Newly paraplegic at the age of 23, I needed answers. Where to live, how to live, why to live? One afternoon a colleague (and secret crush) visited me at the rehabilitation center. He took me on my first, terrifying foray into the real world down 34th Street in Manhattan. I told him I wanted to return when I couldn’t bear the stares of passers-by any longer. He said, “They are staring at you because they’ve never seen a woman so beautiful.” Tongue-tied, I looked up at him and saw love looking back. It was the only answer I needed.

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