My Quiet Rebellion From Myself

My Quiet Rebellion From Myself

I'm not some badass, I'm just ... me
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I just couldn't stand it anymore.

I couldn't stand trying to conform to societal norms.

I couldn't stand withdrawing from opportunities out of fear.

I couldn't stand my lack of expression to avoid judgment.

And most of all

I couldn't stand living within this body as I felt my soul drifting farther and farther away from who I really am.


The words "rebel," "rebellion" and "rebellious" usually come with negative connotations. They are seen as a teen sneaking out of his or her house late at night, disrespecting his or her parents, or getting involved with drugs and alcohol far too early. However, I am here to change the connotations of these words, to prove that I, too, am a rebel living within my rebellious phase of rebellion.

I am not sneaking out of my house, disrespecting my parents, or trying hard drugs and putting my life at risk. What I am doing is putting everything I once knew on the line in order to better myself and the outcome of my life.

I am dropping all societal norms.

I am delving into opportunities and telling my fear to hit the high road.

I'm expressing myself and welcoming judgment.

And most of all

I am learning to live in this body while embracing the soul of my true being.


Growing up, I always said I wouldn't get a tattoo. I wouldn't get a tattoo because it would hurt, because people might look, because people might talk.

Society said no.

My fear said no.

The avoidance of judgment said no.

Growing up, I was wrong. I desperately wanted a tattoo, to express myself, to have meaning marked on my skin forever.

And so, I quietly rebelled.

I got that tattoo. I got that meaning marked on my skin with a middle finger to society, fear, and judgment.


Growing up, I always said I wouldn't fly alone. I wouldn't fly alone because I was afraid of heights, because I was afraid of getting lost, because I was afraid of all of the possible, "what if's."

My fear said hell to the no.

But, I quietly rebelled.

Growing up, I didn't know what I was missing. Flying, traveling, alone has had such a profound impact on my life, giving me a sense of independence that I would have never found elsewhere.

I got on that plane, I flew to new places, and I kissed that shackling fear goodbye.


I just couldn't stand it anymore.

I couldn't stand trying to conform to societal norms.

I couldn't stand withdrawing from opportunities out of fear.

I couldn't stand my lack of expression to avoid judgment.

And most of all

I couldn't stand living within this body as I felt my soul drifting farther and farther away from who I really am.

So, I quietly rebelled

And being a rebel has been the best decision of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Rutkey

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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