I Picked Me -- Finally

Name: Rachel Hodge
Pronouns: She/Her
Instagram: rachelmhodge

The youngest of four. Oldest brother has autism. Mother was a single parent. Picked on for being tall, having a lazy eye, being smart, having a brace face, and played sports with all the boys. I felt like I was always out to defend–wait no–prove myself. To who? Well, that’s where I think my story lives. Ask me about anything I have ever done, and I guarantee the reason I am doing it is NOT for myself.

Those solly-sob-gone-glow-up stories are for anyone who wants to talk. The story I want to share is the time I finally did something for me. It was the day I decided to switch that toggle on Hinge to swipe on both males and females. It’s the day I felt brave enough to swipe on my first female. It’s the day I messaged my first match. It’s the day I decided to sneak out at midnight for a 45-minute drive to go meet that match. It’s the fact that I was 45 minutes early because I was so excited to meet her. It’s how we agreed to be friends with benefits over text, but quickly realized that was never going to happen once we met. It’s the day I just ripped the bandaid off and told all of my friends that I was bisexual. It’s the fact that my brothers and sister-in-law were more supportive than I could have imagined. It’s the day I grabbed her face and asked her to be my girlfriend. It’s the struggle I endured to feel confident enough to live my truth and not care what anyone else thinks.

I picked me. I finally did what made me happy. It is now one whole year later, and we have moved in together. We have a dog. Go follow him on Instagram! His name is Lucius (@luciuslittlepaws). We are doing very adult tasks like having our patio redone or building sheds. We want to get married. We have plans to start a family. We have supported each other’s endeavors to be happier at work, with our own families, and with our other relationships. I shed a toxic friend from my life with her support. I battled my inner demons with my ADD and anger management because of her. She was there when I was furloughed in April. She was there when I found out I have celiacs.

If there’s anything I can tell anyone reading this, it’s to pick yourself. Stop thinking about how your decisions are going to make others happy if they don’t make you happy. Do something small every day. Practice it. Actually say what you want for dinner. Actually say no to plans. Actually wear what you want to wear and not what others want you to wear.

I picked me–finally.

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