Do you know what happens when a painfully shy kid who was picked on grows up and acquires the tools to fight back? You get an advocate who feels a moral imperative to stick up for what is right. You get someone who rallies against bullying when she sees it. You get someone who isn’t afraid to stick her neck out to say the things others might be too vulnerable or afraid to say. You get me.
I am not a fan of folks who think they are better, more worthy, or not accountable to others they affect. I am not a fan of bullies. I am not a fan of arrogance that results in a need to belittle others. I am not a fan of folks who take advantage of others because they can. I am not a fan of cheaters or haters or righteous bigots.
I know that not everyone is like me. I know not everyone feels compelled to say something or act in the face of what they perceive to be wrong-doing. I know that in some cases folks have things to lose and fear the repercussions should they speak out. I know that my strength is not a choice, it is a byproduct of where I’ve been. I know that had I not spent so many years in a place where I was shrouded in fear, I would not feel compelled to stand up today against things I see as injustices.
I have come a long way from the shy kid who stayed to herself and never spoke out. I have grown into the me that I needed to be to survive. I have become the me that believes in the power of one’s voice.
I am happy to be the me I am today, even though it is not always easy or comfortable. I am happy because it makes me feel like I have the power necessary to help myself and others. I am happy because I know that while I am not perfect, I have integrity in what I do and believe. I am happy because I know that at the end of the day I won’t ever back down or shy away from bullies ever again.
So, take note - I won’t be beat down and I won’t stand by when others are either. You can call me names, attempt to disparage my character, and threaten me, but you cannot change the reality of who I am. The reality that drives me - a painfully shy kid who was picked on, grew up, and acquired the tools to fight back. You cannot take away the strength and sheer determination that I have acquired over time – these things have become a part of me. Consider this my disclaimer…I am not your ordinary spunky chick…I don’t back down to bullies, I dig in my heels.
One thousand two hundred and fourteen of the new forty – obla di obla da