Hi. I’m Aly. I figured now might be a good time to introduce myself.

Technically I’ve already introduced myself, in our first co-post on this blog where Ash and I discussed our reasons behind why we write in general and why we’re both writing on this blog. But tbh, I still don’t believe that I’ve properly introduced myself. So let me get going on that.

I’m Aly. I was raised southern Baptist and was a virgin who’d never even been kissed until 23. And when I finally did find a guy who seemed to tolerate me, I spent 8 important, but emotionally deprived years in my very first relationship. I had no clue who I was or what I was capable of because I was too afraid to find out. I don’t even know if I understood what I liked, what I didn’t like, what I thought about anything at all. I adopted what other people told me, including the ideas of the man I was with, and I blindly followed the life I’d witnessed growing up.

The problem with being so fearful of the devil and hell at a very young age was that I spent the bulk of my young adult life too frightened to really explore who I was. I just knew who I couldn’t be.  And I was terrified if I did any real exploring, I would find that I was, in fact, a terrible, unlovable demon monster bound for hell.

Note: Not everyone reacts to religion and Christianity this way. This was a perfect storm of my own neuroses (and my father’s) compounded by my particularly impressionable childhood, a lack of self-worth and serious social anxiety. I was just a cocktail of nerves and trepidation really.

All that changed when I turned 31. I’m not exactly sure what broke the camel’s back, but something finally snapped and I realized there was a whole big wide world out there and I wanted to explore it. I wanted to finally see what I was made of … even if that meant I discovered I was full of hell-bound little demons like I had feared.

So much has happened in the past 5 years. I got divorced, I fell in love twice, had my heart broken twice, changed jobs twice, started singing karaoke like an addict, started drinking vodka like an alcoholic and eventually started writing again. In between all of that, I dated a large chunk of Dallas.

So that’s a very brief history of me. Why is it important to tell you this? Well, if you stick around and keep reading you’ll find that all of these little broken pieces tend to come out in my writing. I figured I’d give you a some context before we start to get truly intimate here. In fact, if you want to know more about all of my crazy history and some details that are definitely TMI, you can read about it here: sexandthebigd.com. I started that blog a couple of years ago, post the biggest heartbreak I’d ever experienced. It was a way for me to … wrangle all my little hell-bound demons and put them down on paper. It was therapy. It still is.

But the reason I’m writing here, to you, to whoever stumbles across this page, is because I finally realize that while I might have demons, they aren’t hell-bound. No sir. There is life after divorce, affairs and heartbreak. There is life even after you make a mess of yours. There is love after loss, even if it’s just the love you have for yourself.

Here is where I hope to make sense of the lessons I’ve learned and share them and also, hopefully, maybe (if I’m lucky) learn about your lessons as well. I don’t know exactly how that happens. Ash and I are trying to figure that out, to be honest.

Oh, and while I’m at it, let me also tell you about my best friend. Ash. Co-author and creator of this blog. We’ve known each other for over 15 years now. She was the first person I lived with when I finally moved out of my parents house at 21. I didn’t know her very well then. She was a friend of a friend who wanted to move out of her mom’s house as well. I barely knew her and I was terribly awkward at making friends so you can imagine how strange it was to be roommates with me at that time. Little did I know that this friend of a friend would become my person and quite possibly the healthiest relationship I might ever be lucky enough to have.

We’ve survived a lot together. Divorces, toxic friendships, terrible relationships, nearly ending our own friendship for good three times, living together twice. We are total opposites. She’s a researcher, a studier, a very detail oriented brainiac who listens to podcasts daily and reads more books in a month than I can read in two years. I am…. well, the opposite of all of that.

She is the truth to my chaos. She is the upholder to my rebel. She teaches me so much about life and love and what healthy connections are supposed to be. She is a vat of knowledge and wisdom and compassion. She’s not perfect, but she is always getting better.

I’m a gemini and she’s a leo and there’s so much about our friendship that just shouldn’t work. But somehow, in some way, we’ve made it work. Because deep down we share a few very important core values, one of which is that working on a relationship or friendship is always, always worth it. So long as both parties are willing to do so. We’ve had to work on boundaries (mostly she’s had to work with me on boundaries bc I tend to suck at them), and through her I’ve learned not only how to respect and value someone else’s boundaries but also to set my own. She’s my go-to for advice and she gives it to me freely, without judgement, even when she knows my rebel spirit might totally ignore it. She’s the best.

But, anyway, as I was saying, she and I are trying to figure out how to make this blog more interactive. We don’t want to just ‘write’, we want to tell the truth, we want to hear the truth too and we want to learn. At least I know I do.

I’m not sure yet what that will look like. For now, it’ll just be like this. Conversations. Questions. Telling our story with complete honesty and vulnerability. Showing you our scars hoping you might show us yours in return. A way for us to share with you what we know and ask you what about what we don’t know.

And maybe through us sharing with you and you sharing with us, we can all grow and learn and love the little heaven-bound demons inside us better.

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