I was born with a voice.
I was born with two legs.
I was born from a father who taught me yell, to run, to kick.
And a mother who showed me how to draw, to sketch, to dream.
I learned young that to be myself, I must be fearless. I must be fierce. I must be passionate and driven and bold. I learned young that there must be a balance between my gentle spirit and my wild heart. And in time, I discovered that I could be both loud and loving. I could let others in, and still stay me.
And so I grew, I challenged, I changed.
I fought back against what I didn’t agree with, I let my voice be heard and my heart sing out. I fell in love. I fell out. I pursued things that ignited my soul. I chased people and passions that made me feel whole.
And I love who I am now.
So please, if you want to love me, let me be strong. Let me stand on my own two feet and make my own decisions. Let me fight my own battles and raise my own voice. Let me speak for myself and take control of my own situations.
Let me be who I am, because I’m so proud of her.
Just because you want to love me doesn’t mean you need to drown me out. It doesn’t mean you get to protect me from every ache the world might put on my path. It doesn’t mean that you guard me, keep me from staying strong and resilient.
I want to feel pain. And I want to overcome it.
I want to be broken so that I can fight to be whole again.
And I don’t want you to keep me safe from all that.
I know you want to love me. I know you want to defend me. I know you want to be the man that I lean on, and I will, but never fully.
Sweetie, I can stand on my own. You can’t carry me, but you can walk beside me.
I know you want to save me, but I don’t need any saving.
I’ve always been tough, always kept my head held high. It doesn’t mean I won’t fall down; I will, but I’ll get back up. It doesn’t mean I won’t let you in; I will, but I don’t want you to control me, to own me, to make me shine a little less and question myself a little more.
I am strong. And I will always be strong.
So please, love me as I am. Or let me go.