I think it probably started in high school. There was some notion that I couldn’t possibly be smart AND really enjoy having a good time. Or not even remotely cute (yes, I said it) and have some sort of brain. For some reason it had to be either/or: on the Honor Roll or cheerleader dating football player; investing in and concerned about my future or boy crazy and being a typical teenager. It just seemed much easier to box me in as the girl who would definitely never or always … Then I came to college and it was the same thing all over again. There is absolutely no way I could be an academic scholar and spend virtually every single weekend at someone’s club on someone’s dance floor. It was around this time that I began the mystery of many circles … my “school” friends and my “fun” friends; my “soul” friends and my ‘social” friends. Friends who I partied with and friends who I studied with. Perhaps this was the beginning of what would inevitably become quite a limiting space to exist in. I am not talking about clear and even necessary boundaries, with – for example – colleagues or people who are associates and not necessarily friends. I am talking about the constant banter from people I have known for ages who continue to try to put me in their box. Even as recent as this weekend, I get comments like “I never knew …” or “what is going on …” or “I never thought …” Perhaps everyone – to some extent – exists at some level in this space. Their good girl (or guy)/bad girl (or guy) notion; their private self and public self. And once again, this may be necessary in many circles. But I find it terribly limiting, sometimes crippling and a burden to exist in at times.

I haven’t written a single piece of poetry in ages, but I think this
one is timely. This is me:

I am both brilliant and brave
A lover and a loner
Both sexy and simple
Often complex, but also compassionate
Fearful and Fearless
Ordinary and extraordinary
All woman and sometimes a wimp
Clueless and critical
Private and an open book
Loving and longing
Waiting and wanting
Giving and open to receiving
Renewed and rejected
Servant, saint and …
This is me. All of me. Without your limits. Your boxes. Your
expectations. All of me.

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