I’ve always had a little bit of rebel in me, just the teeniest tiniest amount, but enough to want to be different and not follow the crowd. I remember as a kid I would wear baggy t-shirts when the other girls would wear dresses, I listened to rap when everyone was listening to pop, I got my tongue pierced before it became popular, and I would always be nice to the kids that were bullied even if it was in a cowardly way where no one would see. I thought caring about clothes and hair and make up was superficial and that poetry, peace, and justice were important. I remember being about 11 and staying up all night with my best friend talking about world problems and brainstorming ways we could help solve them – haha! In high school it got harder and harder to nurture that little rebel in me and so I just gave in and gave her up. It was surprisingly easy but it’s been a struggle ever since.
You see, I don’t want an alcoholic for a mother. I don’t want my brother & cousins to suffer from addictions. I don’t want to be frightened from a loud & sudden sound like the crack of my mother’s cheekbone connecting with my stepfather’s fist. I don’t want to have to count how many glasses of wine I’ve had in fear of losing control and blacking out. In this way, I want so badly to be different so I end up just being the same as everyone else.
I get lost in the trends, in the materialistic wants, in the workout obsession & clean eating phenomenon, in the status updates & Insta likes… I let myself get completely wrapped up in it all but it’s just a front, a fake, an armour I put on to cover up the fragile me, the broken me. I read somewhere once, that when you’re feeling lost, or questioning your purpose in life, to think about someone you want to be a role model for, someone you want to inspire and to think about what you want that person to learn from you. For me, aside from my girls, it has always been my niece.
She just turned 9 yesterday and has been through a lot in her short life. She has this way about her though, this kindness, this gentle courage to always to do the right thing. She reminds me a lot of myself as a child and in a lot of ways she inspires me. I started thinking about what it is I would want her to learn from me and it woke me out of my pretending-to-be-someone-else state. Do I want her to care about how many squats she does or the calories she consumed? No. Do I want her to value her self-worth on the amount of likes she gets? Hell no. Do I want her to follow the crowd and not stay true to herself? Double hell no.
I want her to love herself and her life no matter how crazy it becomes. I want her to forgive those who have hurt her and to always remember to forgive herself too. I want her to be brave, speak her mind, and always tell the truth no matter how hard it may be. I want her to wear her scars proudly and without shame no matter how painful. I want her to keep that kindness, that innocence, and that gentle courage to always do the right thing. I want her to always stay true to herself, to be who she wants to be, and do what she wants to do. I want her to be happy being different from the rest. I want her to find that little rebel within and never let her go ❤