I came into this world, made to believe that I was as fragile as a paper flower. That my sharp edges could penetrate the skin of others. Out of fear of hurting innocent people, I dulled what was sharp about me. Throughout the duration of my life, I have been contorted and folded, this way and that way. I have been creased and pleated out of my original form- I no longer am sharp and larger than life. I am no longer a blank canvas, filled with endless possibilities.
I have been morphed by others, I was made to believe that I never had a say in what I could be. I was made into a delicate flower, this is what the world had dictated for me.
My role in the grand order? To be an ornament. Something beautiful and dainty for others to look at. No other use or relevance.
But the real tragedy of it all was that for years I believed that my fate was in the hands of others. I had been conditioned for so long that I could not fathom another way of living, only to wake up one day and ask myself the question “what if?”. “What if there is a better life for me?”, “What if I were to choose who to be?”, “What if I am the one who can set myself free?”
I don’t know how to go about undergoing metamorphosis. It is hard to unlearn a lifetime of indoctrination, even harder to do it on my own. All I know is that I do not want to spend another second of “this life”, living a life that isn’t my own.
I cannot, for even a moment longer, perform acrobatic stunts-wringing my body of any morsels of freedom that linger within me. I will not entertain or enchant those who would prefer their beloved act be locked in a cage, like an animal condemned to the zoo.
Society has taught us that a woman who believes in herself, that a woman who knows freedom is doomed to be a monster. We have forgotten that this “society” is comprised of men, who wish to remain the ring leader or the origamist.
But at long last, I have come to love my freedom. I have learned that being timid and soft-spoken is not my destiny. I now know that I long to be wild, to let the ends of the earth hear my voice, to be messy, and to protest the norms which have bound me for too long.
I have the power to free myself of my restraints, I am the gatekeeper of my own cage. The choice has always been mine: to be myself in a world that rejects individuality.
I just never knew it.