For Emily Gindlesparger, the idea of opening up her eight-year relationship was terrifying. Even considering it sent her into a tailspin of jealousy, anxiety, and self-doubt. Except … maybe she did want it, if she was being brutally honest.
By saying yes to an open relationship, Emily realized she could say yes to a new adventure—one in which she could explore desires and versions of herself she'd previously kept hidden.
She discovered an assertive, impulsive side that wanted to take risks. Another side, timid and ashamed, that shrank from uncomfortable conversations. And an insatiable side—one that hungered for others to love her more than she knew how to love herself.
As she also came to realize that she was queer, forming deep yet troubled relationships with two women, her profound need to feel loved kept her newfound truths locked away. She hid her relationship with one woman from the other. She hid all the new details of her life from her parents.
But something else was growing inside her too—a wild, undeniable need to let those small, quiet parts of her have a voice. To expose her darkest secrets, no matter how terrifying. And, ultimately, to know and love every last part of herself—no matter what it might cost.