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On being brave

August 22, 2006|by RYAN WILLARD

Tonight I put my hand on the shower wall and muttered "This is just the beginning." It is true. I am only 16, about to turn 17, and I suddenly realized that this is just the start of it all.

But I have showed so much courage so far. So much bravery.

For instance, I walked up to a girl in my junior year and asked her out on a date. It was the very first girl that I actually asked, "Would you like to go on a date with me?" She accepted, and I was so overcome with joy that I kissed a random friend in the hallway. We had our date and it didn't work out.

Before that I was in love with another girl. We dated for six months. We were friends before that, so I didn't actually ask her to date me. It just happened. I fell in love, but she dumped me. I was in pain for quite some time.

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And now I'm in a relationship with someone else. Today is our one-month anniversary, and I talked to her on the phone tonight. I love her. It seems to be a gene that I have from my mother or father, to love so easily, but I do love her.

She knows I love her, and I know she doesn't love me. She is unique in ways I couldn't possibly imagine. Honestly, I really do not understand her. But I love her. I love every refreshing ounce of her. Even though I know she doesn't love me. That's bravery.

I've also felt pain of different sorts.

When I was a little boy, I fell at my birthday party and broke my leg. It hurt like - um, well it hurt a lot. That's one kind of pain.

I have loved and lost, that's another.

And some of my pets have died and that's about it.

I think the correct statement to have said in the shower is "I've just started to live." I've just started to live, and I have so much pain to go. But honestly, that's great. I can have my tea. I can read. I can write. I can love. This pain I have felt is the only thing that can make a flower look nice. It's the only thing that can make tea taste good. Without it, we wouldn't feel anything, we wouldn't feel good. We wouldn't be alive.

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