Had some laptop troubles this week, so the blog was on pause, but I'm back. :)
So, today I'm here to stir up some controversy to make up for my missed time.
I had a boyfriend once, who had me convinced my purpose in life was to attend classes, come home clean/cook/ and wait for him to come home. I lost most of my friends and most of myself to this guy. Suddenly one day, someone asked me to model for them, thus introducing me to new people. I started modeling while finishing grad school, which lead me to new people reminding me that I have actual feelings, emotions, and imagine this, opinions.
A few months into my new life, I watched a documentary that made all kinds of things click for me, that made me decide to be a vegetarian. One day I brought this boyfriend to a party, and someone asked me about my new decision to not eat meat. After I very thoughtfully explained my choice, he suggested it was time to leave. On the way home he said, "You know you're much prettier, when you stand and smile, instead of speaking your mind so loudly."
Of course, I smiled, and shut up like the good little girl I was at the time. Thankfully this boyfriend did me the best favor of all time, and broke up with me shortly after. Albeit in the worst way possible, but I was then sent on my way to find my voice again. I wish I could say I immediately regained my spine quickly, but it took several years for me to do so. From where I sit today, I will never allow someone to take away my voice again.
This (past 5) year(s) I have had several people suggest things to me like, "You shouldn't be so vocal about causes when you're trying to push your own cause." "Maybe you should tone down the activism, people will stop following you." or the ever so common, "Maybe if you weren't lecturing me with this, I would hear what you're saying." Another favorite, "You would be more successful if you chose 1 passion, and stuck with it." "You care about too many things."
Let me start this by saying, I'm forever grateful for a man like Steve to be on this journey with. When we decided to share our story so vocally we also decided to share ourselves. OUR REAL selves. Not only is Steve on board with me sharing myself, he is constantly reminding me not to loose myself in the midst of care-giving life. This man is the ideal partner in a world where strong women are often silenced. Real men, really do empower women. There will never be a time where Steve and I will remain quiet on something we feel passionate about because we might loose followers. It's not the tribe we are trying to build here.
On to the lecture comment, that if you saw a post I made this morning: I spoke on this happening twice this week alone. That's just this week. I've been told maybe a hundred times the past 5 years, the because I am strongly speaking out about something I believe in, it sounds like I'm lecturing everybody. To me, I consider this statement to be insulting. Now I know I'm perceiving it this way, much like those offended by my posts are perceiving my words as a lecture, and it's not always intended this way but I want to speak on this. I've seen this phrase used to remind women, "You should be gentle, soft spoken, and tread lightly." I'm here to say, women please roar; scream, shout, curse, speak as loudly and as passionately as you want. Never let someone convince you that your passion, is too much. If it is for them, that's not your fault. They can simply choose not to read your posts. It's that simple. I will never allow someone else to silence me again, and I hope that every female reading this feels empowered to live the same.
Last but not least; PEOPLE there is no such thing as too many passions or caring too much. Please stop insulting my intelligence by thinking my mind is too little to hold all my many passions. Maybe I don't want your definition of success for my life anyways. Someone telling me I'm too passionate in my mind means, "Hope I think I know what your time is better used for." Honey, no you don't.
I beg of everyone reading this, two things.:
A. If someone is too much for you, simply remove them from your feed/life/whatever you have to do. DO NOT TRY TO PUT OUT THEIR DAMN FIRE.
B. IF someone's trying to put out your fire, tell them to kindly move along, to somewhere far away from you.