On this Solstice I am asking myself, after all of this transformation, after looking myself in the eye at each stage of development, who is it that I am hiding from? Who do I not want to be seen by? Who is it I am afraid of being afraid of? Who? Is it the me who almost came into being if not for this conscious continuos rebirthing? Is it my self that I am scared of being judged by?
But then, who does this voice belong to: “Stupid girl, always asking for more, always needing to question, can’t you just settle down? Accept what is given to you. You’re too much.” Who’s voice is that? Why am I speaking to me like that? Is that a part of me?
I don’t think so. This sounds like the internalization of the patriarchy in my brain. The system of self oppression used to keep us down. The voice sounds like my mother’s mother. That is fucked up. The system that wants me to cower and hide and shield the world from the powerful me has usurped the place of grandmother wisdom? That cruel voice, the voice of shame and embarrassment is not mine. And it’s not her. It is the voice of oppression. The voice of those in power trying to stay there. The voice that breaks people and makes them question their right to be here. The voice that convinces the sensitive souls, the souls who really truly love, that there is no place for them in this world. That “we” would be better off if the lovers and dreamers and feelers would just get out of the way.
You want me to hide? You want me to feel ashamed for loving and reaching and connecting and surpassing? You want to use the voice of my grandmother against me?
No. I won’t let you. I say go to Hell. I will stand at my full height and love everything that I can. I will walk unadorned of your commercialism. I will look you in the eye and tell you that your time is up. I will not hide. I will not apologize for not needing you. I will not apologize for being smarter than you. I will move on and love more and move on again just to make you uncomfortable. I will not get plastic surgery. I will not be undereducated. I will not let you tell me who I am and how the world will treat me.
I was wrong. It happens. I was afraid of my own potential. I needed help to not be. And I love me for it. I am proud of me. I want more of everything. I am hungry for it all. Just like my grandmothers were. I know their wisdom comes from loving their creations in the best way they knew how in the situations they found themselves in.
So how dare you, the vile oppressive voice of the status quo, speak in my grandmother’s tone. I’m pissed. I’m pissed that my bad experiences are nothing compared to what so many other people endure. Pissed that abuse is systemic. Pissed that poverty is seen as a necessity in Capitalism. Pissed that mental illness goes untreated. Pissed that sexual abuse is the norm for many families instead of a tragic exception.
So, guess what, cruel voice in my head, because I grew up, because my childhood has ended, because I survived despite your best effort from the inside, I am going to work towards change. I am going to apply myself to your undoing in a way I never would have if you had not had the nerve to use my own grandmother’s voice against me.
Oh, and I’m raising sons too. Every day that I teach them to think for themselves, every day that they feel safe to express their emotions, is a day that I win and you lose.
What am I supposed to be ashamed of again?
Being a girl… fuck, fuck, fuck you.
Being wrong… I’m proud to have tried.
Being poor… I pay for myself and my children’s food and shelter.
Being strong… glad it makes you uncomfortable.
Being loving… it will be what ruins you.
Being a writer… what I have to say is important.
Being single… I value my autonomy.
Being sexually sophisticated… I am freaky and I like it.
Anything else you want to say?
I didn’t think so. I won’t be covering up, I won’t be hiding. I have a lot of fuel inside of me ready to burn. I am here and it matters. I will be the summer sun that refuses to set.