2013 brought about a lot of changes.
In the spring, I found myself falling in love with a group of people unlike any I had ever met. They were fun, diverse, driven, and supportive. We became inseparable and I found myself wanting to open up to them in a way that I had never been able to do with my other friends.
I spent my summer interning in a city where I didn’t know anyone and made some wonderful friends. I was randomly kissed by one of my girlfriends there (the first time this had happened since high school) and quite enjoyed it. And then I became scared.
I had spent my college years trying to pretend like my high school years had never happened. I never told anyone about my past relationship, never acted on any feelings that I may have had for female friends, and dated multiple men in weird/ sad attempts to convince myself that I was completely straight and that the three years I had loved a girl in high school had been a fluke. It was quite the job and this charade took its toll in more ways than one. But my experience during the summer (okay, so maybe some other “incidents” occurred after that – no one knew me there, after all), made me realize that I couldn’t run forever.
When I returned to school for my fall semester, I went through the long process of telling my friends. It was at this point that I realized just how blessed I was. My friends (the majority of them Republican and Christian) rallied around me. For the first time, I was able to be completely honest with someone and it was amazing. I had an amazing support system and friends who loved and accepted me for who I was – Christian, Republican, and sexually confused.
But I suppose that “sexually confused” isn’t exactly the best term for it… For, in all reality, I wasn’t all that confused. I’ve always been one who has known what she wants and this case wasn’t all that different. And so began the journey of trying to reconcile the fears of how my family would react if they knew, how my past (and perhaps my future) could impact my life goals, and how/ if the church would/ could accept me.
I’m still a long way away from having all the answers, but I’m a lot closer (and a lot more at peace with myself) then I was in 2012. My life is anything but “together” at the moment, but it’s wonderful. The majority of my friends now know and our relationships have become stronger as a result. I haven’t come out to my whole family yet, but I did tell my brother, and am happy to report that he handled the news quite well. I don’t really see myself announcing my sexuality to the Baptist church anytime soon, but I have stayed in church and spent a lot of time in the Word and in prayer trying understand myself and my God. I’ve made some poor choices and I’ve made some great ones. I’ve laughed a lot and cried a lot. I’ve been honest with myself and learned a lot about who I am and what I want.
2013 – you were good to me. There were times that I begged you to leave so I wouldn’t hurt as much. There were times that I begged you to stay so I could savor every moment. Regardless, I am so, so thankful that you happened.
2014 – I want to become stronger. I want to strengthen the wonderful relationships that 2013 gave me the opportunity to form. I want to continue learning – about myself, the path ahead, and my Lord. I want to be happy and I want to be happy being who I am. I don’t have any big New Year’s resolutions to look like a model, fall in love, or come out to my family. But I would like to end this year knowing that I was honest. I would like to know that the people who are in my life are there because they love me for who I really am – not who they think I am. I would like to look back and see that I grew as an individual, as a Christian, and as a woman. When I fall, I want to get back up. And when I’m up, I want to remember what it felt like, and how easy it was, to fall.
I don’t know what lies ahead, but I can’t wait to get there.