Please underestimate me. Tell me that I “can’t.” Tell me that I’ll “never.” Tell me that I’m incapable. I promise it won’t break me.
Tell me that I don’t have what it takes to achieve my dreams. Tell me that I’m too soft, too gentle, too female to make an impact. Tell me that I shouldn’t speak up, that no matter how loudly I raise my voice, no one will hear me. It’ll only make me stronger.
Tell me that I’ll never find love. Tell me that I’m too stilted, too closed off, too flawed to make a connection. Tell me that I’m not pretty enough, that no one will truly accept me, that now’s not my time, that my body and mind are too much for anyone to love. I know I’ve already proven you wrong.
Tell me that my opinions don’t matter. Tell me that I don’t care about the things that will truly change the world. Tell me that my silence isn’t complacency; it’s self-preservation. Tell me that my desire for truth, empathy, and justice is fundamentally wrong. I know far more than you believe.
Tell me that I’m too young. Tell me that I’m naive to the ways of the world. Tell me to wait longer to grow and change before I choose the course of my life. Tell me that I haven’t lived long enough to persevere through adversity. I promise I’m ready to fly.
Tell me that I think too small. Tell me that I should have made more of myself by now. Tell me that my words only matter when they meet your unreachable standards. Tell me that I should sell my soul and relinquish my passion to reach my fullest potential. I’ll find success on my own terms.
Tell me that I’m not strong enough. Tell me that my body is broken and my mind is a maze. Tell me that I have too many limitations to move forward, that my problems are too unsolvable to work through. Tell me that you’re sure I’ll never overcome the struggles I face. I’ll always show you just how wrong you are.
You see me as too broken, too incompetent, too voiceless to thrive. But with every disparaging assumption you make, you prove that you don’t know me. So please underestimate me, tear me down, try to break me — I promise I’ll prove you wrong.