Do you know what it tastes like? I know I sure do. I definitely don’t always have as much of it as I should most of the time, but it’s the fuel that’s kept me running for my whole life. I know nothing else. And that’s why I honestly don’t care if I intimidate you or not. Not anymore.
Do I intimidate you? I hope, very much, that the answer to this question is yes.
“Why?”, you may ask yourself. I bet you’re expecting me to reply “Because I’m a feminist.” I guess you’d be kind of right but even though I firmly believe in the empowerment of women, I don’t really like to label myself so restrictively.
Although the answer is of no significance to me, it does pique my curiosity quite a bit. What is it about me that makes you take notice and shift uncomfortably in your seat? Is it my coarse sense of humour and unapologetically liberal use of profanity? Is it how I smile honestly and laugh uninhibitedly at something I find funny? Is it how I look you right in the eye when you speak to me because I see no reason not to? Does my unwavering opinion about things that are close to my heart make you think twice about speaking to me? Or maybe is it how I decide to unashamedly own aspect of my femininity and sexuality, as a woman?
The older I get, the less I care about the answer to this question. I’ve realied, with absolutely blinding clarity, that anybody else’s answer to this question quite simply isn’t my problem.
I’ve lived the majority of my life feeling small, lesser-than, powerless, inferior, unattractive and a multitude of other negative things. There were a multitude of factors that led to all these awful feelings and despair. At the core I was just a very scared human all around but above all, I was scared of what people thought of me. This feeling pertains particularly to men and the fact that I’m currently single and have been my whole life.
I always wondered if my dreams of being the best medical professional I can be, financially independent, and providing for my family was something that scared men away. I mean, in the “conventional” order of things, you’re supposed to look to a man for most of those things. It made me wonder if men felt like they would have nothing to offer me because I’m striving to provide it all for myself.
Well, if they feel that way, then they are most definitely right. If these are the things that are making people, men or whoever else, run away from me then I know I definitely don’t need them my life.
I’ve been on an upward trend of personal growth and self-acceptance over the past few months and a lot of that has resulted in me realizing that I have absolutely no reason to feel sorry for who I am and what I strive for. It’s challenging enough being a young, black woman wanting to become a specialist in a profession dominated by older, white men. I don’t need to make myself any smaller. I’ve realized that I need people in my life who are going to drive me to be better. Anybody who doesn’t do that can kindly leave through the nearest exit.
See, the thing us I actually enjoy being an intimidating woman. The power tastes good. I like that you think twice before you decide to speak to me. I like that my presence makes you nervous. I like that you’re so intrigued by my appearance that you want to reach out and touch it and that I have the power do deny you. Like all types of power, it’s frightening sometimes. But fear has always been a good thing. Fear is a sign that you’re doing something that has the potential to push you beyond the limits of being average and let me tell you, being average is nobody’s destiny.
Fear is part of the package. Fear pushes you. Fear keeps you ambitious.