Is this brave? Yes. Is this terrifying? Yep. Will this change my life? Completely. Today is National Coming Out Day. My decision was not easy but it freed me. I found happiness so deeply and in a way I didn’t know was possible. Am I judged? Always. Is it worth it? Yes.

National Coming Out Day is a day to talk about coming out. It’s not a day you must make the decision to come out to family and/or friends. For me, it wasn’t a planned thing. I was too scared to face it and plan it. I’m still nervous to talk about it every day.

I’m the type of person who wants everyone to like me. When someone doesn’t like me based on any decision I’ve made (both within and out of my control) – I spiral. That’s something I’m still working on. Even now, I haven’t planned what I’m writing, I’m just writing. This whole time I’m imagining you reading my honest words hoping you aren’t judging me. I’ll keep writing, though, because this is my life. This is me. All of me. I want to share my life with you and welcome you into mine.

I was married to a man for a long time. It just didn’t work out. We both knew it. We agreed that we wouldn’t continue to live the life we were living. Once we were both able to move forward toward what we wanted, that’s when I found my true self. That’s when I decided that I couldn’t look the other way and I deserved to feel my genuine self – no matter what the response was. I have a little boy and am now in a committed, loving relationship. I’m happy. Like, to the core kind of happy. We are there for each other and know the challenges of life and what’s ahead. Happiness (and love) wins every time. When we are all at home in our quiet place, my heart grows exponentially.

The way I told my family wasn’t the best way I could have done it. I had been dating my girlfriend for a little while so I assumed everyone knew. Maybe this was my way of not having to make it official. I never understood why anyone would have to come out. What’s the point? What I’m learning is the reason for coming out is just so you can say, out loud, that this is who you are. I texted my mom. Not the right way. She didn’t know. I hurt her feelings and she had a hard time with it. The news wasn’t the tough part, it was that I acted so casually about it. After over a year, my brother still feels it’s a phase. That’s something I have to accept.

 

 

Only recently have I felt comfortable posting pictures of my genuine life. This process is also more an acceptance of myself and realizing that I don’t have to make everyone happy (still a struggle). I’m still the me I have always been – just honest. I’m creative, I geek out over the holidays, I attempt Pinterest crafts more than I should, I love hosting parties, I can still plan a pretty perfect wedding, I obsess over Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Zac Efron and I feel so extremely lucky that my job doesn’t feel like a job. I’m lucky. The difference: I’m not hiding.

On this #NationalComingOutDay, I encourage acceptance. This is hard for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bi, trans, queer – whatever – we all have our struggles when it comes to acceptance.

I know I’m not breaking any ground, here, and this could be selfish but this post was meant for just me and you. I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to let you in. Regardless of whether or not you knew, I hope you’ll continue to accept me as I am. I promise to do the same for you. Always.

Thank you for accepting me as I am. Thank you for celebrating in finding happiness. Thanks for listening.