The One With You Don't Own Me
This month, I'm participating in the Slice of Life challenge with Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post or you can head on over there to check out other people's stories and follow along with the fun. For more information on what a Slice of Life is about, you can go here.
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Dear Person Who Thinks He/She/They Has/Have Me Pegged,
Thank you for your attempt to figure me out. I appreciate your efforts, especially the way you listened to me and my ideas, the wheels turning in your head, before deciding how you wanted to label me. But you're mistaken in thinking you get to define me. In fact, your assertions don't impact how I see myself. I understand that you so boldly took it upon yourself to put me into a box. And not just any box, but a neatly wrapped box with a giant, sparkly bow you picked out yourself. As you can imagine, I encounter several people everyday who try to do the same and so I cannot respond personally to every one.
This letter is to inform you that your judgment of me has not been chosen as one that I value in any way shape or form but I invite you to try and understand that I am a multi-faceted, intelligent, passionate, strong woman who sets high expectations for herself and those she works with, who believes in being honest, diligent, and reliable in getting things done while still having fun, and who, most importantly, always leads with her heart. I know this might be difficult. I appreciate that you want to decide for yourself who you think I am and that you think you have control over me by telling me what you have decided about me but I regret to inform you that I refuse to give you power over me. You might have more luck looking closely at yourself and reflecting upon your own values, beliefs, and how they align with your actions. I wish you the best in all your future endeavors.
All my best,
(Thanks to Brenda Miller's post, We Regret to Inform You in The Sun
for being a most excellent mentor text.)
Studying spoken word has reminded me how important it is to be true to myself. I am the only me and no one else can tell me what to say or how to be nor should they try and exert their power over me. This isn't to say that people don't try to do this all the time...but they shouldn't and I shouldn't let them.
My message to you is this: Be you. Be 100% you. Know yourself. Love yourself. Trust yourself. Use your voice. Stand up for what you believe in and stand up for and beside others who need/ask for/accept your help. Make yourself heard. But always remember, you are accountable to yourself first and no one can tell you who you are or how to be.
As I worked on this post, Lesley Gore's You Don't Own Me which I know from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack ran through my head. It's an oldie but a goodie for sure.
I don't tell you what to say
I don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you