Friday, April 21, 2017

"The One Thing Your Children Need To Know"

In today's day and age, everybody and their great-aunts have an opinion on how you should raise your children. And, unfortunately, many of those opinions are public and personal. The unsolicited advice is overwhelming and scary. Are you failing your kids?
When it all boils down, there is only one thing your children need to know. Don't get me wrong, math and social skills are super important. But this one thing will effect the way they see themselves, the way they see the world... every aspect of their lives. What is this fundamental thing?
The love of God.
The wonderful, truly unconditional love of the all-powerful and all-compassionate God towards every single person who has ever lived.
God describes Himself as love. God Himself being love is why He made us, why He saved us, and why all our attempts to prove ourselves are nothing to Him. He loves us perfectly already. Yes, one can get into all the different nuances of His love, such as grace and forgiveness and sovereignty, but He Himself brings it all back to love.
And when that love takes a hold on our hearts, it changes us in a way we could never dream possible. God says that the love we have for Him comes from realizing the love He has for us, and that all of Scripture boils down to this: God loves us so unconditionally and so sacrificially that when that love grabs hold of us, it has the power to change us. It has the power to cause to to walk, talk, and see the world as He does.
God is Himself love. He created love, and He loves perfectly without condition and without failing. His love overtakes our being and makes something new and something beautiful. A person who is walking in the love of God is walking in the light and shines in the darkness as a beacon to all who are wandering.
This is love.
This is life.
And this is life to the fullest.

Why I put receipts in the freezer

             As a busy mom of two little boys... the internet ruined my life. Suddenly my only source of luxury (aka coffee) would give me osteoporosis, mt dew would give me diabetes, diet dew would induce Alzheimer's, juice would make me gain weight too quickly, tea would make me lose too quickly, too much water could kill me, and too little could kill my unborn baby. Using the cry it out method was abuse, but so was being a hover mom. Every single cleaner I owned would give me cancer, but the alternatives not only would deprive us of money for food but were potentially fatal to my kids. Posting pictures of my kids made them targets for pedophiles, but refraining from doing so made them hard to identify in an emergency. Every and any thing I could do to be a "good mom", someone else told me was horrible. No matter how hard I tried, there was always a finger pointing at me (or at least, my product choices).
Then, I realized that the #1 most important thing isn't to raise my kids GMO and gluten-free, but to raise them in the love of Jesus. Not that these things are mutually exclusive, but we as moms need grace....lots and lots of grace...and Jesus has it. And how in the world will we ever teach our children they are wonderfully loved just as they are if we don't believe it ourselves?
So, today, despite having to take two little boys to the grocery store by myself at 20 weeks pregnant, having both of them crying as though starving all throughout the store despite the evidence of cheap bad-for-you crackers all over their dirty faces, going over-budget, and opening the back door of the van to a giant heap of vacation luggage; despite overeating, over working, and underhydrating...I never once felt the need to justify myself, cry,or yell,because peace comes from a heart at rest in God and patience from the love overflowing over us more abundantly than the cups of coffee I have downed today. Even when I search the house frantically for the receipt, only to find it next to the tub of ice cream I reached for in a moment of chaos, I can smile and know God loves me just the way I am.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Biblical Feminity: Part 1: Motherhood (or the lack thereof)

"What does it mean to be a woman?"
"What does the Bible say about being a woman?"
"What is my purpose as a woman?"
"Can there be different purposes for different women?"
"What about feminism?"
"Can a woman be single in God's Kingdom?"

These questions and more have been running through my head for awhile, and I invite you to follow a long with me as I search Scripture and the Christian worldview for answers...

It is hard, looking back, to differentiate what I came to be believe as true as being determined by the honest and pure desires I had, the training I grew up in, or the environment I grew up in. As long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom. A mom of 7 kids, to be exact. That may seem like a lot to you, but as one of 16, it seemed like a fair and moderate number to choose.

Why did I want to be a mom? Well...

...first and foremost, I think, it was because that was a desire God placed on my heart, and (I believe) most women's hearts. What exactly that means differs greatly, but I think that desire is a gift... not a necessity. Not all women innately desire to have children and... well... the only definitive statements I can find on the topic is that whereas mankind in general is commanded, "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen 1:28) and most women will probably be mothers, Jesus Himself talks about people who choose to remain single in order to further God's work in Matthew 19, and Paul says, "Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (1 Cor 7:6-9) Notice that there is no gender stipulation here, in fact, Paul specifically addresses widows and puts no exception on "unmarried". So, whereas I 100% believe my desire to be a wife and mother was a gift, I DON'T believe it is a requirement of all women. 

...The second reason I wanted to be a mom was that no other option was ever presented to me or even discussed. My immediate environment consisted of parents that raised me to be a homeschooling mother of a large family. My schooling was always presented as necessary for survival in today's world, and to pass on the the next generation. Independent thought was given abundant lip service, but factually discouraged. In reality, we were only ever encouraged to freely think... the exact same things our parents thought. Independent lifestyles were never even discussed. My larger circle of influence consisted of women getting married as early as 18 and never later than 25 and going on to have lots of babies and raise them as stay-at-home-homeschooling moms. College was never quite forbidden, but greatly discouraged and presented as a waste to most, especially women who would go on to be nothing but mothers for the rest of their lives. 
...The last reason, I believe, I chose to be a mother is because I felt shamed into it. If I desired anything out of life besides cooking, cleaning, and homeschooling all day... I was being selfish and denying my role as a woman. I am sure some of this was over-exaggerated on my part internally, but would have made perfect sense at the same time. This... this right here... is complete and utter crazy conservative "Christian" bunk! Anyone who takes the wack-a-doodle fundamentalist glass off for five seconds and actually reads the Bible's calling to women could see that. 
First off, as I mentioned earlier, not all women are called to be mothers. Most, probably. All, most certainly not. And to raise them presuming that that is what they will be doing with the rest of their lives will cause those called to the glorious life of singleness to feel like complete and utter failures. There is more, so much more, to being a Biblical woman than being a mother. Yes, it is an awesome calling and is too often shamed into today's world, but it is not your identity. That is so much bigger.

Secondly, let's take a look at the epitome of womanhood, the prime example, the purely ideal woman who demonstrates the full spectrum of God's desire for women but is in no way prescriptive, aka: The Proverbs 31 woman. Verses 10-15 are what you remember and expect, but verse 16! "She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard." WHAT?! She is a shrewd business-woman? She owns property outside of the home? Vs 18 confirms this: "She perceives that her merchandise is profitable". Yes, she is. She runs a business. She does something outside of the home. Apparently, being a SAHM is not all there is for womenkind. Can it be a great and glorious place for those God calls to it? Of course! SAHM-ing is nothing to shake a finger at. It is hard, long, self-sacrificing labor all on it's own, and there are many many women who, in God's grace, find their calling there. Please understand I am NOT here to look down on them at all.
My point is that there is more to life for womenkind than this. In fact, nowhere in Scripture do you find a mandate for SAHMs. Yes, the woman is to be the keeper of the home and the nurturer of the children (if children are present). We'll get into that more later. But not once do you find God saying that for women to work is against His plan. Proverbs 31 is not the only example of this. Lydia sold dyes, Dorcas was a dressmaker, Priscilla was a tentmaker, etc. Where profession is implicated, especially in the New Testament, women worked more often than not. 

To all the women out there who feel guilty just because you're working, remember grace, remember love, and know that God does not condemn women working. Yes, you need to be submitting to your husband. Yes, the care of the house is primarily your responsibility. Yes, your children need you to continue to lavish your love upon them and nurture them. But none of that excludes you finding a calling elsewhere.
Does this change the way I live my life personally? Practically, no. I am a Work-at-home-mom and working outside the home, especially when my kids are small, is not how I see God calling me right now. But, spiritually? Emotionally? YES! I can live at peace with my home-run business. I can live in the freedom of this being my calling, not as a forced arrangement with no alternative. I can freely encourage women, including my someday-hopefully-daughters, in their joys and passions even if they don't revolve around children.
And I can continue down this path with a new sense of the vastness of God's Plan

Thursday, February 16, 2017

ANTIOCH WASP EXCLUSIVE!!! Woman Magically Imparts Personhood On Her Kidney-Stones

Woman Magically Imparts Personhood On Her Kidney Stones

ST. PETERSBURG, FA.- According to sources close to the local woman Angela Karter, the pro-choice supporter magically transferred personhood to her kidney stones yesterday afternoon. 

Karter claims that upon realizing the magical powers of her vagina, she decided to perform a simple experiment.  After swabbing some of her vagina juice, she applied them to her pile of wasted body parts and they immediately turned into people!! 

"I figured if my vagina can turn a clump of cells into a person, it might work on my kidney stones!" she told reporters. "Good thing, too! I was just about to throw them away..."

Protesters are lining the streets demanding that the kidney stones possessed life before their unprecedented baptism, much to the chagrin of Karter and her new babies. "The only way a clump of cells can have life before passing through the enchanted vaginal fluid is if the woman decides it does, which I certainly didn't." she scientifically reminds them.  "I didn't want babies then." 

Upon asking Dr. Brian Hampton M.D., her assertion was confirmed. "Prior to passing through the vaginal fluids, a clump of cells remains exactly that: a clump of cells. If the mother decides she wants to keep said clump of cells, however, it supernaturally turns into a person and we will do our utmost to ensure it's safe passage into this world." 

Witnesses confirm that Dr. Hampton while assists women in the removal of kidney stones on a regular basis, he simultaneously goes to great lengths to save those chosen for life, even going as far as performing emergency surgery on those who would otherwise been deemed insentient. 

Karter and her babies are faring well. Her only regret is that "...the decision is irreversible. I can randomly decide whether or not a clump of cells is alive, but once it has been anointed with vaginal fluids, it forever remains a person."  


Women's Rights for All!!!!

Ladies, we need to talk women's rights. 

We need to be willing to take the time to look past the propaganda and see the facts, the real exploitation, the real oppression, the real hard truth of the rampant misogyny in this world. Why? Because it is bad. Really bad. And we need to be aware of the facts if we're going to know which fights are worth fighting and which are a waste of time.

I have never been one to beat around the bush, so let's cut the crap. We care about jobs, we care about sexual abuse, we care about a lot of things. But when we talk women's rights... first and foremost, we're talking about reproductive rights. I mean, really? Who wants to spend 9 months of their life in slavery to a clump of cells with no life, no rights, and no feeling only to have to go through the agony of bringing it into the world where... suddenly.. it is a life we are responsible for simply because we decided to have a little harmless fun? 

Let's talk about abortion and how it benefits us. How it frees us. How it breaks the chains of a patriarchal society that is determined to keep us in our place.

I like visuals... so let's use this one of 100 sexy lips (I would have used pink women symbols, but pink is so ridiculously sexist... so I'm going to use these sex-laden symbols as a way of visually demonstrating our freedom from objectification), each symbolizing a woman getting an abortion according to statistics:

100 women walk into Planned Parenthood to get an abortion (busy clinic!!). 55 are white (highlighted in pink), 35 are black (highlighted in black), 7 are other races (blue), and 3 refrain from saying (white). (1) 

Now, compare these numbers to American demographics. 72.4% white, 12.6 % black, 15% other. WAIT!! There is a huge discrepancy there between the two! Take 2 seconds to check, and you'll see a waaay higher percentage of black people are getting abortions than white people. Of course, this because white people are much more likely to be wealthy enough to afford a baby, therefore making abortion a boom to the black community. This way they can abort their fetuses and move on with their lives with a greater chance of success. It benefits the black community in NYC to have more abortions than live births (2). Indeed, Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was right when she said concerning blacks: "There is only one cure... and that is to stoop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them."(3) Planned Parenthood is doing the black community a great favor by targeting them (4), by accepting funds directed towards black abortions only (5), and by making 40% of their money exclusively off black abortions (6). Racial targeting is HORRIBLE... unless we agree that it is for their benefit. I mean, overpopulation is such a problem it would be great if we could some donors to target all people groups! They tell you that the entire world population can fit in the state of Texas, that the world produces enough carbs alone to give each person 3,500 calories (1500 more than recommended by the FDA) daily, and that some countries are only using 10% of their farmable land while the rest is left to waste, but don't listen to them. (7) They're just ignorant. 

Back to our group of ladies. Out of the 100 women sitting in the waiting room, 64 want to keep their baby but feel forced by society, circumstances, or their loved ones. (8) 

Good thing, too. Everyone knows that moms who want to keep their babies are just deluded. Babies ruin your body, and therefore your life. Without that sexy bod, you know that the patriarchal workforce won't accept you in. You're better off flaunting your curves and working your feminine power over them then having that baby you desired so much. Babies take away 9 months of your life!!! 9 whole months!! I mean, I could go through 4 live-in boyfriends in that time!! It's not worth giving up 9 months of your life for some fetus. My sister wanted to keep her clump of cells, so we all called it a baby and celebrated it with her, that's what you do. But, to force a woman to make the most difficult and heart-breaking decision of her life against her will totally isn't violating her rights. She just doesn't know better. 

Of those 100 women, 10 will experience immediate complications (black), one-fifth of those being life-threatening (gray) (10).

All of those 100 women are 62% more likely to commit suicide (11), almost twice as likely to contact Breast Cancer (12), over twice as likely to contract Cervical, Ovarian, and Liver Cancer (13), 200% more likely to miscarry in the future (14), are 200-1700% more likely to suffer placenta previa in future pregnancy, 80% more likely to visit their doctors for other physical problems, and 180% more likely to develop psychological problems (15). Besides all that, everyone knows that abortions are totally safe and a great alternative to potentially deadly natural process known as childbirth... even though abortion is the 5th highest cause of maternal deaths. (16)... Moving on! 

So, as you can see, abortion is a super safe way to stop yourself from having to sacrifice your body for 9 months for something that only idiots argue is life... even though it has all the organs (including uterus and ovaries) of an adult at 10 weeks. With abortion,  women are set free from being forced into a life they don't want and racial discrimination is brought to it's knees. It would be ridiculous to fight against it. 

3. "What Every Boy and Girl Should Know" by Margaret Sanger
10.Frank,, "Induced Abortion Operations and Their Early Sequelae", Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners (April 1985),35(73):175-180; Grimes and Cates, "Abortion: Methods and Complications", Human Reproduction, 2nd ed., 796-813; M.A. Freedman, "Comparison of complication rates in first trimester abortions performed by physician assistants and physicians," Am. J. Public Health, 76(5):550- 554 (1986).
12. H.L. Howe, et al., "Early Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk Among Women Under Age 40," International Journal of Epidemiology 18(2):300-304 (1989); L.I. Remennick, "Induced Abortion as A Cancer Risk Factor: A Review of Epidemiological Evidence," Journal of Epidemiological Community Health, (1990); M.C. Pike, "Oral Contraceptive Use and Early Abortion as Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Young Women," British Journal of Cancer 43:72 (1981).
13.  M-G, Le, et al., "Oral Contraceptive Use and Breast or Cervical Cancer: Preliminary Results of a French Case- Control Study, Hormones and Sexual Factors in Human Cancer Etiology, ed. JP Wolff, et al., Excerpta Medica: New York (1984) pp.139-147; F. Parazzini, et al., "Reproductive Factors and the Risk of Invasive and Intraepithelial Cervical Neoplasia," British Journal of Cancer, 59:805-809 (1989); H.L. Stewart, et al., "Epidemiology of Cancers of the Uterine Cervix and Corpus, Breast and Ovary in Israel and New York City," Journal of the National Cancer Institute 37(1):1-96; I. Fujimoto, et al., "Epidemiologic Study of Carcinoma in Situ of the Cervix," Journal of Reproductive Medicine 30(7):535 (July 1985); N. Weiss, "Events of Reproductive Life and the Incidence of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer," Am. J. of Epidemiology, 117(2):128-139 (1983); V. Beral, et al., "Does Pregnancy Protect Against Ovarian Cancer," The Lancet, May 20, 1978, pp. 1083-1087; C. LaVecchia, et al., "Reproductive Factors and the Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Women," International Journal of Cancer, 52:351, 1992.
14. Barrett, et al., "Induced Abortion: A Risk Factor for Placenta Previa", American Journal of Ob&Gyn. 141:7 (1981).
15. Ney,, "The Effects of Pregnancy Loss on Women's Health," Soc. Sci. Med. 48(9):1193-1200, 1994; Badgley, Caron, & Powell, Report of the Committee on the Abortion Law, Supply and Services, Ottawa, 1997: 319-321.
16. Kaunitz, "Causes of Maternal Mortality in the United States," Obstetrics and Gynecology, 65(5) May 1985.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Child Nobody Asked For

"But we love each other!" What's the worst that can happen? You get pregnant? It happens all the time. You can just get married, have the baby, and you all will live happily ever after, right?

Wrong. So so very wrong. Let me tell you what it is like to be The Child Nobody Asked For.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you wonder how different your family's life would have been if you had never existed. Did you cement their plans, or smash their dreams? Would they have been better off without you?

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you don't see yourself as a precious gift from God. You see yourself as an inconvenience. You know are not one for whom your parents prayed.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you see yourself as a problem to be fixed, a past to be redeemed from. Your every sin is proof of your parents' rebellion, your every gift only a validation for their decisions. You aren't loved for who you are, but for the promise you bring of redemption... if only you can fulfill it.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you're no one's favored child. You're not the one on whom they dote. You're not the one that is shielded, protected, and sheltered. You're not the one for whom no one could ever be good enough.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, God as a Father means a god who cares for you only because He has to... not because He wants to. You're an inconvenience, a thorn in His side. And God as a Nurturer means a god who is grooming you to be who He wants you to be, not loving you for who you are now.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, no relationship remains untainted by fear. You fear to ask for help, because you might be an inconvenience yet again. You fear that every friend you have is only there out of some sense of duty, that they wish to leave the conversation... leave you entirely. You fear that no one will ever ask for you.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, every single aspect of your life seems to demonstrate to you that you're not desired. That you are not wanted. You are a duty, an inconvenience, a responsibility forced upon the unwilling.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you can never be the same as the rest.

Yes, you may love each other. But the real question is, do you love me: your future child? Is this really the future you want to force upon me? Nevermind how pre-marital sex makes dissatisfaction in marriage just short of certain. Nevermind birth control and how it greatly reduces your chances of having children at all, let alone healthy and happy ones.   What about when the birth control doesn't work? What about that one time when you skip it in a moment of passion? Is this really the life you want for me?

God has redeemed me and shown me how most of what I believed about myself due to being The Child Nobody Asked For was a lie, and praise to Him for it. This is not about pitying me, but about demonstrating how devastating it really is to be a child born out of wedlock in hopes of encouraging couples to reconsider promiscuity.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

No longer #1

While reading “Resolution for Women” this morning, I was asked some questions that… well… I didn’t want to answer. We all have chapters we don’t read aloud, and certainly not to anyone else.

The author was talking about how she found herself basing a large part of her identity on small, inconsequential things, whether they be cultural statements like her weight or her appearance, or something that happened in her past that has changed the way she has lived her life ever since. And then she asked me to see what things in my life were that way; what things did I blow way out of proportion and consequentially use to smother out things that were actually important… actually me.

It is hard being the oldest, especially in a large family. You start out the smartest, the best, the most capable, #1 at everything and in everyone’s mind. And then your little brothers and sisters grow up and find themselves, their gifts and their talents, and every time they do, they steal that little bit of you away. Well, that is how it feels. And whereas you want them to grow up and be happy, so much so you sacrifice a lot of your own happiness (usually unnecessarily) helping them find themselves, on the other hand you wish they would stay little and let you stay the best. So much of how you see yourself is wrapped up in what you can do, what you’re good at, that it is hard to watch as your little siblings surpass you (especially when you were probably the one to introduce them to it in the first place). Seeing yourself that way isn’t healthy at all, and it is not like it is anyone’s fault that this has to happen, but it still stinks.

Vaguely, I remember the day when I still felt beautiful. I remember, when I was about 7, having this red dress. It was a beautiful dress and I loved it. It had long sleeves and a full skirt, just perfect for twirling in. I would spin and spin in the church narthex, and, being the pastor’s kid and one of the only kids in church, I would get smiles and compliments from all the old ladies and gentlemen. I shone.

Right about then, my little sister was growing up and learning to shine, too. I loved having a little sister to teach how to twirl and spin, have tea parties, and play house. But, it wasn’t long before it became obvious (well, to me) that she was a lot prettier than me. Boys started noticing her and talking about her right in front of me. I remember one of them telling me, “You’re fun to play with, but Hannah is the pretty one.” And, maybe it was all in my head, but I always felt that my dad felt the same way. Suddenly, I wasn’t the prettiest anymore. I was second-best, and no one was choosing me.

That summer, I remember looking out my bedroom window to see my mom selling that red dress to a stranger at her garage sale. It devastated me. For me, that dress was all that was left of the days when I felt beautiful. Wearing that dress made me feel like, maybe, if I tried hard enough, someone would still choose me. And, though I knew that it no longer fit and I couldn’t wear it anymore, it symbolized the end of those days.

That was the day I first stopped trying. If everyone was always going to pick someone else first, why bother? Who wants to be second-best?

And so it continued down the line. My brother was better at sports, my next brother at art. My next sister was prettier still and had charm to boot. By the time I got married, the only thing I was still the best at… was cleaning and caring for the babies. So while this sister was asked to organize the family vacation, and that brother to create an art piece, I was left doing the dirty work, as I saw it. Did I realize then that cleaning and caring for children were the gifts I was going to need the most as a mom? No. All I saw was that I was always second-best, that no one was ever going to choose me.

I remember the first time my now-husband came to visit my family. I had met him at summer camp, the only place I went without my two sisters. Therefore, I was terrified. I was terrified that as soon as he saw my sisters, he was going to forget all about me… just like countless other guys had done. In fact, I was so sure that that was what he was going to do, I was preparing myself to be happy for my sister, since I wasn’t one to try to deprive them of happiness out of vengeance. They were still my sisters, after all. But, that isn’t what happened. And, for the first time I can remember since I was 7, someone chose me.

Suddenly, it was worth taking the time to be beautiful, because he thought I was. Suddenly, it was worth the effort to be smart, because he cared for my opinion. Suddenly, I was no longer second-best, and that meant everything.

You think that that would last, especially since we’re now married and he chooses me over and over again every day. But, one exception in hundreds of cases wears off really fast. It didn’t start a trend, it didn’t change the fact (as I see it) that I am not worth being chosen, being singled-out, being noticed, being loved. I am just another face in a crowd, one in 7 billion people desperately wanting to be noticed. And I rotate between not trying at all, and trying way too hard; between throwing other’s opinions to the wind (which usually ends up in my hurt and anger spilling all over after having been hidden and undealt with for so long) and being a people-pleaser (which always ends in tears because someone inevitably reminds of my bad reactions when hurt, or my inability to be “okay”, or decides that my hurt or my passions are not worth it)… both of which just make things worse.

And why should I believe anything different? Why would anyone chose to love someone who is incredibly hurt and suffering with no idea how to fix it? Why would anyone chose to single-out someone who is totally ordinary? Why would anyone notice someone who has no noticeable talent, no noticeable beauty, no noticeable anything but pain and loneliness? The only time I’m noticed is when I act out, and then I’m told to shut up and go back to work. I have to choose between people being mad at me and ignoring me. When I do voice my pain in an honest, non-abrasive manner, culture tells me my pain doesn’t count because of the color of my skin, most of my friends end up telling me it doesn’t count because they ignore it, and those who do say something might be there for a day or two but always end up finding something more worth their time. At the end of the day, I am left with my husband (who is currently my only lifeline) and maybe my grandmas… who I love tremendously, but they’re my grandmas. I could be the most worthless nobody in the world, and I would still be the light of their life, which is occasionally reassuring… but usually just goes to show how worthless I am if they are the only ones there for me.

Maybe being #1 isn’t what matters. Maybe I should try because I was indeed made the way I am for some ambiguous purpose. Maybe being yourself is much more valuable than being #1. But when “yourself” needs a lot of help and the world keeps rejecting it, is it really worth it? All I know is that I am no longer #1.

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