Looking back on my life, I realize that I’ve never been normal, and I see now how extraordinary that is. My partner found my journal from when I was 13 years old and encouraged me to put this out there as it is very open, very true, and something I think everyone who is finding themselves should read.
As I held my old journal from that time, I nervously opened it to re-read it. My hands were shaking as I opened to a story I knew well. A story of self-discovery. I was afraid to re-live the excitement and heartbreak of it again, as I knew all too well how it was going to end.
You see, in the pages of this journal is where I wrote about being confused and afraid until I finally accepted myself and became confident in my relationship with a girl. The girl, however, Sara, never really got too comfortable being with me. At the time, she couldn’t accept how society might see her. But who can blame her? We were so young.
Here’s our story. Though it doesn’t necessarily end happily for us together, it helped shape who I am as a person, and it helped me grow comfortable with myself. I know it did the same for Sara, too.
As I began to read my old story, I appreciated what it had to offer, so I trudged through and read the first excerpt I found about my confusion. Who was I? Clearly, I was unsure. It seemed like the usual story of a teen trying to find herself, but then it progressed from there. It was clear, originally, that I was too afraid to confess to myself that I had feelings for a girl, so the entries were very masked. But they quickly became more and more open.
Where do I go from here? That’s what I ask myself sometimes. I am: Lost; A Christian; Confused; A Teen. I don’t like life at times.
I am so confused. I can’t stand my step dad. I want to live with my dad, but I don’t want to hurt my mom or my step dad’s feelings. I love and believe in God and am devoted to him, but I am also very confused about myself and my feelings.
To my mom- I’ve always been a momma’s girl, but we’ve separated a lot lately, and it’s because of David. I can’t tell you a lot about myself now. I will be a problem for you. I would be in trouble, but the rules have changed, and I’m a teenager. Though I still love you, I find it hard to think that you will understand me when you find out the feelings that I’ve been having.
I am confused once again. I’ll start with this: Sara and I got into a discussion today about how we would react if we had a friend who was gay or if a friend were in love with us. Or if that were you, how could you tell them?
I’m just going to open up and be less cryptic. I discovered two weeks ago that I wasn’t sure about my sexual identity. It’s horrible- not to know at all. I think I could be falling in love for the first time in my life but with my best friend…a girl. And it’s scary. I even think she feels the same way. The way we act around each other is so touchy; it’s indescribable. What’s happening to me? What’s going on? That’s all I can really say right now. I guess it’s silly. I’ll probably look back on this and laugh or make fun of myself, but I do know one thing: no matter what, right now, Sara is my best friend, and that will never change. My heart wouldn’t let it.
I’m never understood. My mom occasionally does understand me, but David NEVER could. I have to love him, but sometimes I hate that. As far as Sara, what is life without love? I’ll tell you. It’s a lonely mess. And life with love is confusing.
Do I really love Sara? Who knows.
Okay, I really do love God, and I am a Christian. I’ve heard from my mother and step father that you go to Hell if you are gay, but I really don’t think that’s true. I really might be in love with Sara, and I can’t help it. I don’t want to betray God, but she kissed me on the head today, and I melted. But why would God create us this way if it were wrong? It doesn’t feel wrong, and I can’t imagine it being so.
I think it’s true. I think Sara likes me. She hugged me for a full minute in the hall, and we were holding hands during play practice. She grabbed my hand, told me it felt right, and kissed me on the cheek.
Sara and I went to a dance last night. As our friends were dancing with boys, we sat out. She looked at me and told me that it would be better to date a girl than a boy because girls understand each other better. She went on about how she’d prefer to date girls. I agreed and laughed. Then, the last dance of the night, the 5th slow dance (as I recall), Sara and I slow danced together. I think I really love her. I don’t know if we are considering going out or taking it further, but I know that dancing with her felt right.
1. A strong attachment, affection, or devotion for a person or persons
2. A strong liking for or interest in something
3. A strong passionate affection for someone of the opposite sex
These are the top three definitions of love in the dictionary today.
My thoughts on love now that I’m sure I’ve experienced it:
I agree with the first definition which states that love is a strong attachment, affection, or devotion to a person. I don’t agree at all with the third definition. It couldn’t only be for someone of the opposite sex. What about gay people? They are people, too.
Therefore, this is my definition of love: Love is when you long to be around someone and care for their every thought and move. You always want to be near them and hold them. You feel drawn to them and wish to be a bigger part of their life.
After analyzing the dictionary, which might be a bit obsessive, I have concluded that I love Sara.
I was feeling terribly depressed after our school production of “Annie” ended. I can’t see Sara every day now. I gave her a note, defeated, feeling as if I have nothing else to live for. Her response:
“Always remember how much I love you. I’d do anything to make you feel better. We’re friends always. The world is a great place.”
I am rather frightened. I realize that Sara is the first girl that I’ve ever loved. The first person, none the less. I have a family, but that’s not this feeling of love. Sure, there’s friend love, but that can’t compare. How I feel about Sara isn’t comparable to anything. This is real. I long to be around her. Sure, I’ve gone out with a boy or had a crush, but not like this. This is an indescribable feeling.
As I sit here at the campground around the invisible fire, two scenes float in and out of my head.
Scene 1- Sara puts down her note and looks at me; she looks nervous and quickly says, “I don’t know.” With that, she sticks out her hand across the table to me, and I put my hand in hers, “Best friends forever no matter what.”
“Of course. Do you hate me?”
“Of course not.” She paused, “Let’s talk about it later.”
Scene 2- I began talking to Sara about how I danced with Damian that morning at a Spanish assembly. She looked hurt, “That’s good. You like him, but you went back on our word that boys are evil.”
“No Sara. I didn’t. It wasn’t my choice, and I don’t know if I like him anymore.”
“Then who do you like?”
“Me?” She glared at me.
I replied, “Of course.”
She followed up, “As what?”
“I don’t know.”
“Me either. Are we really….gay?”
We were silent for a second before she added, “Well, if I’m gay then there’s two strikes against me in life.”
“Things that make people not like me.”
I followed, “Anyone who really is your friend will always like you no matter who you are as a person.”
With that, lunch ended.
How do those two scenes fit together? Well, scene 2 happened yesterday at lunch. That made me think that she really was falling in love with me, too. That night, I wrote her a note, continuing our discussion. It stated that I had fallen in love with her and asked if she wanted to go out with me. Then it explained that what she claimed were “strikes” against her were not. I asked her not to hate me and the bottom. In the morning, I gave it to her. Then scene 1 went into effect.
We’re going to talk about everything on Sunday night over the phone. I’m so nervous. Perhaps socially she is too afraid to do something this unheard of. People don’t look fondly of girls dating girls here in Virginia. She does seem to be very concerned about what people will think of her.
Well, I hope she likes me. She said she didn’t hate me and that we’ll always be friends. Since I’m camping, I wanted to get that off my chest, so I can enjoy this event now.
I am the happiest girl in the world right now! Sara and I were writing notes back and forth in our notebook (which I’ll post below), and, long story short, we are going out. She is officially my girlfriend! Plus, after lunch, she asked me to be her date to the 8th grade dance. And I am so elated. See our correspondence in the notebook right here below.
FROM THE NOTEBOOK:
Sara: Hey Mal, so we definitely need to talk. Are we going to stay best friends or… be more than that? It’s up to you. I’ll be happy either way, but if we do chose to be together, we have to keep it a secret. Love, Sara
Me: Dear Sara, Obviously, I would love it if we would try to be together, and I am fine keeping it a secret. If you’d have me as your girlfriend, that would be great. But, if not, that’s okay with me. Love, Malorie
Sara: Well, the final vote is in. Let’s try it. We don’t have to take it fast, but I do think I’m in love with you. But if it ever feels wrong, tell me, and we can stop. Love, Sara
Me: I really am the happiest girl in the world right now. I have been falling in love with you, and I’m happy you feel the same way.
Sara: What more is there to say?
Me: Well Sara, I’m so excited about the 8th grade dance. It is going to be so fun. And what you said to me before, it will never feel weird to me because it’s love. And love never feels wrong.”
At this point, I am mindless. I am a young person in love. That’s all I can say. Today at lunch, Lauren asked, “If one of my friends wanted to go out with you, would you say yes?”
I replied, “I know you’re talking about Damian. Tell him that I’m sorry, but we can’t go out.
Sara grabbed my hand under the lunch table. “She’s already taken.”
Lauren, “By Who?”
I looked concerned as Sara had told me that we should protect ourselves and not tell anyone… “Uh….a boy from my old school…”
Later, at the end of lunch, we went in the bathroom. After everyone left but us, we hugged for about a minute straight before someone came in, and we leapt away from each other. We were laughing uncontrollably when we made it back over to the lunch table.
Lauren asked, “I don’t want to know, do I?”
“You really don’t.” Sara said between giggles.
Today at lunch, I was sitting with Lauren, Amanda, and Sara. Lauren exclaimed, “Malorie, you and Amanda are so lucky because you’re the only two of us with boyfriends! I’m jealous.”
Sara looked at me with the most hurt expression and exclaimed, “You do?”
She is terrible at keeping this discrete, which is what she wanted. Personally, I don’t care who knows- except my family right now. My mom wouldn’t understand.
I turned back over to her and said, with a heavy undertone, “Yes, I do. Remember?”
“Oh yeah, of course.” She laughed it off.
Anyway, then I went to church with my parents and came back. This is what I’ve decided: Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean that my relationship with God will change. How can love be a sin? I’m sure it isn’t. And as far as my sins, he will always forgive me for them and love me as I am.
A continuation of our notebook conversation from Sara to myself and back again:
Malorie: Hey Sara, since you are my date to the 8th grade dance, would you like to slow dance? If so, should we find a spot where there aren’t going to be a lot of people or just dance in front of everyone else? I really don’t care which. It doesn’t bother me if people see us. Love, a very bored Malorie.
P.S. If you wanted to kiss me, I wouldn’t oppose. I am happy and comfortable with you as long as you are happy and comfortable with me.
Sara: Mal, I would be honored if you wanted to slow dance with me. And I would like to kiss you. It makes me nervous, you know, but I want to. Sorry I suck at writing notes, as you can tell.
Malorie: Sara, Yay! Slow dancing would be great. And, yes, I feel nervous about kissing you, too, but I’m sure it will be great. I love you. And you’re notes aren’t terrible. They are comforting to me.
Sara: Have you ever kissed anyone, like a real kiss, before? Also, I know boys keep asking you out. If they ask you to dance at the event, you should do it. That way people don’t know. But if they ask you out, I will hunt them down.
Malorie: I have kissed someone once, but it was on the cheek. It didn’t mean anything. It was my old boyfriend at my old middle school. I won’t dance with any guys, don’t worry. Even if they ask. I only care about you.
Sara: Did I mention I love you? I’ll have to kiss you when you least expect it.
Malorie: I love you, too.
Sara: I just realized something. I miss you when you are away. I wish we had some classes together. We never get to hang out. You look cute when you’re mad. Did you know that?
You won’t believe what happened yesterday. Sara came over, and we walked down to the tennis courts. We were sitting on a bench talking, and, as I was in the middle of a sentence, Sara kissed me. It wasn’t very long, but it lasted maybe 3 seconds. I was taken off guard, but I enjoyed it. The whole time we were walking around, we started planning our futures together. We talked about going to the same college, and she said that we were lucky to find each other so young. She told me that one day it would be possible for us to get married. She told me it would be hard to find a pastor who would marry two girls, but we would absolutely try a Christian wedding. She told me she would wear a tux and that Rachel would be her best man. I was so happy she’d let me be the bride with Marisa as my maid of honor. She told me that we should have the ceremony in her back yard and adopt children. (Sara lives in a beautiful manor house in the middle of nowhere with acres of land. She even has her own bush maze/labyrinth in her yard.) I can’t believe how happy I am. I never knew I could be this happy, and she tells me she feels the same.
Today was my cousin Kelly’s wedding. I was a junior bridesmaid, but I could barely focus on the ceremony. I kept imagining Sara and myself getting married. I could see us up there saying, “I do.”
God is with you all the time and should always be in your life no matter what- even if you are gay. He will still love you. I’ve decided that. Despite what many I know think, I believe fully that this is true.
Also, Sara just called me. Her parents overheard her saying that she loved me. They had a big discussion with her about why she shouldn’t be a lesbian, and she just agreed with them. She thinks she convinced them that they misunderstood her and that we aren’t together at all. I’m not sure if they believe her or not.
Sara and I kissed three times today. We went to the bathroom at lunch, and no one was in there, so we kissed.
I am so happy. I am in love. I have true love. It isn’t a crush like before, it’s real love, and if this isn’t love, then I will never know what love is. I feel great. We French kissed, and it felt great. And I wasn’t nervous. No nerves. No fear anymore.
I’m spending time with my family in Georgia for my cousin’s graduation. There’s a lesbian couple that are friends with my uncle, and I think it’s great that he’s both religious and accepting of that. I wish my parents would be the same way. They are not. My mom told me that they make her uncomfortable. She feels like they may be looking at her “that way.” I asked her if she thinks all her friend’s husbands are looking at her “that way.” It didn’t go over well.
Sara and I spent the day hanging out at her house, in her pool, and around the grounds of her house. Gosh, I love her so much.
This is going to be long and hard to write. It’s my 14th birthday. Sara has been 14 for 6 months; I finally joined the club. It is my birthday and, not to mention, the worst day of my life. It all started yesterday at the 8th grade assembly day. We had our assembly, and I got the “Charger Award” for being in the top 5% of my class of 2006. I got it for leadership, citizenship, and good grades. At the field day, we were all winning prizes, and I became a coat rack for everyone’s stuff. They threw their jackets and prizes on me as they all scattered to play games. And I looked like an idiot being stuck with everyone’s stuff. Then I told Sara that I felt stupid because she received so many awards, and she told me that I should feel stupid because she’s “really smart.” It hurt, but I ignored it.
Then, later that night (last night, rather) was the eighth-grade dance. Everything was fine until the last 20 minutes or so. Damian asked me out. Sara said, “You should go out with him. It’s a good cover-up for us.” I told her I could never do that to either of them. I love her, and I can’t lie to the world or to him. I wouldn’t put him through that, either. I care for him, and I had a crush on him before. I won’t do that to him. Then everything was fine until our sleepover.
Sara, Rachel, Lauren, Michelle, and I had planned a sleepover at Sara’s for after the dance. When we got back to her place, Sara and I went into Sara’s room while everyone else crept into the pool. She cried to me, exclaiming that she was afraid she was going to lose me because Damian liked me, too, and I assured her that she was crazy. I asked her if she wanted to break up because of what she said about me dating Damian, and she replied back, “Of course not. I will always love you. I could never want to break up with you.” I told her that I would never leave her, and she promised the same.
After we joined everyone in the pool, we watched “Moulin Rouge,” and it showed me how much love could hurt. I guess it was foreshadowing. Her parents thought it would be fun to make us breakfast at 12am, and we all went to bed at 3am. That’s when the first problem started. My nose was so clogged that I couldn’t sleep, so I fell asleep at 3:30am.
Today…today…my birthday…is the day I’ve felt the most pain in my life. I want to die. I feel like I will never be happy again. Michelle woke us up at 7am, and we all decided to get up. Sara had disappeared. We couldn’t find her. So, we went around the grounds of her home looking for her. The other three girls went outside to find her, and I stayed inside to check it out. Shortly after I began looking, she walked out of her parent’s room, and I told her the scoop. We went outside to look for everyone else, and she told me that she told her parents everything about our relationship. She had to tell someone, and it felt good to get it out and let them know. As we stood on the front steps of her home, she broke my heart.
She said, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m not ready for this. Can you imagine the hell we would live in if the word ever got out about us? People wouldn’t understand. I just can’t do it. I love you so much, but I can’t put myself or you through this. But we’ll always be best friends. I’m just not ready. Are you hurt?”
We were still standing awkwardly on her front steps, and it was taking everything in me not to cry.
She continued, “I’m so sorry. I’m just confused and lost, and I can’t deal with it right now. But I do love you more than anything in the world. It’s okay if you hate me and ignore me for a while. I’ll understand.”
“Of course not, I know you will come back to me when you find yourself. And if you choose me, I’ll be here.” I’m not sure how sincere I sounded at this time.
“Do your parents hate me?”
“No! My mom even said that she kissed girls when she was our age and tried it out.”
Honestly, I didn’t feel anything. I was so hurt I could have died right there. We just weren’t close for the rest of the day. I was disconnected from everything.
She added, “Oh yeah, I can’t go to your house today like we planned.”
We were both silent for a while. Deep inside, I knew she did love me like she said, but her parents were what did it. Just the night before, she was telling me that she would never break up with me and ten hours after, she was breaking up with me. She should be able to make her own decisions. They ruined our future. But, for now, I don’t fear. I know that if she truly loves me, she will come back. Eventually. No matter what they say. Anyway, I’m in my dad’s car right now at the party he’s DJing. I was so excited to come here with Sara, but now I must be frightening him. I’m just lying in his car unable to move. I told him to let me be in here because I haven’t slept.
The worse part, I was so shocked that I forgot it was my birthday. At 11am I remembered and exclaimed, “Oh, crap. It’s my birthday.” Sara looked at me with terror in her eyes and said, “Oh, God. I’m so sorry.” I refuse to think of this anymore. It’s in the past. We broke up.
She told me her parents said we could continue our relationship when she turns 15 if she makes that choice. For now, they have sent her to therapy to “work out her feelings.” I know what that means. I can only say I’m so glad they didn’t talk to my parents about anything. My mother and step father would die.
We also must avoid each other for a while, as her parents don’t want us to hang out or have sleep overs. This sucks. I’m thinking about how I’d have to tell my parents one day. I think my dad would be okay, but my mom would kick me out of the house for sure.
Okay, I’ve talked to Sara on the phone the last couple of days, and she is making me feel terrible. She’s making fun of me, acting like she doesn’t care at all anymore. She’s acting like a different person. Did the therapist change her and make her suppress herself? Today, while we were talking on the phone, she kept calling me “fruit cake” and “candy girl.” She was making me feel bad about myself for being gay.
Then I started talking to her online: Do you still like me? You haven’t really been talking to me about anything.
Sara: I’ve been busy. I like guys.
Me: What do you mean?
Sara:….Okay…. I’m going, bye.
Me: Look, you’ve made it clear that you don’t really like me anymore. Do you still want to go out when you turn 15? You keep changing your mind and sending me mixed signals. Do you still love me?
Sara: Mal, I told you. I am very confused right now. In fact, all I know for sure is that I’m staying away from both sexes. My mother was right. I haven’t figured out my sexual preference yet, and I’m not going to blow it for either of us. I know I love you as a friend, but I don’t know what love is. Be patient with me as I figure this out. Maybe it will be you. Maybe it won’t. I have no idea.
Well, Sara is an insensitive person who changes her mind all the times. We went out, and she told me she loved me every day. She made the first move, always. I went at her speed with her making the first move, and sometimes it felt too fast for me. But I loved her and trusted her. Then her parents made us break up, and she told me (only a week ago mind you) that she still loved me and wanted to be with me as soon as she turned 15. Then she went to therapy and her whole mindset just changed? That’s ridiculous. Since then, she keeps talking to me about guys and this guy and that hot guy. And then, “I love you so much like before.” And then “I don’t know how I feel.” Confused? Yeah, I’ll say. Obviously. But this game she is playing with me is killing me inside. I guess it’s best to distance myself from her. We are going to different high schools. Perhaps it’s for the best.
She’s writing a fan fiction book. She made a fictional guy as the love interest for herself that she’s obsessing over in the story. And she has made my character in the story weak, sniveling, and stupid in it. Why would she send this to me? I think it’s clear that she doesn’t like how I make her feel.
I wrote a bunch of responses, but I can’t get myself to send them. I cannot wait for her and need to cut her out of my life, but this is going to be hard.
Sara came to my birthday party (which was held a few months late) and kept bossing me around, calling me her servant, and getting short with me whenever I did anything. She’s bullying me; perhaps because of how I make her feel. Obviously, the therapist put her against her own feelings, and she’s conditioned to hate me because she’s suppressing her feelings. She’d keep sticking her tongue out when I’d look at her, but it seemed like she looked at me like she did when we were in love. Everyone said she was trying to be the center of attention, but I can’t help being apprehensive and curious about what will happen when she turns 15 in a few months.
Sara’s 15th birthday came. We went to laser tag… and nothing happened. She ignored everything. I won’t bring up anything again, so I think it will just be laid to rest. I’m okay with that, though.
I’m feeling an emotion that I haven’t felt since Sara and I broke up… happiness. Freedom. No more depression. I’m sorry that I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been lifeless and upset. We’ve been in the middle of a snow storm all week, and Sara came over today, since we were out of school. At first, we stayed here and just talked about Buffy, and she gave me this pretty necklace as a late Christmas gift. Then we went to the park like we used to. (That’s where we had our first kiss.) Sara and I talked about how great it was that we were exes and still friends after all that happened. That pried into the subject of crushes. I told her that I had a crush on this girl from Chesterfield last month, and she got jealous. That encouraged her to say, “You would never have feelings for me again after what I did, would you? I know I was terrible to you.”
I paused… “Yes. I do. I’m sorry if that disturbs you, but I will always be honest about my feelings.”
She used that to declare that she still had feelings for me, after all this time. She missed me the whole time but was afraid to tell me after the way she had been acting. All the pain I had suffered, she supposedly suffered just as bad. We were both relieved to find that we were still in love, but there was a problem. How would it work? I couldn’t think she would hide it from her parents after what happened before, and they were still against it despite what they had said. And my parents would never understand. We decided we would work it out and try it, regardless. It was like Romeo and Juliet- two people together in a society that didn’t want it. We walked back to my house holding hands, and we kissed. She told me she didn’t deserve me after what she did, and I felt it had to be a dream. She told me that we should put a plan together to hide it better and figure out how we could see each other without people knowing. She kissed me and then said, “We’re screwed.” What a weird thing to say. She still can’t truly accept that this isn’t a bad thing? Love is never a bad thing.
I have to say, I am the one needing to figure out my life now. Reflecting on the other day… all I’ve wanted for so long is to get back with Sara We got back together, and I thought it was all I wanted more than anything in the world, but I can’t feel anything. I was on a high the other day, finally having gotten what I wanted for so long. But then she said that we were “screwed.” What a funny word to refer to love. She kissed me, and it’s like the spark is gone. I don’t feel anything anymore. It feels wrong when being with her felt so very right last year. Can it be that after all she dragged me through the last 8 months or so made me fall out of love with her? I didn’t think it was possible. I spent 8 months longing to be with her only to for it to feel wrong when we kiss now? This is what I wanted. But why doesn’t it feel right now? And she keeps saying that we need to take is slow and that she’s scared. Can I be with someone who is afraid to be themselves? Will she keep dragging me through the mud with her? I have a lot to think about.
I told my dad today. I feel like I’m dying inside. Like I’ve betrayed my dad. He’s never done anything bad to me. I’m one of the joys in his life, and I feel like he doesn’t look at me the same- like he’s disappointed. He tried to hide it, but I can tell. I told him about Sara: our past and that we still like each other, since we may get back together. I really love my dad, and I trust him to keep my secret and love me no matter what. He told me that no matter how I turn out he will always love me. That I didn’t do anything wrong (though now’s the only time I feel bad about it because he knows). He told me he thought I would end up with a guy, but he would respect my choices still if I didn’t. I’m glad I told him, but I’m afraid he’s disappointed in me. My dad’s the only one who can understand me. I’m afraid of my mom and step dad and could never tell them.
My dad has been incredibly supportive, and he really cares. I love him very much. Unfortunately, I was lying to myself saying how happy I was that Sara and I were back together. I just can’t feel for her anymore. After everything she put me through, the spark isn’t there. And I wanted it to be. But I can’t feel anything anymore. So, it’s over. For good. She’s too insecure about who she really is, anyway.
So now I move forward with the support of my father. I’m glad I could be honest about myself with him, and he is supportive. And, as far as Sara, at least I know that she gave me the confidence to be myself. She gave me the strength to find out that I can be confidently gay and not be afraid that God won’t accept me. I am me. And I am happy with myself. I hope she learns to be happy with herself. Love isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good thing. You just have to find the right person.
And now, fifteen years later, I am married to a man. I found that I love regardless of gender, and that is a wonderful thing.
Looking back on Sara, 15 years after everything happened, I see that it was definitely not a fling or a phase. I had discovered a part of myself that was there and will always be there. I discovered that I am capable of love without gender, racial, or any other bias to anything other than who a person truly is in their heart. And I think that’s beautiful. I hope that young people can learn from my story and see that love is never bad. It’s a beautiful thing, though sometimes it might not seem that way. Everything happens for a reason, and finding the person you will spend the rest of your life with is a gift. The journey you go through to get there, and the loves you experience on the way, are all blessings that teach you who you really are and who you will grow up to be. Embrace that, and enjoy it.