Looking back, she couldn’t help but to shake her head,
not in regret,
But at her own misconceptions.
Fortunately, experience had taught her that this was what “growing” up was all about…
If not for the lessons she learned when she held herself back in order to be deemed “nice” and “agreeable” to those around her, she would have never learned that being nice to herself was equally, if not more, important. She would not have understood that others who asked her to devalue and degrade herself were not worthy of her kindness, let alone chunks of her self-esteem.
Had she not choked on swallowed words out of the fear of being called a b***, or one of the other negative names women are called when they assert themselves, demand and command respect, or protect their boundaries, she’d have never learned that the pain of not doing those things was much worse than ignorant and vulgar name-calling.
That’s when she realized that she was in training.
The less she crawled, the taller she stood.
The less she cried, the clearer her view.
The more she spoke (up), the stronger her voice.
That’s when she realized that her world didn’t fall apart when she carved out a space for herself in it.
Her days were more vibrant, her relationships stronger. Those who loved and truly respected her were pleased with the change.
Those who didn’t were no longer around.
She was less concerned with being “nice” than being authentic.
That was nice.