“Weird and Proud”
“You are very weird.” It was intended as an insult. Truth is, though, it made me smile. It made me feel powerful. What did I do to merit the unintended compliment? I claimed my power as a woman to stand up and be counted as an educated, intelligent, vibrant, and yes, unique, individual. I claimed the right to create what I choose to in my life, to take my own path, to keep growing and becoming, to be proud of myself. And I expressed this to a person who found it mind blowing and offensive that I, or by extension any woman, would dare to stand on her own, and stand up against misogyny in any form.
I earned this non-compliment, and many others not fit for print, for refusing as a mature woman in her fifties to no longer remain silent in the face of words and actions that are grossly offensive, regardless of who speaks them and regardless the cost. The insults did not sting, rather they made me smile. Smile as they ran off like useless bullets flying into my Wonder Woman shield. Not only did I dare to challenge, to vocalize, to step into my power, but also I dared to not hide my originality, my quirkiness, my real me.
I am the girlfriend to amazing female friends, the mother of strong and powerful daughters, the sister of unique sisters, the daughter of an incredibly wise and strong mother. One thing 2020 has taught me, or maybe just reminded me of, is that life is really, really fragile. It is short and it is unpredictable. Speak your truth. We cannot control the outcomes. How the words land and reverberate in someone else’s head are beyond our control. Speak with honesty, conviction and clarity of thought and intention. Don’t try to hurt, but don’t bend your truth to appease. This is what is in our control. This is power.
The days of women, wives, and girlfriends, being seen and not heard, or making choices in the workplace or in relationships, out of fear, bullying or intimidation, must end. I wish I could say they were over, that we have evolved, but if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that small minds stuck in outdated unjust paradigms still exist. I feel like planet earth is in hard labor trying to give birth to a new year. For my daughters and their daughters, I will no longer shake my head and look the other way. 2020 rocked us to our core. It released our most primal fears. It robbed us of affection and companionship. It revealed the ugliest sides of our fellow humans in terms of racial, political and class prejudices, and seemed to pit us all against each other when we needed each other most. But without the darkness, we cannot recognize the light. It is in the contrast, that we see the path to growth and the opportunities to evolve in thinking and spirit. The opportunities to do better and to be better.
So, ladies, I am speaking to you right now. Step into your power in 2021. Give yourself permission. You are beautiful. You are unique. Yes, maybe you, like me, are weird. That’s great! Own it. Claim your life, because you – in all your strengths and all your weaknesses – are enough.
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