Hello, my name is Lauren. I’m from California-born and raised. In recent years, particularly these past two, I have learned more about myself then I really bargained for. Coming out to friends and family is by no means easy, but the gratification received from doing so is truly incredible. Removing myself from my comfort zone that consisted of lies and deceit mainly directed towards those I loved most was unbelievably challenging. The thought of family and friends harboring feelings of disappointment and disgust skewed my ability to be myself, and to ultimately ‘choose me’. During my young adolescence I felt different. I knew that liking a girl was not socially acceptable in the eyes of many especially the overly religious. Well shoot, seems as though I was doomed from the beginning as I had been attending my exceedingly religious school since kindergarten. Teachers, friends, and peers all looked up to me. They saw me as this perfect student athlete that could do no wrong. Little did they know the real me locked up by my fear of letting these people down. Senior year I finally realized that it was time to choose me and disregard all of these fears and finally live my life, well, for me.
I have my wonderful and beautiful girlfriend to thank for that. She revealed to me the true essence of life. You can’t love life until you learn to love yourself. It is essential to be comfortable in your own skin and to learn to love yourself regardless of what people may say or think. Being locked up in your own body is not the way life is meant to be lived. Life is beautiful but it is even more beautiful when you are being true to yourself and those around you.
I met a sweet girl a year, and seven months ago. She would soon invite me to join her on a tedious but worthwhile two-year journey. We met just as I had graduated high school; meanwhile she was a sophomore in college. Not just any sophomore in college, a sophomore at a college that was 3,000 miles away. For nine months out of the year all that stands in between us is a five-hour plane ride and a five hundred dollar ticket-I use to think that love had no price tag, but I soon found out otherwise. Although there exists mountains and valleys and rivers and more mountains and valleys and rivers separating us, we have made it. She will be graduating in the spring and returning home so that we can start a new chapter of our relationship.
Moral of the story, or I guess of both stories, is be yourself and love who you are. Live life to the fullest; don’t live life tucked away pretending to be someone you are not. One of the most valuable aspects of life is time, it comes and goes like the wind, so don’t waste by lying to yourself and those around you. Be confidant in who you are and embrace the world with open arms. Oh, and long distance relationships DO work you just have to work hard and believe. So for all you ladies out there who are contemplating coming out, get out there and do it, start living your life. And for you ladies who feel me with the long distance relationship, God bless you its not easy, but it’s worth it!
– “And care not what others think, embrace the day, cherish each moment, by being yourself and exploring the depths of life entirely, seizing fully the essence of life, and loving every moment while doing so.”