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We all know her; I know her well.

She lives for the day to go shopping for “the other one”.

She believes the world when it tells her — life does not begin until you give up your last name (all else, TBD).

She takes great photos, and posts only the best.

She makes sure her value is beyond evident by gracing you with a secret diary of labels and procedures she presents as a smile.

She asks permission or, if denial is certain, tells mounting white lies for the occasional indulgence of her heart’s desire.

Her hopes and dreams are completely glued to a pedestal that never existed because pedestals don’t exist with conditions.

Ten years ago, she argued that one should not walk out of her life.

Ironically, my life was out there.

I was her.

So, I don’t write this with lament.

I write these words with joy.

Each

and

every

one.

Each

and

every

day.

I am not the girl you marry, but I am a woman that understands love.

It is a space in which you grow, in unfathomable ways – where your hopes and dreams are magnified, not diminished.

Love is letting go and becoming transparent instead of clinging to a seemingly unwavering individual.

It is not a badge of honor or a point of contention.

Love just is.

Love is remarkable.

I am not the girl you marry, but I am a remarkable woman.

Wholeheartedly.

Love.

Me.