so, about those lies I told … here’s a little more of the story. when I went to journalism school at Kent State University, there was some mention here and there that it would “change me,” that the “liberal media” would consume my brain and make me into “one of them.” I didn’t even know what that meant at the time, and to be honest, I didn’t care. it seemed ridiculous. but sure. yeah. whatever. I scoffed at the idea that ANYONE or ANYTHING could change me. I didn’t pay that much attention to the nonsense, really. this is me, this is what I want to do. and hell, I really wanted nothing more than to edit copy and write headlines. I wasn’t going to entrench myself into the reporter lifestyle. I wasn’t out to change the world or even report about someone else’s crusade. that wasn’t me. ever. I was more of a behind-the-scenes kind of girl. always was and still am. so yeah … I went to college for many (many) years. but the “changing” didn’t occur until later. way later. things changed once I had kids (surprise!). things changed when I finally found the courage to be who I am. which is where the “lies” come into my story. the lies were centered around who I really am and what I believe vs. what outward message I gave to the world. you see, it took a long time for me to realize that the way you are raised really does influence and mold you … in more ways than you can ever imagine … at least until you’re older and have the courage to say “screw it. I’m ready to live my life for me.” I realized the things that I thought were important really aren’t and that there are some serious issues with many of the beliefs I thought were mine. but they weren’t mine at all. they were a part of me because I wanted to be the person I thought everyone wanted me to be. but it wasn’t me. it’s not me. and I lied to so many people, including myself. I played the act all the way through. did becoming a “liberal journalist” change me? did it “ruin” me? no. hell no. did I possibly have all those beliefs in me all along? did they surface only because I found the courage to allow the real me to shine through? who knows why things happen. but it was tiring to play the game. and it has been so unbearably difficult to become the woman I am today because I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to hurt feelings. I don’t want to name names. I don’t want to be the black sheep. but guess what? I am. and I guess it’s OK. well, some days I feel strong enough to take on that role. other days, I want to cry and make all the noise go away. just know this: sometimes life is hard. and pretending to be something or someone you are not only makes it harder. I grew up on a quiet road in rural Pennsylvania. I shot guns and sometimes killed frogs and ate their legs. I don’t know who that person is anymore. well, at least parts of her are a bit foggy. now I live in the city. I think guns should be seriously regulated and I think it’s horrendous to kill frogs and eat their legs. I have very strong beliefs and feelings. I think we should rely on scientific facts. I think a woman should be allowed to do with her body what she wants. I think we should all look out for each other. I want universal health care. I think war sucks. I respect our police and soldiers, but also think we go into regions and areas we have no business in and we sometimes flaunt military-style fleets in small towns that makes us seem like the bully. I think it should be OK for me to say all of that and I think it doesn’t change a damn thing. I am still me. I still love with all my heart and cry easily. I still call my mom and I still want what’s best for my babies. it’s just that now? now I want what’s best for EVERYONE’S babies. that’s the difference.