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Sometimes lately I find myself going about my evening, or morning, or lunch break, or weekend, and half-jokingly asking myself or someone else, “Who is this person, and where’s the real Kirsten??” And tonight it hit me that, this IS the real Kirsten. Or at least, more so than I’ve ever been before. This is almost the Kirsten I’ve worked so hard toward becoming, the Kirsten I’ve tried, and failed, to force before her time, berating myself the whole way. My journey of growth and change and self-discovery and then more growth and change – and all of the pain, and joy, those bring – is far from over. But tonight, I’m pleased with who I am.

I need to say that again, because even though I wrote it, and typed it, it’s still kind of surreal, because as often as I’ve used each of those words, I don’t believe I’ve ever, once in my life, put them together in that order:

I’m pleased with who I am.

Not even just content, which I would have been thrilled about not too long ago (yeah, I know that doesn’t make sense semantically. Artistic license). And this is a novel, and damned fine, feeling.

Thank you all for loving me even when I didn’t love myself, and for showing me “me” through your eyes. While I haven’t always – or ever – known how to accept your praise, empathy, support, or simple gestures of love with grace and humility and genuine appreciation, I have felt and remember and treasure each one. They have been among the largest and sturdiest stones I’ve tread along this path to this night and this realization, that I am happy to be me.




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