I have been in a few relationships in my life and most of them did not go well because I have made a bunch of stupid mistakes. Lately, I have realized that those mistakes are important but they do not make me who I am or define the person that I am in a relationship. Last November, I went through a lot of personal things that deeply damaged my mental and emotional health and since then I have been rebuilding myself. I have spent countless hours, days, weeks, and months trying to rebuild myself and become the person that I have never been but always wanted to be.

This has not been an easy process, in fact, it has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I literally tore apart every ounce of my being and threw it all away and tried to create a new me so that I could finally be truly happy for once in my life. I am proud to say that I have done that. Yes, I still have depression, anxiety, OCD, and all of my other mental health issues. However, I am not the same person I was before November of 2017.

In my time of rebuilding myself, I learned that I am worth something. Learning that I am worth more than I have given myself in the past was amazing and really confusing at first. I finally realized that I deserve to be treated as an equal in a relationship and that in a relationship I have to put myself first in order to take care of my mental and emotional well being. Before, I thought that I was supposed to put the person before myself no matter what I was going through. Now I know that this is not the case. If I am not stable enough to take care of myself, then I am not stable enough to take care of the relationship that I am in or the person that I am with.

Fast forward to February of this year, I am still very new in the process of taking care of myself and I have not really mastered the whole mental health thing yet (not that I have now); but I met a girl. I was working on an event for my University and needed someone to help me emcee the event and my boss suggested a senior that had run for Homecoming Queen. I reached out to her and we met up, talked about the event, she agreed to help me, and then we did not really talk again until the event. The day of the event came and we had rehearsals right before the event happened so we were together all day. Ciara, my emcee, was perfect for the job because she was so calm while I was losing my mind like I usually do while running an event. To make a long story short, we did the event and talked during it and then did not talk for a few months after.

This summer I had the opportunity to stay in Greensboro to work at my University and help out with freshman orientation which is also what Ciara was doing over the summer. We saw each other at every Get Involved session which is where incoming freshman get to learn about on-campus organizations. Before each session, we would say hi and then I would set up my table and go about my shift. One night I left a box at my table and she texted me to see if it was trash or not.

We ended up talking a lot and I told her that even though she was only in my life a little bit she meant a lot to me because she had really helped me out at my event in February, and she said that she could be in my life more because she "makes some bomb ass mac and cheese and is kind of funny sometimes". I was sold. We started hanging out in my office almost every day while I worked. She started coming over and watching movies and Queer Eye with me. Ciara quickly became a part of my daily life.

The end of July came and I helped her pack up her apartment into a UHAUL and watched her drive away to Tennessee for Grad School after we got kicked out of a parking lot late one night. Naturally, I went home and listened to music and cried because that is the person that I am. Since she has moved, we talk every single day and she has been back to see me several times and I have been to see her once.

We both knew that we loved each other. We also knew that we were in love with each other. But when you carry a weirdly shaped couch down a flight of stairs and put it in the back of a UHAUL and watch the girl you love drive away and know she is four hours away, it isn't easy to be in a relationship. We had talked about it a lot. Mostly me, I wanted to be with Ciara so fucking badly. I was ready. I knew I was ready. It hit me all at once that all this time spent fixing myself had worked. I could know she was four hours away and miss her like hell and not want anyone else and then not break down if I missed her. She was not abusive, she took time to talk to me, she even came to see me. I could have something with her.

Ciara and I met in February, we got to know each other in June. I knew that I loved Ciara by the end of June because I had seen her every single day. September 13, 2018, Ciara came back to Greensboro to spend the weekend with me and as soon as she saw me asked me to be her girlfriend. And as my mom said, "it's about damn time." I know that I am ready for me, for her, and for us. My mental and emotional health may not be perfect, but she knows that and she's okay with that. She loves me just the same and I love her.

I love you, babygirl.