[from my journal yesterday morning, 2/14/13,
on the occasion of day one of my big, milestone birthday]
Today I wake up
a milestone birthday.
This is the birthday card I send myself.
I call it My Womanifesto.
I have no more time to waste
in hopes that you will find me pleasing or worthwhile.
If you are that focused on me,
if you are willing to devote so much time and energy
to keeping me small so you can feel late and powerful,
I give that back to you and call it what it is: your problem.
I will not sit still
Or be quiet
Or calm down
Don’t expect me to show my work
simply because you don’t understand.
I am out of apologies, justifications, and explanations-on-demand
and I am not restocking.
Never again will I diminish my light
or quiet my voice
or step aside
– especially when i know i am right –
for fear it will diminish you
or make you feel bad
or incur your wrath.
That is your problem to deal with.
You may label me
and make assumptions
simply because I am
and a Woman,
because I call people I care about Sugar
carry too many pounds
don’t use phrases like
“for the common good”
“it’s not fair”.
Yes, you can surely do that . . .
and it will show
and small mindedness.
It will say much more about you
than you are trying to say
No longer will I sit in the
cold drab metal folding chair
in the dim corner of the room
waiting on somebody . . . anybody . . . to ask me to dance.
I don’t have to like you
And you don’t have to like me,
and even if we do like each other,
we don’t have to agree on everything.
But know this: I will not stand still
while you berate me
or insult me
or call me names
or stomp, kick, or otherwise malign me
because I think differently.
Don’t have to
and I won’t.
If I like you and believe in what you are doing,
I will be your number one cheerleader.
I will support you, encourage you, hold you.
I will help you any way I can but know this:
I will not be disrespected or taken advantage of ever again.
And I will not give you something simply because
I have it
and you want it.
That’s where the word earn comes into play.
I will ask you daily if you’ve thought for yourself
so be ready for it,
because it’s what I’m most passionate about:
thinking for yourself.
I will if you will.
I abhor bandwagon mentality,
despise it, I tell you,
and I will do everything within my power
to support you as you burn your bushel basket.
This political correctness stuff
has to stop.
We are different,
and we each shine in our own way.
I am ready to embrace my shine,
to turn it loose,
and I’m ready for you to do the same.
I am declaring to us both
how I will live my life from this point forward:
and no apologies.
This is a big, milestone birthday
and for the first time in my life,
I feel free to unzip, step out, speak up.
I have tenure, you see,
so I can take up as much space as I want
and I can make as much noise as I want
and I can speak and move and live
as raucously and as tenderly
as I want.
I . . . have . . . tenure.
[ ::: ]
I love this woman, and I love this post.