The power of your voice

I was 16. I had liked the same boy for almost 3 years.

Liked in fact may have been an understatement.

Finally finding the nerves to share the unthinkable, I approached him after gym class and  told him how much I liked him.

This was the 2nd time in fact that I shared my deep, pure interest and luckily enough for me, the very butch gym teacher stood and watched us the entire time.

#awesome

I was clearly very cool and apparently, persistent.

All I wanted to do was love him, care for him and help him.

He suffered from chronic headaches; I wanted to relieve him of such pain.

He had a bad relationship with his dad and I wanted to show him true love.

I was 16.

As I tried to fit years worth of love into the less than 3 minutes that in-between-periods-allotted us, I tried to  express the most persuasive, honest and powerful words I could to show my sincerity and hope that he would state what I felt in my heart was true, that he reciprocated.

I stood there in awkward silence, now realizing my habit of pursuing men was where my first sales training really began.

And he began, as many of them would throughout the years,

"I am so flattered. And I love you, as a friend."

Exposed, exhilarated, sad.

But stronger.

Greater clarity.

Years later, when I was now in a fully committed relationship (with someone else) and more in love than I knew what to do with, he would take me out to dinner and I would think about the days of confessed love in a hot gymnasium with questionable onlookers.

The irony is that despite what may happen, I can't seem to not be honest, to not share my vision and sense of love with people, regardless of their lack of reciprocity.

Expressing these truths have set me free.

Feeling the vulnerability that comes almost immediately from sharing such intimacy and learning to navigate what comes afterwards, hoping it won't' be awkward, hoping they won't dislike you and wondering, if even on some small level that they feel the same, brings you to womanhood.

In every truth I've spoken, I've grown. And through growth comes liberty.