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Letters

Take a Step off the Island You Created For Yourself (Anonymous)

Posted by Alyssa.fenix on July 8, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Dear self,

 

Be patient. I know you want to get out of the middle of nowhere and be anywhere else, but just try to trust that you will and make the best of where you are in the meantime.

 

Don't mistake teen angst for a desire to quit the basketball team senior year, because you were the captain, and you worked hard to get there, and people were counting on you. No one was forcing you to do anything you hadn't already willingly given up so much to get!

 

Don't worry, you'll end up in NYC, and you'll feel free and independent and unafraid, and it turns out getting everything you ever wanted is about the worst thing that's going to happen to you as far as your personal well-being is concerned. If you could just relax, and be a little less suspicious of everyone and everything, high school will be easier, and you might make better choices if you look at college as more of a ""moving on"" than an all out ""escape.""

 

Also, you should trust your family more. True, they didn't really know what to say or do when you came out, but you were pretty aggressive and prematurely defensive. You didn't even give them a chance support you. For example, you didn't know all the awesome stuff your brothers did to stick up for you until much later. If you'd just taken one step off the island you created for yourself you would have found opportunities to connect with your family almost two decades earlier than it ended up taking.

 

Because I promise, in spite of yourself, you turn out OK. You have a wonderful, beautiful, hilarious wife and a gorgeous, elvish little girl (both of whom are obsessed with Star Wars...something you were afraid to like when the ""cool kids"" were looking). You've worked to get here. All that independent freedom during college meant college took a lot longer (and a state-to-state move) than you thought, but it turns out you were better at it while also working full time. You still work hard, but now your boss is barely two years old and you don't have anymore paid vacation or sick time.

 

The relationships you have with your family now are always evolving and not always perfect, but the potential for this was there so long ago, if you'd only thought to look. It was never going to be easy, but if you'd started listening and trusting a little earlier, you might have avoided some pretty painful years. 

Categories: Coming Out, Relationships

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