My Jared Houscon 2017 auto story:
I was really nervous about holding up the auto line, but it was important to me that I show Jared my Always Keep Fighting tattoo & give him a message. I know that Jared has struggled with not believing that he deserves good things and learning to love himself. I wanted to say something briefly to remind him that he is as worthy as the next person to be happy. After he signed my op, I showed him the tat on my arm and thanked him for AKF. Then, after taking a breath, I looked him in the eye and I told him that every ounce of love he receives he deserves because he is amazing. I saw the change in his face immediately and could tell he was genuinely touched by what I had said. He put his hand up and interlaced his fingers with mine. He kept repeating, “As do you, as do you” and we held eye contact until I finally (I think) said thank you. I may have nodded or smiled, but I don’t remember what my face was doing, mostly just the eye contact and the emotions passing over his face. As I was walking away he said “Thank you, darling” with the same sincere expression. I think he also pressed his fingers against his lips in a quick kiss, but I had partly turned away at that point to walk out of the room. I didn’t realize until later that he probably kept repeating “as do you” because I wasn’t responding. He only let go when I acknowledged in some way what he was saying, that I deserve every ounce of love I receive, too. Maybe something in my face revealed that I don’t always believe that about myself, because he was saying those words while gripping my hand tightly, never looking away, and was very sincere. I walked out of the op shaking (which was an entirely new experience because I’ve never responded like that after meeting someone) because knowing I made some kind of impact on someone I look up to, this amazing man that I have so much love for and feel I can, in some ways, relate to, was such an emotional moment. Forever grateful I was able to get the words out, and for Jared being as incredible as he is.