Of being (unwillingly) touched by a (not) virgin and no thank you

Those of you who know me know that I (quite happily) live under a rock. I figure if news is big enough, whether it’s a plane crashing or a Kardashian getting pregnant, I’ll hear about it one way or another. I just got wind of this whole Madonna kissing Drake thing at some awards show / performance / whatever. I admit, I had to Google Drake. Yes, I’m not so secretly a 90 year old woman. I digress…

After looking at it myself and perusing other articles relating to the whole scenario, Drake got the (very) short end of the stick. I’m of the “not cute” school of thought. He played it off far better than I would have. If someone, Madonna or otherwise, tried that with me, they would have gotten decked. Though knowing where Madonna has been over the years, I would probably be brushing my teeth with bleach for a week. Allow me to share, son. Once again, we come back to the crux of the issue relating to all things.

Consent.

It would be one thing if backstage, they were like “Yeah! This will be a great bit!”. I’m thrilled that Madonna still wants to prove she’s got it, whatever “it” may be. However, that doesn’t mean you can get all kissy face with someone who isn’t expecting it and, most likely, doesn’t want it. If the situation had been reversed and a man had “surprised” a woman with a kiss on stage, the pitchforks and torches would be out. Since it was initiated by the woman, everyone is more like “Eh, well…”. So let’s kick it up a notch.

Y’all, female on male rape does exist. It’s grossly underreported because a lot of people, the men themselves in particular, don’t believe rape works that way. A man can rape a man because they both have penises, but a woman can’t rape a man because she’s the penetrated partner. Rape, by definition, is someone else using your body for their pleasure without your consent. “Oh, but if a guy has an erection, he’s into it!”. No, that’s biology. Guys, correct me if I’m wrong here, but I don’t think a boner means your into getting up at 6a. Right? Would you tell a female rape victim that because she had an orgasm that she wanted it? Again, biology. I happen to know a man who was raped by a woman (and it’s with his consent that I share this).

He went through the exact same cycle as female rape victims. The self destructive actions, the depression, the whole nine yards. I know I questioned, and sometimes still do, if what happened to me was really rape. Imagine being a straight man who was victimized by a straight woman. That can’t possibly be rape, right? Yes, yes it can. He told her to stop and she didn’t. He revoked his consent, but she ignored it. Everyone; male, female, trans, straight, gay, questioning, or whatever may be the situation, has the right to say “stop” or “no” at any time. The other party is obligated to listen and comply. Quite frankly, I got more respect out of guys I would pick up at bars while so drunk I couldn’t stand up than I got from someone who claimed to love me and I’d been with for years. He wasn’t in a serious relationship with this particular woman, but that doesn’t make it any better or easier to swallow. I would argue it’s easier to be able to leave and never look back than it is to stay with the person who just violated your own agency over your body. That’s neither here nor there. He did things to himself that he can never take back. Just like someone had to point out that my seizures didn’t sound like any panic attack they’d ever heard of, someone else had to point out that what happened was actually rape. Things are always a little easier when we’re able to give them a name. It may not be a pleasant name, but it’s a name.

Rape can happen to anyone and be perpetrated by anyone. I know women who were raped by other women. I don’t personally know of any men who were raped by other men. The sad part is I probably do know someone that happened to,but he’s never said anything. That’s just statistics. Do everyone a favor and respect your partner. If they say “stop”, then stop. If they say “no”, then don’t do whatever it was you were planning on doing. It’s better to listen to your partner, even if it gives you a raging case of blue (lady) balls, than disrespect that person in the name of your own pleasure. I would like to think this is a no-brainer, especially for you my dear readers. It never hurts to be reminded. The word “dehumanizing” gets tossed around a lot in relation to rape cases. You never quite understand what that word means until it’s being used against you. I was simply a receptacle in the name of him proving his masculinity by putting on a show. I would never wish that feeling on anyone. I would never wish the aftermath on anyone. You should be able to revoke your consent and have that respected. It’s your body and your decision. Period.

So this wasn’t the most cheery of entries, but it needed to be said. I’m going to go crawl back under my rock and wait for Twitter or Facebook to inform me that either a plane has crashed or a Kardashian is pregnant. Or both.

XOXO!

Of rebels with causes and final farewells

My grandmother, my dad’s mom, officially died on Friday night. On the one hand, it’s sad. She’s the first grandparent to die. On the other hand, it’s a relief. We’d been going back and forth for almost a month. I know it’s been really hard on my dad. I listened to him read and rehearse her eulogy for over a week. I don’t think he knew I could hear him through the door. I sat on the floor and cried, not for me, but for him. As I’ve said, I’m not close to any of my grandparents. But it really hurts to watch someone you love lose someone they love, even if it’s not a surprise.

I won’t be going to the funeral. Originally, I was going to go to support my dad. It would take either a $1500+ round trip plane ticket with a layover each way or an 8 hour drive one way. He told me he didn’t want me to spend that much money and time to travel there and back. I think part of him doesn’t want me to see him upset. If he doesn’t want me to go, then go I won’t.

Friday was difficult for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the announcement of her passing. I’d already planned to take Wednesday off anyway, so I’m going to take tomorrow and Tuesday off as well. I need a little bit of time to regain my bearings after the emotional meat grinder I found myself being fed through repeatedly. It’s one thing to keep getting up and going to work because otherwise I know I’ll just stew. It’s another thing to genuinely need a few extra days to shake myself out of it. A few days to lie on the couch marathoning whatever show is on (Criminal Minds is Mondays and Tuesdays! Woohoo!) and refusing to put on actual pants. It’s better for me to shut my brain down for a few days than trying to keep going and end up sobbing in the bathroom every day just because I can’t take it.

What all of this has done is trigger my rebellious streak. The proverbial cut class, put on clothes my mother wouldn’t approve of, go to the mall, and stand outside smoking. I want to just say “fuck it”, go get another tattoo, ball up all my J.Crew outfits in favor of my old Alexander Hardy dresses (see my profile pic for a reference), and revert back to when I was actually rebelling against everyone and everything, especially in my own head. While that’s all very tempting, it won’t make me feel any better. It’s just like when I would drink myself to the point of falling over. It would feel good at the time, but then the hangover would set in.

No matter how strong a person is, it’s a little difficult to end a 4+ year relationship, be rejected for every single job you’ve applied for in the past year (if you were actually given a formal rejection in the first place), and watch a family member die all in the span of about 6 weeks. It’s hard not to blame myself for two of those three. What could I have done differently to get that job? To make the relationship work? The answer?

Nothing. I can’t control other people (no matter how much I would LOVE to). I did the best I could. I wore the right clothes and gave the right answers in interviews. I put myself out there. I gave what I was able to give. If that wasn’t good enough, that’s not my fault. I know when I’m giving it my best and when I’m not. I half assed something recently and did get called out on it. That was my fault. I knew I wasn’t doing what I’d been told to do to the fullest and best of my abilities. I didn’t want to do it, so I did the bare minimum to get it done. The rebel had already started to sneak out a bit. So we’re all going to take a time out. She can sit there with her feet up on the table, smoking and playing on her phone, then flipping off the camera when someone tries to take a picture. Then it’s time to go home. I guess Hailey has herself a sister now. As if it wasn’t crowded enough in here already. :P

Now time to finish off my leftover sushi from last night and figure out what to marathon next. Catch you on the flip(ping off) side.

XOXO!

Of death and only the beginning

Big week, big week.

Last Sunday, my parents celebrated their 35th anniversary. That’s the third of the 4 banner year events in 2015. My dad will turn 60 in June to round it out.

On Monday, I passed my Series 51 exam. I am now legally allowed to not only give you stock advice, but I can supervise the people who review your mutual fund trades. Quick! Get excited! I got the bare minimum passing score, but who cares? A pass is a pass, n’est pas? It’s just one more dollop of icing on my resume cupcake.

For the past week, my parents have been up in Virginia. My dad’s mom hasn’t been doing well. They were supposed to come home yesterday, but apparently my grandmother flipped, so they stayed an extra day. In retrospect, yesterday was Good Friday and they’re uber Catholic, so it kind of makes sense. In all honesty, I’m not that close to her. I’m not close to any of my grandparents. That might make me a horrible person, but it’s true. I won’t personally be upset when they die, I’ll be upset because the respective parent is upset. My dad is literally the person I love most in the world, so I’ll lose my shit if I see him do it. He’s not the ‘lose your shit’ kind of guy, but who knows? When my mom texted me yesterday to say they were going to stay an extra day, she said my dad cried. I have literally in my entire memory never seen him cry. Ever. At all. I’d like to keep that streak going. I’m of the mind that if I don’t see it, then it never happened. Him crying, in my world, qualifies as losing his shit.

Death is a funny thing, especially when it’s family. There are so many different family dynamics, family types, and families themselves that influence how they handle death. How did the person die? Old age? Long illness? Suicide? Accident? My office likes to circulate notices when someone’s family member dies. I’ll refuse to let them do that when my grandmother passes. I don’t want people coming up to me and apologizing. I never flat out say “I’m sorry for your loss” when I know someone had a death in the family. It’s simply “I heard about…” and let them take the lead. In the case of one of the other managers, her dad died about a year ago. I told her that I’d heard and her reply was that she really wasn’t upset, the only reason she was even going to the funeral was because she was his only child. One of my other friends had a cousin die in a car accident. He had previously been arrested for drugs and possession of child porn. Needless to say, she wasn’t sorry to see him go.

On the flip side, it doesn’t even have to be a person’s death to hurt. My sister had to put down her beloved kitty a few weeks ago. That broke her heart. When my childhood kitty died of (very) old age, I cried for days even though I knew it was coming. People really don’t understand how much that can hurt, especially in comparison to the death of a person. I got plenty of funny looks when I said I was crying over the loss of a pet. I don’t judge other people for what they do and don’t grieve for. I have no idea what the dynamic was. Yes, I do care about my cat more than my grandmother. Is that your business? No, it isn’t. Your grief and mourning is none of my business.

Emily wasn’t family, but I took her death harder than I know I’ll take a lot of my blood relatives. It wasn’t just that she was young and committed suicide. I, quite frankly, cared more about her than I do various aunts, uncles, and cousins. At her memorial service, her mother told me how much that Emily cared about me. I didn’t see her as a heroin addict. I saw her as a girl who just needed someone to be her friend without judgment. That went a long way for her. I still have the letters she sent me when she was in jail. I still have the program from her memorial service. If she were still alive, she’d be 28 at the end of the month. I’ll always remember her fondly and that my last words to her were kind ones. That’s all anyone can hope for.

On that depressing note, I’m off to take some allergy medication & continue binge watching Criminal Minds. The Atlanta Pollen Snow has set in and my left eye is about to itch right out of my face. Blech.

XOXO!

Of non-confession confessions and wedding dresses

Time for the not-confession confession because everybody knows what I’m going to say anyway.

It’s hilariously easy for me to let my life revolve around a boy.

That said, it has begun to work in my favor. A former fling showed up. We met years and years ago, then lost touch. It was the odd email on my birthday or “Hey! I saw this article and thought it was funny!”. We started talking more over the past few weeks. The possibility of a rebound started to percolate in the back of my mind. Guess what? He’s not single. However, he isn’t the kind of guy where that might slow him down, especially given the relationship status of his current lady. In the past, if he started something, I’d be like “Eh, why not? So what if he has a married…girlfriend…thing?”. No.

I don’t share my toys.

I know open relationships work great for some people. I’m not one of them. I’ve tried, but I’m not the kind of girl who is into that sort of thing. I don’t want a guy who is into that sort of thing. Said fling is a known entity. Been there, done that (teehee!), and there would be no surprises. Except that I’m not the only one and I know I’m not the only one. He may be okay with sampling a few other things from the buffet, but I’ll sit here with my same ol’ cucumbers and ranch dressing thankyouverymuch.

Yes, I do want to get married. Yes, I do want to have babies. No, I don’t want to do it right this second.

In both of my previous long term relationships, the word “marriage” has caused many a hackle to be raised. When I was in college, it was a status symbol to be engaged either right before or right after graduation. There was a small pond next to the dining hall and if you got engaged, you got tossed in it. Almost all of my friends had been tossed in the pond by the time we walked across the stage. I felt horribly left out. It happened again when I reconnected with all my friends from high school (and made a few more). The bulk of that group got married in 2009, so not too far removed from our college years. Again, I felt left out. If they didn’t get married that year, they married their partner at the time later on.

The fact that the guy I was with was pretty vehemently against getting married only made it worse. So I looked at myself, wondered what was wrong with me, and lied. I said I didn’t want to get married either. What’s the point unless you want children or joint bank accounts? The point is I want someone to stand up in front me, my friends, and my family and promise to be my best friend and love me for the rest of our lives. I really, honestly don’t think that’s too much to ask. However, I’m not going to bust my ass to find the future Mr. Emily. Ignoring the fact entirely I’m barely removed from the end of a 4+ year relationship, it’s not worth my time right now. I especially hate online dating. I’ve know people who’ve met their spouses online or seen otherwise successful relationships. I’m thrilled it worked for you. I’ll pass. The future Mr. Emily will come wandering by sooner or later.

The same goes for kids. I want kids. I don’t approach them with the same fear I did before all my friends started to have kids. Being a professional aunt has gotten me warmed up a bit. For as much as I fancy myself iconoclastic, I’m a traditionalist at heart. I’m not going to have babies until I have a husband. Ideally, I’ll have had said husband for a while. I know myself well enough to know that I don’t have the emotional capacity to raise a child. I’m far too selfish right now. I’m pissy when I get woken up at 3a because the cat stepped on my head. I’d be even worse getting woken up at 3a, then having to get out of bed, sit for god knows how long to get the small human back to sleep, then try and get back to sleep myself. Thus, also, why having a husband is damn useful. Babies also aren’t cheap. I like buying pretty outfits or spending money on my hair. I’m not ready for the kind of financial commitment that comes with one of those little buggers. I will, however, love the day where I can watch my father playing on the floor with his grandchild(ren) pulling the same shit he did with me when I was young.

Just by allowing myself to watch the bad habit start to come back, I was able to use it. I don’t want to just be another member of the harem. I don’t want to compromise my own feelings and wants because some boy is either too scared or too assheaded to take the next step. I don’t want to have to lie about any of it because I think that’s what someone else wants to hear. As my BFF has beaten me over the head with for the past month – never settle.

Now Former Boy would always throw a fit whenever I mentioned I preferred to know how a movie was going to end so I didn’t waste my time or money if I didn’t like how it ended. He said you can’t enjoy the ending unless you’ve gone through the story first. For argument’s sake, the above is how my story will end. Now how am I going to get there? I don’t know, but I intend on having a hell of a (good) time getting there. I may not even have to take up alligator wrestling or platform diving.

XOXO!

Of Letters and Our Former Selves (25th Edition)

Dear 25 Year Old Emily,

I know you’re angry. You’re angry because you don’t understand what’s going on. Just take this chance to listen to me and I’ll do my best to explain it all.

As I told 19 year old us, he called. Right? You agreed to see him to prove a point to yourself. All that happened is you listened to him go over his life since you broke up. He bought a condo. He finally got a car. That made you angry. After all those years driving his ass around, he finally got his own car. You have a right to be angry. He’s told you all about his new girlfriend. You don’t catch her name, but you do catch the fact that he goes out of his way to point out she has red hair. Red hair just like you have red hair. You don’t miss the fact he says he came with her for her Teach for America training. You don’t really say anything because you aren’t sure what to say. This will be, as they say, the beginning of the end.

You’ll meet more boys. You’ll get more tattoos. You’ll drink like there’s no tomorrow. All that time, you’ll be angry. You’ll hate yourself because you won’t know how to stop it. I understand. There are few worse feelings than not being able to understand what’s going on in your own head. Then you’ll meet a boy. He’ll be just another one in the line. Another stamp in the passport. After you have a fight with him and find yourself drinking, once again, alone in a bar, you’ll have a thought. You’ll realize you don’t want to give up on yourself. You’ll try AA for the first time. You’ll get one of your friends to go with you. She had been angry with you before, but she agrees to help you. You’ll be grateful you have friends like her. You don’t particularly like AA, but you’re not sure what else to do. It won’t end up helping you at all, but that’s another story for another one of us.

As you get to know the boy better, he’ll start slowly pawning you off on his roommate. You’re not sure why. When you ask him to do something to help you at your new apartment or even just to hang out, there’s always an excuse. He tells you to talk to his roommate. Then, one night after the boy has gone to bed, you’ll stay up all night talking to the roommate. You’ll be more honest with him than you’ve been with anyone in a long time. You’ll find out later that you were the first one he’d been that honest with in a long time. Then, in 24 hours, things really go to hell. You’ll be fired for what you think, and I totally agree, is an unjust reason. That night will be the first night you consider killing yourself. You’ll call your sponsor. No answer. You’ll call the boy. No answer. Finally, you’ll call the roommate. You’ll ask him to come over. You won’t tell him why, just that you don’t want to be alone. He’ll come over and stay with you for most of the night. He’ll tell you no. He’s the first one to tell you no. That will stick with you. He’ll be the one to ask the right question.

He’ll walk with you to your first appointment. He’ll sit and wait for you. You’ll meet a woman who I still see today. You’ll see he’s the polar opposite of Will and that’s what you’ll love about him. He won’t force you, guilt you, or bully you into something you aren’t comfortable with. He definitely wouldn’t invite anyone to watch. He’ll be patient with you. You’ll learn to be more patient with yourself. I admit, I haven’t gotten to the point I want to be either. Patience is not our strong suit. What is our strong suit is bouncing back.

After you’re fired, you’ll look for any job. You’ll find them. It’s nothing fancy, just some seasonal work. The house you’re living in will be sold. You’ll have to move back in with our parents. You’ll be resentful and angry again. Anger is the common thread through all of this. I suppose it makes sense. Our 19 year old self was so deep in denial, it stands to reason that you would end up the angry one. You refuse to give up, though. In your mind, giving up means he won. You’ll refuse to let him win. Of all the times to care about winning and losing, this will work to your advantage. Our greatest strength may also be our greatest weakness, but right now, being stubborn is what you need right now.

I don’t hate you, even if you hate yourself right now. You’ll get better. I promise.

XOXO,
30 Year Old Emily

Of spelunking and old bad habits

Today is the final move out day. I ended up not having any help. It’s all on me. In the end, I think that will be good. I don’t have a lot of stuff really. I’m not taking any furniture. If I start crying, which I probably will, I can do it in peace. He agreed to not be there while I’m moving. That would make it about 50 million times harder. He’d insist on helping me and it would just feel weird overall. I’d rather him leave with my stuff there and come back with it gone. I’m not really much of a ninja, but this is about as close as I’m going to get. Though I suppose ninjas don’t warn you they’re coming so you have time to leave.

I didn’t end up chopping off all my hair, getting a new body modification, or changing my style this past week. I did get my hair recolored and got bangs. I haven’t had bangs since I was in middle school. I hated them because my mom made me get them because she has bangs & my hair mimicked hers (Dear God, don’t ever let me do that to my possible future daughters). These actually look cute. Now that my hair is long enough, I wear it in a ponytail pretty much every day. Bangs are more interesting than just “hello forehead!”. If you’re my friend on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the end result. My dad said I look like Anne Hathaway. I’ll take it.

What I did do this past week was catch myself trying to fall back into a bad habit. It was still in the formative stages, so it was easy to back out of it. Eventually there will have to be some hard and, likely pretty painful, truth telling. At least I’m capable of sharing it with someone else because I’ve already admitted it to myself. Because of this realization, I found myself trying to figure out what “focus on me” really means. I solicited many an opinion, if nothing else to find a place to start. The best I came up with was, as always, an image. I imagine myself staring down into a cave. I know there are really shiny, pretty crystals down there. They’re all kinds of colors and shapes. I’m just not sure where to stick my foot to take that first step down. My BFF preferred the hallway analogy with a bunch of doors. I chose to stick with my cave analogy because the word “spelunking” is just cooler than “walking”. I digress. My therapist suggested I look at things I want to work toward or things I’ve stopped doing because I was in a relationship.

*cricket cricket*

I have no idea. I tried to think of what I tell people when they ask me what my hobbies are. I still self identify as a dancer. Can’t remember the last time I went to a dance class. I like to write, which is accurate. I’ve been writing steadily every day for about a month now. I like to read. I think I’ve finished maybe 4 books in the past 6 months. There are a dozen others I’ve started, put down for some reason or another, and never picked up again. I know there’s no rush to figuring any of this out. I have nothing but time. I don’t need to take up alligator wrestling or platform diving to make myself more interesting at parties I never go to. I have spent a lot of time questioning what sort of path I’m on and if I’m really happy with it. When I went out with my friend last weekend, he asked something along the lines of ‘do you want to get married?’. I did that shake my head and smile thing when someone asks a question that you either think is stupid or you don’t want to answer. I fall into the latter category. I told him I’m not sure. He seemed a little surprised, then went back to making fun of our fellow patrons in the suburban Starbucks.

So I’m still staring down into the cave, trying to figure out where to put my foot. Maybe it’s like trying to find your keys. You give it the rage quit and all of a sudden realize they were in your purse the entire time. While I don’t think “rage quit” is an accurate term, it’s close enough. I’ll get tired of staring, wander off, then proverbially find the first step in my purse. I have the support I need. I have people who are willing to sit with me next to the entrance while I try and figure it out. They may even offer suggestions, but leave it up to me whether I go that way or not. That’s what friends are for.

XOXO!

Of Letters and Our Former Selves

Dear 19 Year Old Emily,

Firstly, please don’t blame yourself for what I’m going to tell you. It’s not your fault. You were doing the best you could with what you had. There’s no fault in that.

He’ll be your first. You’ll be his first. He’ll be the first one to tell you that he loves you. You’ll tell him that you love him back.That’s how these things go. You’ll slowly lose everything you care about because that’s what Good Girlfriends do. Theater will be gone. Dance will be gone. Before you know it, your life will revolve around him. Then you’ll take a step back and think maybe you should end it with him. You’ll choose not to because all of your friends are dating all of his friends. You don’t want to lose your friends, so you decide to stick around. All of his friends will marry all of your friends, so you’ll lose them anyway. You’ll just lose them later than you thought. You’ll find yourself doing things you don’t want to, like drinking, because that’s what Good Girlfriends do. Good Girlfriends go along with their boyfriends because, somehow, their boyfriends know better than they do. They don’t. You’ll want to say something, but choose not to. It’s easier to not speak up. You’ll just take the drink. It’s easier to keep doing things and slowly getting used to them. You’ll forget that you didn’t really want to do them in the first place.

You won’t remember the exact date and neither do I. You will remember what happened. As usual, by that point, you’ll be mostly drunk. He’ll decide, for whatever reason, he wants one of his friends to come watch you two. At first you agree because that’s what drunk Good Girlfriends do. Then you’ll change your mind. You’ll tell him no. He doesn’t listen. He lets his friend keep watching. Instead of fighting back, you’ll just lie there. It’s easier. Don’t blame yourself for always taking the easy way out. You don’t know any better. That’s okay. You’ll fake it, just to get him off you and get his friend out of the room. To add insult to injury, his friend will tell you both that it didn’t really do anything for him. You’ll feel humiliated for no reason. There’s a word for what happens that night.

Rape.

You said stop and he refused to listen. As time goes on, you’ll start to hurt yourself. You’d gotten a few piercings here and there, but nothing terribly exotic. You figured you were in college so why not get your belly button pierced (that’s what all girls do, right?) and more piercings in your ears. The piercings will get more extreme. You’ll get your nipples pierced just out of spite. He said he didn’t like girls who had their nipples pierced. I can see now what you were trying to do, even if you can’t. You want to break up with him, but you don’t want to be the one to pull the plug. So you start doing little things like that to push him into doing it for you. Then, one morning your senior year, you’ll wake up and decide to get a tattoo. Before that day is over, you’ll have your first tattoo. Then you’ll get another. And another. And another. You’ll graduate. He’ll move back home. He doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend any more, but he still wants you to visit so that he can still prove to himself that you’re at his beck and call. Eventually, it will end. Your pain won’t. You’ll just keep hurting yourself. You’ll drink too much. You’ll sleep with anyone. You’ll get more tattoos. A part of you will know something is wrong, but you won’t be able to quite put your finger on it. Then he’ll call you.

He’ll ask you to go to lunch with him. He’s in town with his new girlfriend and wants to see if you were free. You’ll agree to go just to prove you’re “over him”. It won’t work. He’ll just tell you how great his life is now. He’ll tell you all about his new girlfriend. He’ll point out that’s she’s a redhead just like you are. He’s got the upper hand and he knows it. It will end up making things worse rather than better. I don’t blame you for trying. Again, you don’t know what else to do.

You’ll kick yourself for not having your shit together. For what it’s worth, I don’t have my shit together. I’m not perfect. I’m not who you think you’ll be when you’re my age. You think you’ll be married, just like all your friends are doing. You’ll wish you had been thrown in the pond, too. Trust me when I say that had you gone through with what you thought you wanted, you’d be divorced. I want you to know, in the end, you made the right choice. It won’t feel like it at the time. You’ll feel left out. You’ll feel like you screwed up along the way. There are days I still feel left out. Then there are the days where I question if what I’m supposed to do is what I really want to do. You scoff at me, but you’ll get there. Again, a little tiny part of you has always questioned if what is supposed to happen is really the best thing for you. You’ll do the right thing for the wrong reasons and the wrong thing for the right reasons. You and I are the same. We like to remind ourselves, even in a tiny way, that we aren’t the kind of girl (woman) who does what’s expected of us. You just take it to a little more of an extreme than I do. That’s okay. You’re still a teenager. Though there are days I still feel like a teenager, too.

I know what I’ve said is upsetting. I know what I’ve told you is more than a little hard to swallow. You’ll get through it. I promise you will. You’re smart. You’re tenacious. While what I’ve told you mostly about what you’ve lost, I want you to see what you’ve gained. I don’t want to spoil the surprises and the breakthroughs you’ll have. I know you hate surprises, but these are worth the wait.

I love you, even if you don’t.

XOXO,

30 Year Old Emily