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I ran away to South Carolina when I was 21. I was tired of being the only gay kid in an overprivileged suburban town. I was tired of the snow, and six months of grey skies, and Ohio. I was mostly tired of Ohio.

So I went to the beach, with $1000 I saved from working in a stock room.
I rented a studio apartment three blocks from the ocean, and
I found a shitty job at a restaurant that completely changed my life.

I was happy, for the first time ever. I was free.

I might have been born in Ohio, but I didn’t grow up there. I grew up 700 miles south, with strangers, friends, and the people who became my family. The family I chose; the family who understood. I grew up when I could finally stop worrying about who I was growing up for.

So much happened there, and I’ll be honest, some things I wish I could forget. Those things were messy. They hurt.
But with them, I grew.
Still, so much of it was beautiful, and
when I think about it now I can’t believe it was my life.

I don’t have many pictures to remember it by, but those are three of my favorites. Each from a wildly different time in my journey. Three stages that will stick with me forever.

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2 comments

  1. rarasaur · November 15

    I love how we find our homes along our way. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ali · November 16

      Right?! It’s the biggest gift the universe has given me.

      Liked by 1 person

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