Now Playing: Roar by Katy Perry (I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath, scared to rock the boat and make a mess, so I sat quietly, agreed politely)
I have forgotten how to be passive.
Being passive is something that is expected of women; all women, even the ones who are valued for being smart and strong and sarcastic. A female activist is 'cute', but should bow down to male discourse; otherwise you're being a bitch or not listening to advice or not being a good friend. And these aren't just abstract political of philosophical opinions; even things like consent or standing up to physical or emotional abuse is frowned upon. I keep getting whacked over the head with 'nobody's perfect' and I know that, I know that all too well - believe me, I am the last person I would describe as 'perfect'. But that doesn't mean we should be endlessly tolerant, or penalized for being defiant. Being passive is not empowering or strong and should not be an obligation. We expect women to live their lives in caretaker mode; it's fine to have opinions, but 'for the sake of my marriage' or 'for our friendship' women are supposed to eventually back down.
I can't do that. I can't do that anymore.
I have always had a predisposition towards defiance; in my younger and more vulnerable days I was broken as all teenagers are and I sat down and shut up. The only outlet I had for all my opinions and anger and passion was my blog, but back then a grand total of about two people read my blog, so it felt like a safe space for me to vent; like a diary. I've always been shy and anxious and insecure, and that really did impact the way I express myself; it's why I turned to things like poetry and art, which can be very provocative and jarring but at the same time abstract and easy to defend. But as my audience grew, I couldn't stop being me. It's addictive, knowing that you're being someone so genuine and sincere that it scares people. I can't stop being me.
My life is one long argument, and sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's easier to just nod and say 'whatever you like' or 'I don't mind', when you do, when you do mind, and it kills you. Sometimes it's easier to sweep things under the carpet or let things slide, let yourself be amused by something funny or soothed by attempts to make up for things that shouldn't have even happened in the first place. You have to stand up for yourself, even against people you love; because sometimes they're the ones who most need reminding. Conflict is an inevitable part of defiance, but I'm not going to stop that. I am who I am, and I was born to be kind of explosive and provocative. Take it or leave it.
I was broken, and someone put me back together and broke me again. And that's okay, you know; there's always a little voice in the back of my head, quietly saying that I will try again tomorrow. I'll be my own hero in this next chapter of my life, because that's nothing less than what I deserve. There's only one person who will be with me from the very beginning to the very end, and that's me. I'm tired of being collateral damage, and I'm tired of people becoming my collateral damage on my way to growing up. I've learned to be lonely, and I've learned how to be alone. There's nothing I can't do for myself, and that's all it's going to be, for now; for myself.