I wanna see you be brave.


it was 10:30 on a friday night.

the three of us were sitting in a cafe on the corner of south college street and martin luther king jr boulevard. the city was vibrant with flashy billboards and car horns — anything to try and keep us from being present.

yet, our eyes and ears were fixed on her.

she was hurting. the kind of hurting that you maybe can’t even see until someone asks you about it. her dilemma? she loves a boy. but not just any boy. she loves a man who might not love her back. and that is where the fear set in.
her relationship with said boy, pulls at her heart in every single way. an impossible force that she can’t quite shake. a late night phone screen, just hoping that the next notification to pop up will be from him. a drive to his house on a sunday afternoon, with nerves that feel as though they could take over at any second. this is her reality.

a reality lived in fear of not knowing if the affection is mutual.

“you have to tell him the truth — you have to tell him how you are feeling.” was the advice that came from across the table. advice that seems like a good idea until it is put into action. because when we let feelings control us, we can never quite escape the fear of telling someone else what lays hidden in the depths of our hearts.

that night, I sat next to her. I nodded and handed out agreements every few minutes, when in reality I had no idea what she was going through. I had never felt this pain that took over her entire body. I have never loved anyone like she loves this boy.
I wore my “brave” giving key necklace, because I liked how it looked, not because I needed to cling to the word. I didn’t wear it as a sign of resilience or capability. and so I reached behind my neck and unlatched it.

because in that moment, I wanted her to be brave.

not just brave enough to confess her feelings to a man who may not reciprocate. I wanted her to be brave enough to own up to those feelings. to walk into a room with confidence and joy in knowing her fears won’t keep her from living anymore.

she put the key around her neck, and I swear it was a moment I will remember for a long time.

be bold. send the text. pick up the phone. tell the boy you love him. write the letter. whatever you have to do. just don’t keep those emotions locked up — don’t throw away the key.

in the words of sara bareilles: honestly, I wanna see you be brave. 

so just do it. whatever it is you need to do. we are all cheering you on.


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