“Lately when I look at my parents, I notice all their wrinkles when they talk, and their dark circles, and the puffiness of their eyes when they laugh. They’re growing old with each day that passes and it breaks my heart to know they’ll never get any younger than they are today. Time has passed so quickly and it’s crazy how this year my father is turning fifty. That’s so hard to believe because it seems like just yesterday when people mistaken him for my older brother. And my mother, were those crinkles there before? I’m not sure. I just hope I make them proud when I finally graduate. Choose a career I love and be able to buy them nice things without them telling me not to because I’m still just a child and I shouldn’t spend money on them. Maybe I’ll always be a child to them. But one day, I hope they’ll see me as that little girl that’s grown so much and be proud of the grown woman that stands before them.”—Ming D. Liu (via warwisher)
“Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.”—― Alan Cohen (via psych-quotes)
A boy sprawled next to me on the bus, elbows out, knee pointing sharp into my thigh.
He frowned at me when I uncrossed my legs, unfolded my hands
and splayed out like boys are taught to: all big, loose limbs.
I made sure to jab him in the side with my pretty little sharp purse.
At first he opened his mouth like I expected him to, but instead of speaking up he sat there, quiet, and took it for the whole bus ride.
Like a girl.
Once, a boy said my anger was cute, and he laughed,
and I remember thinking that I should sit there and take it,
because it isn’t ladylike to cause a scene and girls aren’t supposed to raise their voices.
But then he laughed again and all I saw
was my pretty little sharp nails digging into his cheek
before drawing back and making a horribly unladylike fist.
(my teacher informed me later that there is no ladylike way of making a fist.)
When we were both in the principal’s office twenty minutes later
him with a bloody mouth and cheek, me with skinned knuckles,
I tried to explain in words that I didn’t have yet
that I was tired of having my emotions not taken seriously
just because I’m a girl.
Girls are taught: be small, so boys can be big.
Don’t take up any more space than absolutely necessary.
Be small and smooth with soft edges
and hold in the howling when they touch you and it hurts:
the sandpaper scrape of their body hair that we would be shamed for having,
the greedy hands that press too hard and too often take without asking permission.
Girls are taught: be quiet and unimposing and oh so small
when they heckle you with their big voices from the window of a car,
because it’s rude to scream curse words back at them, and they’d just laugh anyway.
We’re taught to pin on smiles for the boys who jeer at us on the street
who see us as convenient bodies instead of people.
Girls are taught: hush, be hairless and small and soft,
so we sit there and take it and hold in the howling,
pretend to be obedient lapdogs instead of the wolves we are.
We pin pretty little sharp smiles on our faces instead of opening our mouths,
because if we do we get accused of silly women emotions
blowing everything out of proportion with our PMS, we get
condescending pet names and not-so-discreet eyerolls.
Once, I got told I punched like a girl.
I told him, Good. I hope my pretty little sharp rings leave scars.
“Elsa is not a girl she is a girl
fashioned from sticks and whale blubber, paper
tigers that with one poof fall away. Worldly
she passes through society like a ginger
cat stalking the moonlight. No one can see
who she isn’t. No one can read her at all.
There is something geometric about her. She
is made like macramé, one knot enthralled
by another. Remove all her plums and
she is nothing like temptation. Cut out
her lungs, veins spring like rubber bands,
the pleural cavity echoing like doubt.
Cut out her heart, that giant cherry pit
and let’s see what she does without it.”—"Elsa Is Not a Girl She Is a Girl," Angela Veronica Wong (via commovente)
life has been pretty wonderful. i still worry about what people think and spend too much time self-reflecting on useless things like what i look like and how others see me, but it’s okay. i have a wonderful boy and wonderful friends and i am at a wonderful school.
three very important things have happened since i have come to university.
the first one is that i have learned to take school one day at a time. i have learned what it means to study for 40 hours a week, but i have also learned how to take a deep breath and move on when things don’t work out as planned. i am learning how to learn better.
the second one is that i started lifting weights. big, heavy barbells. i love the feeling of being the only girl at the squat racks at six in the morning. it’s empowering. as a girl, i am always subject to so much judgement at the gym, and i feel like lifting weights helps me (personally) take down my own feelings of gender inadequacy. lifting weights has also helped me focus on what my body can do rather than what it looks like. of course, running has always helped, but it’s nice to try something new.
the third one is that i starting smoking weed (heh). although it’s not a huge part of my life and it’s not (so) addicting, i like it. it helps me relax and laugh with friends. it allows me to forget about school. it teaches me that it’s okay to do something stupid once in a while and not pay the price.
i’m learning so much at university. i have so much more to learn and so much farther to travel. i’m excited and nervous for the many adventures to come.