Something happened when I was notified that my essay was selected as a finalist. I was standing on the subway platform waiting for the train—the downtown D—when I got the email. I had the sudden realization, which hadn't at all occurred to me at any point in the submission process, that the most intimate details of my dating life would be published online and available for all to read. For a split second I wondered if stepping casually in front of the oncoming train would remedy the complete embarrassment and shame of feeling so exposed by my piece being published online.
Of course I know better.
Of course I know that vulnerability paves a path to truth.
Of course I know that openness and honesty are all we can really ask of each other.
Of course I know that whoever reads this piece will form an opinion of me—whether they know me or not—and I have little to no control over what that opinion is.
There's hurt and pain in this essay. And utter humiliation. And also delight, joy, surprise. The full spectrum of emotion. I offered the best of myself in this piece and was rewarded.
Thank you to the editors at DontTalkToMeAboutLove for offering a platform for truth.
Here it is—it's called "Giving Myself To It." Enjoy.