We met in the breakroom and exchanged playful jabs while expertly debating which breakfast beverage of choice was best: coffee or tea? I didn’t think he was anything extra special, I just thought he was funny and bold, a nice breath of fresh air from the guys I’d chosen to set my intentions on. And truth be told, I needed a Jack.*

*names have been changed to maintain anonymity and to protect me from my own embarrassment.

I needed a light hearted, “it’s really never going to happen but it’s fun,” work situationship to get me past the heaviness of the past year. Even more, I needed a Jack to get real world experience with my newly repaired self-image. Before Jack, I was slowly picking up all the self respect I haphazardly tossed away when my last “almost” dissolved. For 7 months I was angry. I was angry that I’d let myself imagine “him & me.” I was angry that I allowed him to convince me to unzip the dressing around heart for just one peek. One peek became two, which grew into five. Before I knew it, my heart was on full display, the emotional networks of my soul on display for him to dissect. Most of all I was angry at myself for disrobing and discarding the very characteristics, nuances and quirks that made me, me. I was 26.

But Jack was different. I had no expectations for him. There was no mental tennis match in an effort to slam the thoughts of “what could be” into the back of my mind. There was no constant internal dialogue, quickly cataloging and critiquing exactly what was happening to later analyze with my friends. Nah, there was none of that. I was finally dressed in my own skin, and it fit well. No, with Jack, being myself was a walk in the park. Flirting was only a tool on my belt. And although the deep wells stayed protected, I was comfortable with the existence of that boundary.

I got a taste of what it was like to come home to myself in those short 6 weeks. And it wasn’t Jack that brought it out of me. Jack left my life just as soon as he walked into it. He wasn’t the secret sauce. He merely exposed what had been growing within me in the past few years. It was the realization that who I am, Sophia Anne Dolcine, has been and will always be completely whole. Despite the voices that echoed and beckoned me to cower in fear of rejection, despite my growing need to censor every part of my being, I was and am incandescently and blissfully whole.

I think back to that time because that realization has been tried, assaulted, arrested, and protested by so many since then. Even, I was one of it’s biggest critics. But the adoption of my wholeness opened the door for me to move different, create different, dream different, and reclaim the lies that had seeped into the center.

And for you, I want you to know you are whole.

You are deliciously and irreverently whole.

There is nothing on this earth that can dethrone that truth.


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