Monday, October 3, 2011

Who I Am: A Story in 10 Parts

Y'all remember that “25 Things” meme that was going around facebook a few years back? You had to write out 25 random things about you and then tag 25 people in your note?

I've decided to do that tonight, albeit an abbreviated version. Although ultimately, all my posts come back to sex/abstinence, not all future subjects will relate so obviously. By sharing with y'all 10 things about me, you'll have a better idea of who I am, why this blog is important to me, and where my ideas are coming from.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, 10 things.

1. I am in my 20s, and I have never been in love. I have never had a boyfriend. Before meeting man friend, I had never even come close to having a boyfriend, although I had had a handful of complicated liaisons. Most people discover this about me, and they are shocked. I am always torn between feeling flattered and insulted. I'm glad that you think I'm awesome enough that you think guys should be throwing themselves at me... but I'm not totally okay with the fact that you feel as though there's something wrong with still being single at my age. Because I don't. I think it means I'm discerning, not that I'm undesirable.

Edit 10/23/2011: As of 10/16/2011, I have had a boyfriend. Man friend officially leveled up. :) 

Edit 01/28/2012: I meant to adjust this earlier. The boyfriend & I first said "I love you" on Thanksgiving 2011.

2. My religious and spiritual beliefs are complicated. I am certain of very few things when it comes to God. One, I believe in an Ultimate Being, my Creator, who I call God, who made me and loves me. Two, I believe God is beyond gender or sex, and we only refer to God with masculine pronouns because of the patriarchal time period in which the Bible was written. Personally, I use feminine pronouns with God because the English language lacks a gender-neutral pronoun worthy of Her. Three, I believe Jesus is the Son of God, He came to Earth to teach us about love, and He died for our sins so that we may one day ascend into heaven.

Beyond that, I have no idea. I feel as though all religions have truth to them. I think the ultimate religion is to love. I think we have to figure out our own moral compasses and abide by our own consciences. What's okay for me might not be okay for you and vice versa. I think it's hypocritical to judge anyone for their actions. What I'm about to say really won't sit well with conservative Christians, but I don't think that Jesus is the only way to heaven. I think accepting Him as your savior is the only surefire way to heaven, but not necessarily the only path available to us. I feel as though I learn just as much about religion and spirituality when I read Susan Cooper, C.S. Lewis, and Madelaine L'Engle as when I read the Bible... if not more. I am constantly seeking what is True, what is Beautiful, what is Good. When I die and meet my Maker, I am confident that I will be able to say I did my best in this life. I faltered, I stumbled, I made mistakes, but I tried, I learned, and most importantly, I loved.

3. As part of my complicated religious and spiritual beliefs, I don't believe that premarital sex is a sin. I have studied the Bible, although I have yet to read it cover-to-cover, and nowhere in the Bible does it state that sex before marriage is a sin. That guideline is an extrapolation from other verses about not committing adultery and not having lust in your heart. Frankly, for most of history the Church didn't care if men had sex. A woman's virginity was valued less for biblical reasons and more because she was property. My choosing to save myself for marriage has nothing to do with my religious beliefs and everything to do with my personal desire to save my virginity as a gift for my husband.

4. Words are important to me. I know I tweet about Words With Friends and Scrabble constantly, but my love of words is more than that. I want to paint you a picture with my words. I want you to see what I see, to feel what I feel.

Names are important to me. Naming something gives it power, gives it significance. I love my name. I wish I could share it with y'all, but frequent google searches indicate that I am one of three people in this country, possibly the world, with the combination of my first and last name. Any modicum of anonymity I have left would be smashed to smithereens. My name is beautiful. My first name is for my maternal grandmother, my middle name is for my paternal grandmother, and my last name is my father's. When I get married one day, I want to keep my last name. Not only that, but I want my first daughter to take both my first and last name. (Don't worry; I already have an equally beautiful nickname picked out for her so that she can maintain her individuality). Some people think I'm crazy when I say this... but if a man were to say the same thing about his first son, would your reaction be the same? Or completely supportive?

5. Homosexuality is not a sin. Love is love and should never be sullied by hate. If you adamantly disagree with me, fine, I probably won't change your mind. This topic will be its own post one day, so I'll leave you just with this. If you believe homosexuality is a sin, you ought to believe premarital sex is a sin. Odds are, you're engaging in that, so who are you to judge the LGBTQ community?

6. I'm incredibly comfortable with my body and will display it without thinking twice. Sometimes I wish we could all go back to Eden (which I recognize as a creation metaphor, but go with me here) and walk around the garden, naked and unashamed. My body is beautiful, and I don't mind it being appreciated. I do believe there is a difference between appreciation and objectification. I realize that I can't control men's thoughts or actions towards me, but I don't think it's my responsibility to hide who I am to make their lives easier.

My body isn't perfect. I have stretch marks from childhood, one of the few outward signs of Crohn's disease and the weight gain that was beyond my control... and a much better option than slowly starving to death. My stomach has always been curved, even when I was grossly underweight and even when I was in amazing shape. I wear glasses and refuse to even consider contacts. My nose is slightly off-center.

But I've embraced my body. I've embraced my imperfections. I think I'm beautiful because of my flaws, not in spite of them.

7. May 5, 2011 changed my life forever. That was the first time I ever admitted my last deep, dark secret to one of my best friends. I finally openly accepted who I was inside, and the next few days were some of the best, most free days of my life. But the rest of the summer was spent in tears as I tried to figure out how to come to terms with who I am. Because I can't go back to the scared little girl I was before, the one who always felt on the outside of things, the one who used her sweet and innocent facade to survive southern conservatism, the one who could only embrace the socially-acceptable aspects of her incredibly complex personality.

Eleven people know now. Eight of my best friends, one of their boyfriends who's like a brother to me, Ron, and man friend. Careful readers may have figured it out already. ;) I'll probably tell y'all about it... eventually. Another reason why I had to start a separate, anonymous blog/twitter/email. I don't think most of my friends and family will accept me anymore. Sure, they'll still love me, but they'll never look at me the same way again. And that thought kills me inside, daily, as it has for seven years now.

Edit 08/30/2012: As of 07/29/2012, I finally admitted to my blog readers and twitter followers that I'm bisexual. It feels incredibly freeing to write this. I just wish I could tell my family and my friends at home as easily as I told the Internet.

8. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to help people. I want to know that I matter. I want to make people happy. I want to bring a smile to someone's face. I want to inspire, to educate, to lead by example. I know this blog only garners a tiny bit of traffic, but that's okay. If I can reach out to just one person, then I've made a difference. And that will bring a smile to my face.

9. I strongly believe in the five languages of love: gift-giving, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, and acts of service. For example, I'm words of affirmation, and my college roommate is gift-giving. It's important to learn not just your own, but also the language of the people you love. More on this later.

10. I have grown way too attached to my followers on twitter, although this shouldn't be a surprise. I've had another blog for years, since high school, in fact, and I've developed genuine relationships with people I've 'met' there. Some of them I have had the pleasure of meeting in real life, and, because it truly is a small world, I now live just a few towns over from one of them!

So maybe it sounds crazy or cheesy or insincere, but I've actually come to care about the people with whom I interact on twitter. I like reading y'all's tweets. I love reading y'all's blogs. I'm curious to learn more about y'all.

There you are. 10 things about me. All the cards on the table. I can handle being a walking oxymoron. The question is:

Can you?


  1. As a fellow virgin in her 20s, I just wanted to say that I love your blog! I'm a bit more conservative than you, but still deal with the walking oxymoron situation as apparently one is not supposed to be able to go out and have fun as a virgin. =p

  2. I'm so glad you like my blog! I had to accept years ago that I probably wouldn't find many people out there quite like me. I was the most liberal in my on-campus church group and the most conservative in my on-campus feminist group. But they all loved me anyway. :)

    Also, yes, virgins can totally throw down! One of my fellow virgins and I always tore up the dance floor when we went clubbing in Paris. We just didn't go home with the guys who hit on us. ;)

  3. Just came across your blog via the I Saw Your Nanny blog (you commented on a post recently). I can't stop reading what you write. Great stuff! Keep it up!

  4. Thank you! I'm so glad you're enjoying it. :)

  5. Wow, I feel like you're writing about me! I'm also a 20-something virgin, also brought up religiously, but don't connect with it in the conventional sense, I love words, I have nothing against premarital sex or homosexuality...everything I've read here, I can completely relate to. Thanks for being so open and sharing such personal stuff - it's reassuring to know that you're not alone. :)

    1. Ahhhh, thank you! Comments like this remind me that I'm not totally crazy. It's so rewarding to hear that what I'm saying resonates with someone else. I love being unique, but I also enjoy being understood. Thanks for reading!

  6. Is it lame that I keep reading all of your posts and tearing up because they are so relatable?

    1. Not lame at all! I'm glad you can relate to me. :)


Thanks for reading and commenting!

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Comments are moderated because I receive a lot of spam, and I think CAPTCHA is annoying. I reply to most of your comments within the comment section because it inspires discussion between readers. For first-time commenters, I try to reply by email.

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