I have never believed I was an attractive girl. Why? Because I felt proof was handed to me. I didn’t date in school and it seemed no one was interested in me. Did I try? No. The more I believed no one was interested, the more I retreated into my shell.

Eventually, feeling this way would lead to anxiety. Every day of my senior year, I had to leave school right after lunch because math class was coming up and I knew my stomach would hurt. Our minds are powerful things. My thoughts were strong enough to make my body hurt. I’d call someone to come get me and then return to school for chorus class. Singing; that always made things better.

Since jr. high, I had a new girl crush every year. I always believed or told myself that I just wanted them to be my friend. I’d shake and get nervous as I asked them to sign my yearbook.

When I entered my twenties, I attempted to date men. I couldn’t figure out why I was really never a fit with any of them. My first kiss was at age 22; it was nothing terribly exciting except that I had finally had that experience.

It wasn’t until age 34 that I came out to my family and close friends. I am 36 now. Being with a woman for the first time was what finally showed me who I was and what I wanted. It was the greatest feeling.

I’m still learning how to navigate relationships. I’m still learning to fully love and accept myself.

I am a yogi, a musician, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a dog mom, a massage therapist, and I’m gay.

This story of amazing growth was shared by a human named Emily!

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