I spent the better part of last year divorcing myself from the opinions of others.
I actually got very good at it. I developed a kind of calloused skin that afforded me absolutely no shame. Knowing full well that I’m the girl that drinks 4 coffees a day, despises awkwardness, despite being the queen of awkward encounters. The girl that laughs hysterically at rude words and will always initiate a deep and meaningful regardless of whether or not the conversation was naturally heading in that direction.
I’d become very good at owning myself. Until recently.
At the end of last year I started to slip. I started letting people’s opinions of me affect how I in fact see myself. “I don’t like the way she looks”, “I don’t like how she talks”, “she’s such a mess”, “she’s very cold” and my all time favorite, ‘you know how she is’.
Ah, what? Excuse you. No I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me how I am?
You’ve heard it all before. All the reasons why you are in fact an insufficient human being. Too flirtatious and too shut off. Too polite and too opinionated. Too wild and far too tame.
I tell you what. I’ve had a guts full.
As soon as a woman becomes happy she radiates. It’s a powerful thing to be confronted with somebody else’s happiness. It forces a spotlight into your own dark corners.
Your happiness magnifies their despair. And so you become a target.
I felt that I had to be less me. Less interested, less engaged. That I was too bright or too dull, too deep or not deep enough. I was too much or not enough. I felt disorientated and couldn’t put a foot right.
The desire for approval outweighed my own satisfaction and muddied my waters. The cool, thick slime twisted in my hair, covered my skin and began to choke me.
The more I succumbed to the idle gossip of small minds, the more I felt my flame diminish. Like a flickering candle, I was waiting for the breath that finally put it out.
It only takes a little sunshine after a long night to wake you. And I rose. I rose out from under forced shadow and back beneath glowing rays.
And then I remembered. I remembered how far I’ve come and how hard the road was. I remembered falling in every hole, and tripping over every crack. I remember stumbling and praying for strength.
I have stood when it felt all my bones would break. I remember my soul trying to escape with every tear, shudder and shriek. And all I know is, I will not be fed to the wolves now.
So ladies, this is my prayer for you.
You are a diamond. You are the gemstones of the mountains, and the minerals of the earth.
You are the rain that nourishes and the sky that rumbles.
You are the sorceress that calls magic from her finger tips.
With every step you take the air will shudder and the waters will ripple.
For you girl, you are the daughter of the universe.
It doesn’t matter what they whip you with. It doesn’t matter what they think, what they say or even what see. You know the deep wells of your power, and the truth of your intention.
You don’t answer to anybody.
But they’re going to talk. You can’t stop that, but might as well give them a good show.