*chronologically. Inspired by @veshecco and @jenna
  1. The summer of 2001
    I remember snooping through paperwork at the hospital and seeing the word oncologist. I was 11. My sister and I looked it up in the dictionary at home and realized why Mom was going to the hospital so much. My sister and I didn't get along until that summer. Mom spent 7 months in ICU- my sister and I weren't allowed there, and my Catholic father yelled at a nun so we could see her one time. She died on Thanksgiving and I resented my dad for never letting me say goodbye. I understand why.
  2. Senior year of high school, 2008-2009
    I joined my high school's Gay Straight Alliance & was immediately bullied for being a lesbian. I realized I needed to move away. I'm not. The only member that was a part of the LGBTQ community was the president. But it was people in a mainly religious, conservative town speaking out about prop 8. I had water and food thrown on me for protesting it. I applied to San Francisco State without visiting. I've lived here for almost 8 years, and I don't regret it. High school opened my eyes to hate.
  3. Winter 2014/Spring 2015
    He moved to SF for me. I didn't ask him to. I fell out of love with him. He refused to accept it. I stayed in it out of routine, but felt like strangers that shared the same living space. "Let's work on it", but I didn't. I started sleeping with another guy & had no regrets about it. I'd stay with the new guy, go home to change, work & repeat for months without him knowing where I was/what I was doing. He wanted to stay friends-I wanted him out of my life. I moved out the night his band played.
  4. Fall 2015/Spring 2016
    I began dating a guy shortly after moving out. He was a narcissist- played the victim anytime we disagreed, flirted with other women, & made me feel bad about myself. It was toxic. I refused to admit it. I blamed myself. After a petty argument he blamed me for, I cut him out of my life. I've enjoyed being single for the longest stretch of time in my life. I started to do things for me. I learned how to travel, eat at restaurants, go to the movies-ALONE. I learned to start loving myself first.
  5. March 2017
    When I was in Sweden, my sister said my dad was in a car accident. My heart sank. Recently, he picked me up from LAX and got stuck in traffic for two hours. He let me voice my concerns - about him getting older and not having a will made, fighting with my siblings, his cancer and my fear of him dying, not remembering my mom- and let me cry quietly, trying to get the words right. I told him I was speaking up, knowing none of my older siblings would. It was the most honest conversation we've had.