No More F%#Ks to Give

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political war.
— Audre Lorde
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I'm 31 years old. I spent my life chasing happiness. I spoke infrequently, made mistreatment permissible, and lacked the bravery to knock down those who committed the acts towards me. I, instead, would turn away removing myself from their presence - no longer in their reach - because it was easier than to fight. I once thought that made me weak. However, at 31, I learned that most people enjoy the fight. Some even look forward to it and thrive on it. So, I was right after all to just remove myself for my own sanity and protection because the fight to be respected, to be heard, and to be apologized to (as juvenile as it sounds, we all want an "I'm sorry" every now and again) would have be all-consuming.  

Another mechanism for protecting oneself and maintaining some sort of sanity was adopting a shell of "perfection". You would think that it would be hard to pull apart and pick at a person who never seems to fail or get caught not knowing what she is doing. That phase was short-lived. You see, its extremely easy people to tear another into a million imperfect pieces, especially when it benefits them in some way. People are good at tearing down even the nicest and most hidden folks when it suits their agendas, self-esteem, and insignificant moments of popularity. 

At 31, I learned that more of us than not deal with this type of life. Never feeling brave enough to stop the madness, but always pressing forward to take care of self. Conversations with Monique Lewis (model photographed) reminded me of that. She talked about her goal to live happily and free of other's expectations and negative views on her life constantly echoing in her mind. Don't we all?

At 31, I understand that we should seek not only the bravery to stop the negative actions towards us, but should also be brave enough to (frequently, if need be) remove ourselves from it whenever we see fit.

Why lose sleep over what you should have said or done? Why ponder whether another is offended by your absence or lack of response? Why be in anguish over the opinions of those who refuse to even extend to you basic empathy, respect, and consideration?

I have and will continue to protect my own well-being before others when needed. I am okay choosing myself over and over again. Few will fight for me the way I can. So, for me, at the age of 31, I have no more f%#ks to give about the matter. And, because of that, I know that I am brave.

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