Yesterday I mentioned that I was not at all sorry to see the end of the year.
Still, I admit to feeling uncomfortable with the number of “new year, new me” posts on social media in the past 24 hours.
New year? Undoubtedly. New beginnings? Sure.
But I am not a “new me”.
I am the same old me: the one who survived the trauma, grew stronger through it, and resolved to keep going.
I am the me who worked hard for every one of my achievements: nobody else was ever going to do it for me.
I am the me who stood tall in the face of false friends and two-faced people, and then walked away and slammed the door on them for good.
I am the me who refused to be intimidated by those who don’t understand me… the me who will not be ashamed of who and what I am.
I am the me who embraces creativity, individuality, and difference… and encourages others to do the same.
I am the me who encourages young people to choose kindness and reject hate.
Those are all good things. Powerful things. Brave things.
I have earned them, and I will own them.
I’m not perfect. I still have things to learn and growth to accomplish.
But those who would prefer a different, more comfortable, easier-to-live-with me? They can go and boil their heads, because that’s not going to happen.
A response to intolerance.
I’ve never understood why people feel the need to pressure someone to conform. Why are they so intimidated by someone daring to think for themselves, pursue their own dreams and make choices according to their own preferences?
And what I really don’t get is how they can say they love someone and yet reject particular qualities that makes that person who they are.
These are the thoughts that have contributed to a poem I finished recently.
The imagery is macabre and horrifying. The message is dark. None of that will surprise anyone who knows my writing.
I won’t discuss the details of the situations that led to it being written. Suffice to say that there are people in various “circles” in which I live and move who have, at one time or another, exerted significant pressure on me to be less individual and more compliant with the way they like or want things to be.
I have some bad news for them.
I will not submit to their peer pressure. As adults, they should know better.
I will not moderate my politics, my social conscience, or my rampant individuality for them.
I will not be submissive or silent in response to their bad behaviour, intolerance and hypocrisy.
If they don’t like it, they can go and boil their heads.
Of course, that’s all excellent news for me. In the immortal words of the Monty Python team, “I’m not dead yet!”
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