We Always Got a Choice
I got one thing that is wholly mine...my voice. And I will compromise that for no one.
I'm not trying to be right. I'm trying to point out how we keep doing the same shit them wondering how the fuck we got here again.
I'm trying to get us, all of us, to see that we help make this shit because instead of working together, we fuck each other over for power grabs.
I'm trying to get us to admit the ways we fuck each other up over bullshit...not survival but the belief that cozying up to predators will prevent them from eating us...except we still smell like prey and when other prey isn't plentiful, we are immediately on the menu. WE ARE.
Or, we end up becoming the predator that others need to protect themselves from.
But that's not the message we want to hear. That message is uncomfortable. That message means we are part of the problem. That we have to change. That we are also accountable and not just victims. We won't admit when we're willing participants because that means we had a choice and we choose harm over healing, exploitation over community, oppression over liberation. We chose to serve the master rather than tear down his house.
That's s reality we like to pretend isn't actually happening...isn't our doing. Yet, we all encounter it in some way. We meet people who try to convince you they have power over you. Bosses. Peers. Parents...you’ve had the person try to undermine your confidence. The person who subtly or overtly belittles you and your decisions. The person who tries to convince you they know what’s best for you, that you need their advice for your decisions. They’ll never admit it. When you bring it up, they will ask you why you feel like you need their opinion, that you are the one not being independent enough, even though it’s a dynamic they encouraged. To an extent, they are right. They didn’t force you to listen or heed their advice; you did that because you trusted them to have your best interests at heart.
But there comes a time where you decide to call the shots. When you decide that you don’t need a consensus to make choices. You set boundaries and maintain them. And that is when you realize how expendable people want you to think you are. I've been threatened, ignored, fired, ostracized...and you know what happened next? I got my shit together and figured out what to do next. I decided just how much those threats mattered (they didn't) and I learned that I can find another job. I learned that the people willing to throw me away weren’t worth holding on to. And despite the blow to my ego and the shattering of my illusions of safety, I got the fuck back up and figured out what and who I needed to keep moving.
And I keep having to learn these lessons because I will not silence myself for your goodwill. I will not silence myself to keep the peace. I will not silence myself to keep you comfortable. And I have learned that I can survive anything you do to me. You may be able to slow me down, but you cannot stop me. You don’t have the range.
When people think they can control you, they will always view your autonomy as a violation. They still always look at you as a disobedient minion or a malfunctioning piece of property. And the less they can control you, the harder they'll try. Until they realize that the only way they can control you is to banish you from their circle of influence, however wide they think it may be. They will use whatever little leverage they have to push you off the playing board, but here's the thing...unless they kill you, they can't do shit to you. Anything you want, you can build and I'm sure there are plenty among the billions on this planet who will walk beside you and behind you as you move forward. You only think you need those willing to harm you as they try to control you, but you don't. They are a stagnant piece on an outdated board while you are making a whole new game they cannot comprehend.
You don't need to fear them. You don't need to placate them. You don’t need to agree with them. You don’t need to work with them. You don't even need to worry about them. The more you worry, the more you placate, the more you begin to resemble the monster until you cannot tell the difference between your good intentions and your harmful ways.
You can choose not to become that. You can choose to leave that shit behind. And when you do, you find yourself creating a new landscape and new pathways for yourself. They can't follow where you're going...they don't have the range. But you...you have dreams and plans they could only hope to steal and you have no obligation to stay still long enough to give them that chance. Don’t compromise yourself for them. Do not silence yourself for them. Handle your shit and don't look back at these fuckers and leave them in the hellscape they continue to create. They have no place in the future you are building, and the sooner you realize that, the better off you will be.
Don’t help give them that power. Live your truth and kick ass while you do it. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, because it isn’t. But it’s the only choice I’m willing to make.
What do you choose?