But I don’t feel like me. I can’t believe it’s been over two and a half months since my last post. I had to clear off cobwebs from the site and everything, but it was nice to see that everything was where I left it.

I have so many things to say, but I feel stifled and silenced. I’ve left politics off my blog, but they exist in every other facet of my life. I feel I can be my most authentic self on Twitter, but I am not the person I want to be on Facebook anymore. I am a shell of myself, and it has put me into this depressed state that I can’t seem to escape from. I share stories that reflect my opinions but rarely do I actually share my opinions in my own words. I don’t feel like I can anymore.  People already dislike me for my beliefs.

These are people I didn’t know six years ago when I was just Lori Otto, a girl who was editing stories that her friends were excited to read. All I did was publish some books and then write some more. Somehow, strangers became interested in my personal life, and against forces of nature, my introverted self let them in.

I was different back then. I’ll be the first to admit it. But writing books allows me to self-reflect. Writing teaches me more about myself and gives me a stronger sense of who I am. If you’re a writer, you probably understand this. My beliefs are interwoven in every damn book I’ve written. It was subtle in the beginning, but in 2015, they became blatant and in-your-face. I knew I’d lose some readers, but I felt authentic, and I was okay with that. I was content with my decision.

I didn’t know I’d lose friends. But I have. And for the past 9 months, I’ve been struggling with this concept of friendship and what it really is, anyway.

I have so many things to say, but I feel stifled and silenced.