this post is a long time in the making. and I’m fairly certain I’m not ready to write it. and I also know that it will take on several directions, and several posts, before I feel I’ve told the story. and even then, I won’t have told it well. if it goes on and on, I apologize. editors almost always find it impossible to edit their own words. but cut me some slack, would ya? it’s a story 41 years in the making. it has many chapters. it’s a story of me finding me, and not being scared or intimidated or embarrassed of the person I found. or, should I say, the person I now admit I always was. it’s also a little about discovering the person other people see me as, and how that differs or is similar to the person I see in the mirror. it’s likely to be about all those things and more. it’s a little about being born and raised in rural western Pennsylvania, surrounded by rolling hills, cows, farmers and woods. and that’s about all. well, all of that and three sisters, two parents, the occasional rabbit hopping around the house, a mix of dogs and sometimes bats, snakes, mice and flying squirrels. those were in the house, too. not all at once. just enough to scare the living hell out of me. we played in the woods. we explored and pulled vines off of trees and collected stones from the creek behind our house. my younger sister lost her Swatch watch in those woods, not long after she’d gotten it. I teased her and was so angry at her for that. I have no idea why I was so mean to her. always. anyway. this is about all of that and more. learning to drive. learning to shoot a gun. learning to fish. learning to read, even. all happened there. tucked away in the woods. no neighbors within screaming distance. and we did a lot of that. nobody heard. it was just innocent sibling fighting. and the occasional crazy boyfriend of my older sister. but mostly, we were happy nestled back in there, away from everyone. it was a simple enough life. one that is so far removed from the six lanes of traffic I battle every day, to and from work. today, it took me almost 90 minutes to drive about 18 miles. I didn’t even move for about 30 of those. another 30, I crawled. when I learned to drive, avoiding Amish buggies, deer and fox was about the worst we had to face. and I’m sad to report, two of those fox didn’t make it. I still feel horrible about it, too. but this story is going to be about how I got from there to here. and what discoveries I made along the way. because it’s only been a couple of years that I’ve been more open about the lies I told, the false fronts I displayed. I’m not happy about it. I’m embarrassed about that part. not about who I am today, but of a few of the decisions I made to get here. I lied. I lied to family and friends. I lied to myself. and this is going to be a way for me to try to put into words just how it all came down.

disclaimer: it may be a while until I write about this again. it’s taken years to get this far. but I’m working on it. it’s swirling. when I do come back to this topic, I will tag this series #watchmeasilookinthemirror. stay tuned. and if you’re here, thanks. i appreciate you.

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