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I have just closed another book. Upon doing so, I have whispered into the air the words I have been whispering every time I have closed a book for the last 27 years. “I finished another one my dear, (……)”! I have uttered softly these words aloud or under my breath for some time now and have not shared this secret with more than a handful. The secret of the phrase, or the persons name in which I speak.

I have held both of them close for two reasons: 1. Because it has taken me this long to have faith in myself as an intellectual being and 2. Because the persons name was my very first love who, to this day, I am not sure is out. Out of the respect for him, I keep his name silent, but out of the need to share the triumph of courage, I share now.

Several things about this story are important. First off, words hold great weight. They can be used to inspire and educate, to uplift and encourage as well as to degrade and hurt. Even though many times people do not realize the words they speak cause severe damage, they do regardless if they are malicious or unaware. We should all be more mindful of our words and the ways in which we choose and use them.

Second, we must remember that there are so many things in our lives that we have believed to be true that were or are not and that we can over come. Society encourages individuals to believe things simply because one is different or unlike them. Regardless if there is even an ounce of truth to the assumption, because I am different, it must be true. Do not believe this. Listen to your heart to save the heart from ache.

So what does all of this have to do with closing a book and speaking those words? Well, for the past 27 years I have never believed or had the courage to believe that I could read or write well at all. I did not want to read or write out of the fear that someone would think I was stupid and uneducated. Feared being found out that who I was, was not in fact who I wanted to be.

That said, being gay and having your boyfriend tell you you were incapable of finishing a book or even a magazine for that matter even layers the whole issue. Yes, that is what he used to tell me all the time. So of course, when one is in high school, has a boyfriend in the same high school that no one knows anything about and that the fear of anyone finding out scares you, of course the reality of the situation can get a little skewed. Growing up in a world where who you were was a secret and the fear of anyone finding out keeps one from asking too many questions or sharing too many things one would like in situations that need comfort or understanding.

I began to believe this sentiment. I mean, he loved me right? We loved each other. He must be right? I mean what do I do? Not very good at school. Run in a completely different crowd. All the boxes of who I am externally do not match any sense of intelligence or writing ability. Right?

And so I have carried this for a very long time. It has weighed on me through college, my professional career as a dancer and choreographer, grad school and presently my academic life. Living in fear that one would be found out is not the kind of life one should carry around with them. It gets in the way of the good life and the life in which is actually the one you are supposed to be living.

So after all of these years, hundreds of books read, mountains of journals, papers, manuals and blogs; I realize perhaps all these years I have let someone hold me back from realizing all of who I could have been. I gave away my power to be loved. Love like that is not love. It is fear in the guise of love using words to hold close that which they do not understand. Words can trap a spirit from being what it is truly meant to be. So be careful with your words. They might scar someone deeply.

Now, however, I whisper those words and I smile. I giggle as I have come to realize the writer and intellect inside me. I use those words as inspiration. With every book I gain momentum. With every post I find more courage. Writing the EBAS manual was monumental and presently being in the throws of writing my book inspirational. Even if the only inspiration is for myself and the book never sells a copy, although I know it will because my friends love me, it will still be worth it.

And so as I sit here and close the pages of another book, I raise it to the sky and say, “I finished another one my dear, (…..)”!