It is hard to escape you. Living, pushing, thriving in a world that is comprised of the many different faces you wear -- you are continually one step ahead of my runaway plan.
Sometimes you are gentle - reminding me of my femininity, of my privilege of being a child to two people and a sibling to another human.
But generally you taunt with biting negativity that can leave a heart feeling strapped to adjectives that were meant to be left lying to decay in the dust.
There are moments you won't let a memory forget.
That first time I looked the young girl I was in the eye and called her fat - that beast rages loud from within me, still.
That first time I was called a bitch; there are no pain relievers to erase the gaping ache that still arises anytime the word is spoken.
The tears, still hot and salty, seem to have left an imprint on my lips to forever remind me of that initial taste of being deemed loose.
And what of all the words that go unsaid, but dance around each word that is?
How many times have I felt that drive into my mind, settling in, and have just become too defeated myself to try to defeat it?
What happens when we begin to succumb to the accusations thrown at us? My head has grown too heavy for the weary neck to push it to signify the resistance. The shoulders heave, up and down, in a show of contemplation.
I have grown docile beneath the crushing weight of a world intent on naming everything. Just each and every part must have its place.
I am fatigued.
Society tells us we are what we do, we are defined by a name change, our value is to be found in the numerical figure on a paycheck.
The pressure is building, the time to race against a clock is coming, just when will I be taken seriously?
It isn't worth it. The always clamoring to be seen, to be found understood, to be linked to the greats.
Life cannot be a constant string of superlatives and popularity contests. Sometimes it needs to stop being about the winning and become about the unfolding of an understanding that my heart has only become what it is because of everything I've done.
Maybe I am fat.
Perhaps within me a bitch lies dormant just now.
There was a time I was loose with my body, not particular about the sheets I would lie between.
These are not the makings of a human not worthy. These are not the components of a life merely existing instead of living.
This is a cry to those being trapped by a name that is not their own.
Hear me now, you who have settled for closing the door on the box that others have trapped you within; it's time to break out.
It's time to shout back.
There are so many more things making me a daughter, a sister, a friend. Courage and bravery do not come from lying still beneath the hurtling judgments. There is no integrity discovered by accepting a label and only living within that space. Creativity is not bred in a moment of giving up.
I have been found weak and defenseless before.
Let the failings, the miscalculations, the loss of clear thinking prove to be grounds for rediscovery of who you were designed to be.
Let the pure hurt, the bruises from the throttling, the sting of being left behind, overlooked, misjudged, let it all be the stones with which a new path is paved.
Let the hate-filled self talk and the abuse of the body and the gullibility of buying into being someone you're not turn itself into what you can use to meet others right where they stand.
Listen. The fighter within - the one who wants to hold fast to what they know is true, but is afraid of being called foolish - let that piece of you run wild.
This is a call - to stop buying into branding. To lash out at the name calling. To cease with the wishing for a different body, heart, face, life.
Let's stop bowing down and lying beneath who anyone else might say we are and start fighting to become just exactly who we're supposed to be.