Tonight, my oldest child walked into my bedroom after I got out of the shower. He nonchalantly told me he was glad that he heard me singing in there again. He told me he’s missed it. I asked him what he meant and he said, “I always know you’re really happy when you play music and sing so loud.”
I didn’t even realize I stopped. I mean, I knew that the extra effort to connect the speaker and pick a few songs hasn’t felt necessary lately. Mostly because I usually hold my exhausted body up by leaning against the shower wall at 10pm just long enough to wash my hair and ass before crawling into bed for a few hours of restless sleep.
I really can’t remember the last time I sang in there.
I have spent the last few years, specifically the last year, consumed by deconstructing every single thing I’ve ever known to be true. My religion. My sexuality. My relationships. I’ve always done what I thought was expected of me and then I ended up having to fix the brokenness that came in the aftermath of not meeting those expectations.
Those expectations were bullshit. Glennon Doyle said, “when a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.” And when I read those words, it was like a switch flipped. I stopped caring about making everyone else happy and focused on my own happiness.
I decided just to stop giving a fuck about what people expect from me.
In the last month, I “came out” on social media and immediately felt the effects. I worked at a preschool in a church that preaches loving people where they are, but sends pastors to “come alongside you” while you try to pray your gay away. I quit my job there, even though it meant having to leave kids and their families who have become like my own. The next morning I woke up with this overwhelming sense of relief that I wasn’t expecting but that simultaneously brought contentment and broke my heart.
I felt free to finally be authentically myself for the first time in my entire life.
And you know what? The God that I believe in created me to be this person and still loves me unconditionally.
Just a year ago, some of the words spoken to me in the last month would have absolutely broken me. Instead, I’ve found so much happiness.
So basically, what I’m saying is that Glennon was right. Don’t be afraid to do the hard things. Quit the job. Date the human that makes you happy. Be authentically yourself. Choose the joy.