For my whole life, I’ve had it in my head that being myself was never an option. Everything from my words, behavior, even my big life goals were all molded by what society kept telling me is “normal”. In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve never really strayed away from the status quo at all. Anything that seemed weird, like my love of sci-fi or my dream of being a baker, I kept locked inside and squashed down miles of fear. But that’s all going to change today, because today is the day that I turn my life around and start living it for ME. Today, I finally started dating my first cousin George!!!!
Eeek—I know! It’s a leap, and I’m just as excited as you guys are!
Okay, okay, okay, I know you probably want some backstory…
George and I have been going on playdates ever since we were newborns. Whether we were playing in the backyard, putting on fake weddings, or even bathing together, George and I were ALWAYS together. And then last month at our family reunion at Grandma’s, it just hit me—do I love George? At the time I thought, No, it can’t be possible. We’re COUSINS. Cousins are supposed to love each other, but not like that! But then I thought about it a little more. Is dating my cousin actually something “disturbing,” like Grandma kept yelling at me, or is that what society is telling me? My friends kept asking me what would happen down the road if we went for it and it didn’t work out, how it would make weddings and funerals so awkward, how it’s weird because George’s dad and my dad are twins so it’s basically my brother. But then I realized the true question was: What would happen if George and I didn’t go for it? How would our souls be crippled if we said no to love, no to ourselves, and no to having children with slight birth defects?
How am I supposed to live up to our culture’s standards for what is considered a sexual taboo if I’m also unable to embrace my true self?
That’s when I decided that it was about time I started exploring myself for once. Not in the way that others want to me to, though. My mom suggested I take a year to travel solo through Europe, or even take baking classes, but I’m done living for others. I’ve spent years trying to be someone I’m not, and I’m sick and tired of it. Also George is tight. Like, snatched. He can get it.
Take one look at the family portrait hanging in my parents’ house, and you can see how good we look together. This is fate, people! Good things happen when you say yes to who you are, even if it means saying yes to not having Aunt Beth and Uncle Mike at my wedding.
So this is my advice to all you gals out there: Embrace your inner self! You’ll never be happy in this life until you start making choices that benefit yourself. Stop caring about what people think when you’re holding hands with George at the next family reunion, and definitely don’t pay attention to those naysayers when you eventually change your Facebook profile picture to a cute one of you and him from kindergarten. Aww, he’s kissing me on the cheek!