Valley Guest Column: Courage by Payton Rae Miller, EVSD student

Payton Rae Miller. Student author of courage guest column. May 2021

Payton Rae Miller


The definition of courage is the ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain of grief. The true meaning of courage is mental or moral strength to venture, pursue and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. When you’re younger, one of your biggest times you needed courage was for trying new food. When you get a little older, it could be going into a store by yourself or pumping gas yourself. But even the simplest thing like trying new food is still courageous.

One thing that I have used a little courage in is when I was at camp for the first time ever. We had “snuck out” and went night zip-lining. I am scared of heights and had never been on a zipline. So this meant that since I haven’t and all of my peers at camp had. They had decided to tell a horror story about the four girls on the zipline and that the last girl disappeared and I happened to be the last one so I was already scared. It was late at night and I didn’t want to give up. After a little secret breakdown, I got up even though I was scared, I ended up doing it and I loved it. All I wanted to do was the zipline after that because I am a little courageous I like to believe.

As we all know, we have been in a pandemic and still are. We as students have many struggles, as well as adults, do. We are going to school in a pandemic. That is not what I am going to be talking about fully. I will be telling you about how much courage it took for me to come off Winter Break and not be able to go back to school because my mom had Coronavirus. It was a little bit easier the first few days because we were already online for those days so everything was explained in depth. When it came to the days when I was supposed to be in person at school, I was doing really good until I got into the math of those two days. No one in my family is good at math besides my mom but she was always sleeping, which meant I had to email my math teacher a lot but I never really got help during the school day. Then, I never really wanted to do it because I would have to wait until around the evening or maybe even the next day. I would have a pretty good schedule. I loved getting up early but always had a hard time falling asleep because my oldest brother worked nights and night is his day. If nobody was going to pick up the slack and do things around the house and take care of the dog I would have to keep up with letting him out and feeding and watering him. It made me busier than I already was!

On top of that, I was in charge of laundry, so I would have to do that constantly washing everything that could possibly need washed bedding and there was no way my brothers were going to help with that. We couldn’t just eat junk food so I had to find some recipes with the stuff we had and make at least dinner for everyone that they were eating. This made it really hard to have the courage to keep up in school and do these things that way I could leave the house and take care of things teenagers would not usually have to do. Real courage was needed when we found out about my mom having diabetes. This means that our whole diet would change– no eating out!

This means that everyone has courage; maybe it has faced a big piece of courage yet or you feel like you don’t have it; everyone does; we just have to look at the silver lining in the fear that we concluded even with bumps in the road. We All have it. Find It!

My name is Payton Rae Miller. I was born in October of 2007. I was born and raised in Spokane Valley. I like to write essays, do school work, and clean my house– any room but mine. I am 13 years old and have a hearing deficiency where I have assisted hearing devices.


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