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Dear Ellen, 2014

Every year since I’ve turned 18, I’ve written to Ellen DeGeneres for our birthday (January 26th). This year, I decided to reflect on how much I’ve changed since I first wrote to Ellen. (I have a 1500 character limit so forgive the abbreviations.)

How have you changed since you were 18?

 

Ellen and I both had an exciting 2013.

Ellen and I both had an exciting 2013.

Dear Ellen,

This is perhaps a futile attempt at a letter to you, as I’ve written to you every year since I’ve turned 18, but it’s a tradition to wish us a happy birthday!

When I was turning 18/ you were turning 50, I was a senior in high school, writing to you because you were funny & could dance, but really because you were the strongest lesbian role model I could see. Being a closested high school senior wasn’t fun, but your show would always make me dance.

When I was turning 19, my letter to you was very weak, as was I. I was sickly, anemic, & recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It was also my first year of college, and I was finally starting to see who I was.

For 20, I was living the high life. I was on the Dean’s list. I was a RA in a luxury hotel because my university ran out of housing.

For 21, I was fed up with having a winter birthday. I decided to throw a celebrity themed costume party. My ex and I dressed up as you & Portia. Our love didn’t last, but my love for you did. Portia’s book also helped me, a lot.

For 22, I sent a song to you online. I briefly forgot I couldn’t sing. The internet wasn’t kind, but oddly enough I ended up starting my blog & finding my niche on the web.

Last year, at 23, I freaked out. The 23 curse of love & change in my family’s life scared me.

Now, I’m turning 24, happy, engayged, a hs English teacher, & making a difference every day.

Happy birthday to us! Thank you for inspiring me so many years ago to be me.

Kailynn

Letter

(Today’s prompt is a letter to someone in a villanelle format.)

“Dear you, from me”

I look at you and all I can think is “Wow.”
Did you really see your life so filled with flaws?
If only you could see yourself now.

Your life back then is something you would now never allow:
filled with anxiety and sadness all because
you were afraid to whisper those words out loud.

Silence and suffering were part of your vow.
You might as well have wrapped your mouth in gauze.
Just the thought of you like that makes me wince “Ow!”

To think you came so close to saying “Ciao”
to your true self, that you thought happiness was as real as Santa Claus,
truly makes me stop and wonder how.

You deserved a hug, not to throw a cow.
You disappeared, somehow lost with the cause.
You needed someone to tell you to take a bow.

I want you to stop and listen as I say this, strong and proud:
give yourself a round of applause.
You grow up to be me, hitting life with a POW!
Your life is not shameful; embrace yourself and be proud.

#23til23: The last day of this journey! (Sort of.)

23til23

I’m slacking in #23til23 posts because classes started this past week, and I’m lazy.

I also decided to extend my #23til23 journey to be the entire year of 23. This basically means I’ll be taking more chances, trying new things, and mis-categorizing everything as #23til23.

You’re welcome.

Anyways, to wrap up the #23til23 journey, on Friday morning I wrote a letter. It still needs to be edited– a lot– but I wrote a heartfelt letter to my extended family coming out as a blogger and a lesbian.

As I said in the letter, “I’m not sure what’s taken me so long to write you all this letter. Perhaps it’s my laziness, or perhaps, well, it really just is laziness. I’d rather be reading, shopping for new accessories, or baking chocolate chip cookies than writing you all a letter that really shouldn’t affect anything between us.”

I realized this past week that I was turning 23, and one of my biggest fears of 23 was not being true to myself as I graduate grad school, enter the working world, and become a truly legitimate adult. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty open about my sexuality and my blog. I just haven’t found the need to tell my extended family about them because they’re just as much a part of me as my hair color or my height. I don’t write my family letters telling them, “Oh, by the way, I have red hair and my driver’s license says I’m 5’10”.” They just doesn’t seem like necessary facts to state or make a big deal about, which is how I feel about my sexual identity and blogging life.

I am who I am, and minuscule details shouldn’t matter to those who care about me.

After I look over the letter again, edit it a bit, and probably consider not telling my extended family about my blog (sorry if you’re reading this in the distant future after I’ve decided to share it with you!) I’ll probably send it out in an email.

I can only imagine the subject– “I’m a flaming homo,” “I’m coming out,” or “I’m slightly famous on the internet because I’m a celesbian” will probably suffice.

To be honest, this whole coming out thing is kind of weird to me because I’ve actually forgotten that I’m not out to the whole freaking planet. I don’t care about what my extended family thinks, and while I’ll be sad if they don’t accept me, I’m at a place in my life where I’m extremely satisfied with what life has handed me. I’ll be graduating with my M.Ed this year. I had a life-changing student teaching experience. I’m writing and reading poetry again. I am in a healthy, loving relationship. I have the best friends that a girl could ask for. I have a lot going for me, and I’ve never been happier.

So, bring it, extended fam. I’m a flaming homo, and I am a blogger. Welcome to my life.

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