Someone Told Me
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Politics and Activism

Someone Told Me

And I chose not to listen.

Someone Told Me

From a young age, my mother taught me that being who I wanted to be was one of the most important aspects of my life. I learned that there are many things beyond my control in this world, but who I chose to be, how I chose to act and represent myself, was entirely in my own control. While this idea of being my own person wavered some in the awkward years of middle school and the difficult years of high school, it was an idea that carried me above many girls my age who chose to blend in where I craved to stand out. It might have been naive of me, but I never imagined anyone would take my person away from me, or even desire to do so.

I never imagined that the person I had worked to become would be beat down and questioned by those around me. My thought that who I had become should be left alone was broken down many times throughout my life -- as many girls before me, and many girls after me will experience -- all because someone decided to say something they should have kept to themselves.

Someone told me that cutting my hair short would make me look masculine. "You look like a boy you know, girls shouldn't have short hair." This idea that femininity belonged in a ponytail began in the fifth grade and had followed me to the age of 19. What started as the idea that I simply looked like a boy, transcended into the idea that boys would not like me, that I wouldn't be very popular, etc.

Someone told me that lifting weights and being muscular was unnatural for girls like me. "Strong legs are for men." "You look like you could crush someone with your thighs." Apparently, being an athlete was intended for men, more so being an athlete who trains and keeps up their strength was intended for men. Women did not belong in the weight room because they simply got in the way, and if you could not lift as much as a 250-pound football player, you might as well get mocked.

Someone told me that being respectful toward my authority made me a tattle-tail. "Watch what you say around her, she might just turn around and tell Mr. ..." Being respectful and cooperative was frowned upon when I was in high school. If you followed rules you were a suck up, nothing more nothing less. How could I have been so naive to think that those in charge of giving me an education and a chance in life deserved respect.

Many times in my life have I been told these things, among others, that were intended to break me down and take away my chance at create my own person. However, I never let these words break me down, I never let one person stand in the way of what I desired out of life, what made me happy. I have had many against me in the past, as I will in the future, but what I have learned in my 19 years of life is that other people cannot dictate who I am. I am in charge of my own life, and words cannot destroy the person I have made myself into.

Many girls, and boys, do not have the luxury of a good support system like I do, however, and never learn that these words are meaningless. So for those who never learned that people and what they have to say can be as meaningless as you choose, let me be the someone who tells you this: Create your own life; make it colorful and beautiful, fill it with the things and the people you love, make it into something you're proud of, and when this life is made, I promise that its strength will out do the strength of any of the cruelty set upon it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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