weight, but I AM TO BUSY. You want to do something, just do it.