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Rascal Flatts is one of those great groups in pop; great songs, great harmony, great lead singer. One of those songs is "Bless The Broken Road," and it's become a wedding standard in the last few years. What you may not know is that it was originally recorded by Christian artist Jaci Velazquez in the late '90s, and featured in the teen drama series, "Dawson's Creek."
I liked "Dawson's Creek." There was too much sex and stuff, but it was great. I wasn't a Christian back then, so that isn't what I mean. I mean to say that TV always has more sex than actually happens. I asked my friend Brian junior year if he had "done it." He was good-looking and popular, so I figured he had. He said, "No, man. Been close, but got too scared."
I think if I ever work for a youth group in the Church, more than sharing the teachings of Mother Church, I will tell them that in all sorts of ways, it's OK to be young and scared. We thought we had to drink and have sex because "everyone was doing it," but that isn't true. We were scared, and we lied to each other to save face. It's a scary phase, "teenager". You're kind of moody all the time; your face explodes; you know you want to be your own person, but exactly how is a mystery. And oh, yeah, WHERE DID ALL THESE SEXY PEOPLE COME FROM? Well, the girls probably beat us there, but it doesn't take long.
The first girl I ever really liked, I was so loyal/obsessive that she didn't really talk to me after that. It was senior year before she talked to me directly again. I wasn't a creeper, honest. But like I said, I'm loyal. Or something. In fact, I only liked 4 girls the whole time. The Beautiful Show Choir Girl, The Hawaiian, The Cheerleader, and The Nerd. [What about Sara?--ed.] Ah, yes, Drama Girl. I felt bad about that one. She was an avowed atheist the year I became a Christian. It was doomed. But I went to see her play the lead in the Tony Award-winning play, "Night, Mother" simply to see her. We were in AP European History together; I swear, I could have loved her forever.
Why am I going down Memory Lane? I don't know. Maybe I'm having regrets because I never actually dated anyone back then. The girl I took to prom, I'd do anything for, but I didn't have those kind of feelings for her. But I didn't know that at the time. When I got to college, I experienced what these things are supposed to feel like. It was mutual, for the first and only time in my life. It didn't last, and I don't know why.
But I'm definitely the sort of guy who does what he's supposed to do, even if he doesn't want to do it. So my prom date realized that I'm loyal and serious as a disease about these kinds of things, and being young, she pushed me away. Well, I had no feelings, (and had met my one girlfriend) so I didn't linger. I'm still loyal, but now I understand that it's OK to want things for yourself.
I haven't had much success since then, but that's OK. I really needed to get to know myself, to set the pattern for how I'll live my life. That's what many people fail to tell us in high school: who we think we are is not who we will be, at least not in this culture.
The one lesson I've learned since is honesty, with yourself and others. If you think you might love someone, TELL THEM. Life's too short to live with regret. I tell myself, "No regrets" as a kind of mantra, not only in romance, but in life.

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