To Know Your Power
Of late, I feel like a force. Fucking finally. It could be that I listen to the new Chance The Rapper song "No Problem" (as in, "You don't want no problems, want no problems with me") on repeat and have altered the lyrics to suit my own retaliation visions, à la "if one more band of douches try to stop me, it's gon' be some blue-headed bitches in your lobby." It could be that I saw Beyoncé perform live a week or so ago, and now I'm back on the "dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it" train that I usually ride to gratification. What other empowering song lyrics can I paste here? We slay.
Anywho. Exactly seventeen moons ago, around Halloween, I had my tarot read. And not by my usual guy: by another guy who didn't have the advantage of knowing my life. He told me I was more important than I knew (Btw he also told me I'd find my soulmate and would enjoy future success, but should be cautious about turning into a self absorbed piece of shit. Gulp.), which is exactly what I needed to hear because, at the time, I didn't feel important at all. I was in the midst of a hugely manipulative, emotionally charged power struggle at work: I wasn't being given what I had most definitely earned in a year and a half's worth of 80+ hour workweeks. And rather than pay up, the people with the checkbook tried to convince me I hadn't earned it. Unfortunate truth: folks employ some pretty icky control tactics when they're desperate for money... but I internalized the whole situation and very much let it define my self worth.
Furthermore, because of the aforementioned 80+ hour workweeks, I'd also forgotten how I'd ever contributed value to the Universe. I wasn't writing, which is not only how I express myself on the internet, but how I process my emotions. I hadn't yet acknowledged that the ability to befriend and connect other humans is an ability that not everyone has. I'd accumulated a long list of people I'd felt personally victimized by (less Regina George, more a string of lost boys, ill-intentioned employers, a sociopathic dad) who I hadn't, and as of yet couldn't, confront, so I self-identified as a huge wimp.
I didn't remember what I was good at. I didn't know how, exactly, to twirl on my haters (I still can't picture what that action looks like, but am confident that I'm now primed to do it regularly). And I pretty much thought I was doomed to put up with utter bullshit forever and ever because "I'm just not a confrontational person." That's me quoting myself, fyi. And it's total garbage.
With the help of Chance and Bey... plus a little time, a little therapy, and a deeply soulful trip to Bali... I'm realizing that fighting for what's yours isn't selfish. On the contrary, not fighting, not pointing out when someone does something abominable is selfish because that someone will keep doing whatever they're doing. If you take yourself out of the equation entirely... it's about knowing the difference between right and wrong. Taking advantage of people is wrong. Emotional abuse is wrong. A lack of self awareness, in my humble opinion, is the root of all societal evils. So when someone treats you like shit and you let them, you're bankrolling all of that business. And we're better than that.