When I was a little girl, I was taught the “don'ts” of the world.
'Don’t chew with your mouth open.'
'Don’t disobey your mother.'
'Don’t sit with your legs open.'
'Don’t speak out of turn.'
When I was in elementary school, I was taught what I was supposed to do.
I was taught by my teachers to write my ‘y’ without the little swoop -- “This isn’t cursive, Emma.”
I was taught that I was supposed to tell bullies “I know you are but what am I?”
I was taught that I was supposed to never tell on anyone because otherwise I'd be considered a "tattle tale".
While my mom told me that I was beautiful, society taught me that I was supposed to be a stick thin, platinum blonde, plastic surgery-ed, Barbie.
When I was in middle school, I was taught according to the people around me.
According to my teachers, anything less than a B wasn’t good enough.
According to my friends, sabotaging a relationship was something that was an okay thing to do.
According to my parents, some relationships just don’t last.
When I was in high school, I finally found my voice.
I learned how to love my body for what it was.
I learned that in order to love someone else, I first had to love myself.
I learned that it was okay to have days when I just didn’t feel like doing anything.
I learned that anything less than a B was more than OK.
I learned how to use my voice.
I learned that I was a feminist (and that kicked some serious ass).
I learned how to stick up for myself and for other people.
I learned that I was strong, creative, a great leader, and a passionate person.
I learned that I was good enough.I learned that when you stop listening to other people’s opinions about yourself, you can conquer the world.