//I need you to read this.

Once upon a time, there was a teenaged girl. This girl and her best friend had overactive imaginations and were curious – literally – to a fault. One day, these girls, out of sinful curiosity, decided to role-play as some of their fictional characters, for plotting purposes. The characters switched around, the stories spiraled downward, and things quickly got out of hand as sinful curiosity took over. This teenaged girl and her best friend, under cover of darkness and guilt, proceeded to act out situations that involved making out. This happened twice; each time accompanied by an oppressive blanket of guilt and the seething knowledge that this was wrong and – yeah, really gross. This was the beginning of the end for this friendship as peer pressure and manipulation drenched the girl in so much guilt she couldn’t take it, and began to pull away from the toxicity.

The girl was me, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, and I’m telling you this for a reason. After a long struggle with a heavy burden, I moved past the guilt. I knew God forgave me, and the guilt became a profound regret. I tried to right the friendship; to take it back to what it had been, but that proved impossible. I knew what I had done was wrong – it didn’t even come from attraction for my best friend. Curiosity has always been probably my biggest strength and my biggest weakness, and the experiment, as it were, left me feeling dirty and worthless. As I accepted God’s forgiveness, I forgave myself – to the point where I actually forgot what had happened.

Until a few days ago, when out of nowhere my ex-best friend’s new best friend commented on something another friend posted on Facebook. I mentioned this in my open letter, but I hoped that I had calmed everything down; that people could be reasonable, that people would understand that something bad that happened years ago doesn’t have bearing on people who learned from their mistakes, grew, and changed. I was wrong.

Instead, I was slammed with threats and blackmail – with this person calling me a hypocrite and a pretender, saying I acted like some ‘good Christian girl’ with a ‘secret like this on my conscience.’ I was confused at first. This ‘secret’ had nothing to do with my friends – it didn’t even have anything to do with who I am today. But it refused to die down, and so here I am, telling you.

I kissed a girl, twice, and I didn’t like it. I’m also asking your forgiveness. Everyone carries the burden of past sins, and everyone has consequences. My consequence is a deep regret. But mistakes are for learning, and I learned many things through that experience – I learned what not to do, I learned that I didn’t want to do things that would weigh me down. I learned what true friendship looks like – and what manipulation looks like. In short – I learned. I’m telling you all this because if you do hear it, I don’t want it to be from my enemy. I want it to be from me. I want to be honest with you, and to tell you that I’m not perfect, and I never have been. To tell you that, as I type this, I feel an enormous sense of relief washing over me. To let you know that I’m here for you, if you ever want to talk about a burden you’re carrying or an anchor weighing you down. I’m here if you ever want to tell me about your guilt or regrets. I’m here because I understand what it feels like.

This is my apology, this is my statement, and this is me – a person growing and changing and, hopefully, improving with every minute of life.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, and thought he forbearance of God;

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and thet justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

  • Romans 3:23-26

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21 things

21 things

  1. Five percent. This is the amount of music I enjoy without mental association with something else – favorite characters, or a novel, or even an idea. I think this is a writer thing, to be honest; I know I’m not the only one who does it.
  2. I work really, really hard to be a calm, kind person because my natural state is a bundle of angst and aggression, even when I have no reason to be angsty and aggressive. A few years ago, I had serious anger issues and would jump down your throat if you said ‘good morning’ in the wrong voice. I’m much more laid-back now, so don’t worry – if I ever meet you (and you like Marvel more than DC) chances are good you’ll come away unscathed.
  3. My deja-vu is so strong that I can mouth along with conversations only just now taking place. This happens every few months and gets stronger as I get older. By the time I’m fifty, I’ll probably be downright precognitive.
  4. Because I’m quiet, it’s important to me that I express how I feel with my appearance. Since I won’t walk up to you and say, “Hi, my name is Mirriam and I like warm hugs like the color blue and I think funky jewelry is awesome and I believe in unicorns and I make up people and places and write about them,’ I need to say that (more or less) with how I look.
  5. I have a very obsessive personality. When it comes to obsessions, I’m Smaug – I hoard them and sit on them and love them and I’m always eager to find something new. Songs, shows, people, books, styles – it’s the way I roll.
  6. I love being surrounded by nature but I also dislike being dirty and this is a complicated relationship.
  7. I write books about vampires and werewolves but I also love flowers and the color pink, so I consider myself a well-rounded person.
  8. I absolutely hate being put on the spot, or being the center of attention. Getting me to physically talk about myself is like pulling teeth – for myself and whoever is talking to me. I’m uncomfortable in the spotlight and would much rather shove it onto someone else.
  9. I only fall for interesting people. They can be considered hideous and I’ll find them enormously attractive if I think they’re interesting.
  10. I have wanted a ferret my entire life (yes, I know the consequences. It hasn’t changed my mind a bit).
  11. I have a lisp, which you can probably tell from the video. I personally can’t hear it myself unless I have my retainers in (or if I’m particularly tired).
  12. A large part of the reason I value solitude is the fact that, as an INFP, I absorb and reflect emotions. I have a hard time ‘being myself’ when I’m in a crowd, or around people I don’t know very well. It’s not peer pressure – it’s the fact that I’m absorbing how everyone is feeling and mirroring it in how I behave, and it’s exhausting.
  13. I have very simple tastes and am very easy to please. A used book will make me ten times happier than a party. I’d much rather have meat and potatoes than a fancy dinner. I think a walk in the woods is a hundred times more romantic than a fancy dinner.
  14. Apparently this surprises everyone when they find out, but I used to ride and train horses (English, not Western – although I prefer riding Western as it’s much more relaxed). I constantly miss riding, although it was my decision to give it up – I traded riding for writing. It’s not a decision I regret, but it does make me sad I can’t do both.
  15. I have a hard time reading things on the computer. Even if I want to read your manuscript, I’ll probably decline because a) it takes too much ink to print out and b) I can’t get ‘involved’ in reading something on a screen.
  16. I’m a ‘fixer.’ I’m driven by an urge to fix people, to make them better. I’m not stupid enough to be a ‘missionary dater’ or put myself in a bad situation, but if I can’t do it in real life, I will do it through fiction. I’ll probably always believe in the good in people…
  17. Which is actually kind of funny, since I can be fairly practical and even cynical. I want to fix people, but if they mistreat someone I care about, I won’t care about fixing said mistreater – I’ll loathe them.
  18. I’m double-jointed pretty much everywhere, from my jaw to my feet. (It’s a lot harder coming up with 21 facts than I anticipated.)
  19. Because my resting face looks like I’d like to be shot in the head now, please, it’s easy for people to think I’m deeply unhappy when in fact, I’m usually the opposite. I’m a very happy person – bouncy, even, although it’s frequently on the inside rather than the outside.
  20. I’m very into aesthetics and how they affect how I (and others) feel as a result. This reflects into everything I do, although I didn’t think too much about this until just now.
  21. If you send me a letter, or a card, or a sticker, chances are, I’ll save it. I have an entire trunk full of saved letters and paraphernalia, which I curl up with when I’m feeling sad or particularly nostalgic.

There we go – twenty-one things about me that you may or may not have known. You’re welcome.  Also, you guys are the bomb diggity; thanks for being so amazing for so many years. Consider yourselves high-fived.

strike that; reverse it

Don’t ever, ever attempt a video blog when your brain isn’t fully functional. I realized I was referring to myself as an INFP when I meant INTP. Which is a rather large mistake. So there goes that. Anyway, I thought I would take some of my points from the (failed) video blog and just write them out. I know I promised another vlog last week and I was cramming out of guilt, but forget that. The point of my video blog was that what you see of me here, is only a very two-dimensional view. It misses a lot. Sure, I’m as much of myself as I can be from across the internet, but you’re seeing me from a screen. You aren’t really interacting, you don’t know all my quirks and flaws; just like I don’t know yours. So! It was something of an ‘enlightenment’ thing, to let you know a bit more about who I really am, not just who you see. (An actual vlog will come. When, I don’t know; but it will come.)

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• My brain type is INTP. While this isn’t exclusive, it’s accurate for a general grasp of how I tick.

• I possess both complete confidence and no confidence at all. I have no idea how this is possible, but it is.

• I can be passive about things that should effect me, and I get emotional over things that don’t mean anything.

• Spending time with people, even when I’m having a blast and enjoying myself, drains my energy very quickly. I need solitude to recharge. This is why I don’t like busy days, schedules, or shopping.

• I’m a pluviophile; I draw energy and inspiration from gray skies, clouds, rain, and storms. Most of my family is the opposite. We call them solar-powered. The sun puts me to sleep.

• I tend to be detached, and view everything from kind of a third-person point of view. I can easily look at someone and know how they truly feel, even when they try to hide it, but I have no idea how to react to it. I’m not good at comforting people.

• I will understand people who have done horrific things and find all kinds of ways they could be redeemed, but I have a very low tolerance for shallow, petty misbehaviors.

• I have heavy deja vu, to the point of sometimes-I-can-predict-the-next-few-seconds-of-the-future-because-I-remember-it-already-happening. On the fourth, we were sitting outside watching fireworks, and I knew I had been in this exact situation before. I could remember it clearly. I knew that my sister was• going to say, “Patriotic blood” – and she did. This comes and goes in waves; I will go for months with no deja vu whatsoever, and then I’ll get attacked with it three times in a month.

• I’m almost impossible to scare. If you want to frighten me, you should plan weeks in advance. I will probably find out.

• I hate to be doing something I’m not enthusiastic about. If I’m reading a book on a topic I feel is boring, I won’t retain any of the knowledge. If I’m having a dull conversation, it is almost physically impossible to keep my mind from jumping to something more interesting.

• I hate not knowing why. If you ask me to do something, tell me why. If you don’t, chances I’ll do it drop by about ninety percent.

• I have such vivid dreams that frequently I can’t remember if they actually happened or not.

• I can be extremely polite, but the more I like you, the more casual I become. If I’m comfortable with you, I’ll joke with you. I will drop conventions and treat you like my best friend.

• My resting face is what’s typically known as ‘murderous.’ This includes the moods a) sleepy b) cranky c) bored d) relaxed e) listening f) thinking g) dead.

• I like imperfections. Genuinely, not ironically. However, if I like someone a lot, I will refer to them as ‘perfect’ even though I like them because they aren’t.

• I’m not a suit of armor, although I may come across like it. I’m actually one of the most sensitive people I know.

• However, if I don’t know you, chances are I won’t care one whit about your opinion.

• I don’t like to talk about myself. It might seem like I do, but I don’t. If someone comes up and asks how I truly feel, I fumble. If they ask me to tell someone about my book, I end up sounding like I have no idea what I’m talking about. I avoid the spotlight as much as possible when talking to actual people. Online I’m far more comfortable; don’t be surprised if you meet me in real life and find me much more reserved than I seem.

• Even when I seem moody and morose, chances are I’m quite happy. I just forget to focus on how I appear to everyone else. This conversation – “Are you angry?” “No, I’m great! Why?” “Well, you look mad.” “…I do!?” happens more often than I like to confess. Honestly, my expression matches my true feelings probably fifteen percent of the time; and my only explanation is the wiring. Somewhere, a circuit is a bit off.

This covers quite a lot about myself, and hopefully I can avoid any more glaring ‘about me’ posts. I do genuinely want you to see ‘the real me’ and not just a projection of myself, but to some extent, that’s impossible. I just want to make it as possible as I can. And like I said, don’t ever vlog when your brain is dead. You’ll thank me. I promise.