Monday Dare: That’s mine, motherfucker

therightman

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link to see the complete list of Monday Dares or to learn more about its origin.

This week: Own it

This occurred to me very recently: I have the power to make my life easy or difficult.

It seems like such a simple thing. If something can be distilled down into just a few words, it has to be easy, yes?

Yes. I mean, sort of. Only “sort of” because now, to do this supposedly simple thing, I have to go around collecting my power from the people I’ve been giving it to since…forever.

There’s not much left in my own reserve. So little, in fact, that I’m reminded of all the times I’ve been too lazy to turn the near-empty bottle of hair conditioner upside-down before I step out of the shower. Then, of course, the next time I’m washing up, I have neither the time nor the patience to flip the bottle on its head and wait while the remainder pools near the opening. I open the lid, swish a little water around, and pour the watered-down contents onto my head.

“Fuck it. This diluted shit is good enough,” I tell myself.

The diluted shit has always been good enough for me.

I’ve been giving away my power for so long, to so many people who didn’t even really deserve it in the first place, that I’ve had to make do with the dregs of what’s left for most of my adult life. 

It is only now that I understand what a profound impact this has had on my development and my happiness. My broken memories are populated by broken people with either too much power or not enough power.

Almost every time I venture out of the house lately, I bump into someone I so willingly handed my power to back in the day. I am reminded of the things they used to say to me. I am reminded of how I stayed silent during all of it.

Your ass is too flat. You have a little girl’s body. I don’t like it when your hair is up. I don’t like it when your hair is down. You swear too much. You’re not friendly enough. Your laugh is too loud. You laugh too much. You talk too much. You’re not really the kind of girl I can bring home to my parents. You dress like a sa mo neem (pastor’s wife). You dress like a hooker. You’re not very smart. You’re too smart. Your cooking tastes like shit. You’re a piece of shit. You’re a whore. You’re a waste of time. 

FUCK YOU. I’M AWESOME. That flat ass? Mine, motherfucker. I own it. I love it. That laugh? Mine. I love it. My clothes? That’s my style, fucker. I love it.

tupaclove

“There is a crack in everything. That is how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen.

As I become brave enough to OWN ME, and as I allow my cracks to grow longer and wider, the light grows brighter, highlighting all of my dark secrets and ugly imperfections.

All things, even ugly things, take on radiance in the light.
__
That Tupac shirt? I “borrowed” it from my kid. More pictures on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress). And I’ll be announcing some exciting news on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page this week. Let’s get connected.

WINNERS of last week’s Wallflower giveaway: 1. M (you have the word “fair” in your email address), 2. Kristyn (“80″ in your email), 3. Amy (“79″ in your email), 4. Corin (“cb” are the first two letters in your email). Please drop me a line at flourishinprogress at gmail dot com with your address.

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  • http://www.simianidiot.tumblr.com Rev. Back It On Up 13

    You’re beautiful. How dare anybody.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I adore you. xo

  • Laurie

    This shit right here? YES.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Always got my back, L-Train.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shannon.potts.315 Shannon Potts

    i have always kind of had a girl crush on you, then it started growing more and more as i read this (upside down conditioner bottle is a BADASS metaphor;), and then you quoted Leonard Cohen and now it’s official, i am totally in love. let the light in…

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I was a little nervous about the whole hair conditioner thing. Thank you for easing my mind on it. ;) Also, I love you. (too much?)

  • Terrye

    Good for you for standing up for YOU! And if you don’t, who will?! And way to be a role model for the kid. :)

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      WORD. Seriously, if we don’t have a voice….well, our silence becomes a target. xo

  • Melis

    YOU FUCKING ROCK!!! Let no one ever EVER tell you otherwise.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      YOU, my friend, fucking rock…more. ;)

  • http://shelaughsatthedays.net carrien-she laughs at the days

    People who say stuff like that get me mad. I go immediately to thinking how I’d feel if they said it to one of my girls, and then I just want to kick all of them in the balls.

    I would kick them all in the balls for you sweetie. But I like the idea of you taking your power back from them instead. Way more kick ass.

    ps. I love you just the way you are.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      It’s times like this I am very happy to be on your good side. I’m pretty sure your ass-kickings AIN’T NOTHING TO MESS WITH.

      Oh gosh, I am so excited to see you next week. But…I’m sad to think about losing you for two years. womp womp womb

  • Brittany Rae

    And that is when you say Bitches I am famous cuz I blog about you. Like a smaller version of Taylor Swift. Ha ha!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      lolol. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been listening to some T Swift recently and I always wonder, “Damn girl, you’re only, like 3 years old, how do you got so much bitterness for peeps already.” But I think it’s pretty ballsy she uses her platform to get her Don’t Fuck With Me message across.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Avada.Kedavra Jamie Capps

    I can’t even put into words how great you are and a role model for women everywhere to say – Hey, this is me. I love me and you should too! And if you can’t, step the fuck off. Too many of us settle for less than awesomeness for fear of what others may think … You, my dear are the very definition of awesome.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      You certainly have a gift for making people feel awesome….even when they don’t feel that way most of the time about themselves. ;)

  • Laura Bezzeg

    Profound. Wise. and just plain fucking-A right!!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      *blush*

      Much love, homegirl.

  • danperezfilms

    Once you own it, you take it away from “them”. Keep owning that shit homegirl and watch the haters flee…

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Fo sheezy, my dear Dan. Thanks for the love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennyzerbin Jenny Zerbin

    Own it girl! Radiate your light so there’s may learn to do the same.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I am still afraid so much of the time….but I don’t let it get me down as much anymore. I hope you find only good things surrounding you forever and ever. mami. You deserve it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1043582481 Johi Kokjohn-Wagner

    Love this post. Adore you.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Adore you. mami. So much. And love you. And like you.

  • laura @ hollywood housewife

    Since I’ve only gotten to know you a little bit recently, when you write some of these things about your past, it’s so shocking to me. You’re so strong. Clearly stronger than you’ve ever known.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Still kinda glowing over the fact that you called me smart. Okay, I’ll just keep it real. I’m glowing a SHITLOAD.

  • http://twitter.com/BrittanyandTahn Brittany

    Damn, girl. I think we all need to tell ourselves that – and stop listening to the opinions of others.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      WORD. Ain’t nobody gonna know what’s best for us…except ourselves.

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  • Misty

    1. I am proud of you.
    2. You are awesome.
    3. I admire the fuck out of you and your strength.
    4. I have been working really hard lately to try to own all my shit. It is much harder than I expected, but I am still trying. I am a work in progress.
    5. I love you.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Happy Birthday, boss lady. Wish we were together so we could fuck some shit up. Because I am also proud of you, you are also awesome, and I unabashedly admire the fuck out of you.

      Own your badassness. I love you.

  • http://fearlessfibrowarrior.blogspot.com FearlessFibro

    You kick ass, girl. No more power givaways, ya hear?

    • http://fearlessfibrowarrior.blogspot.com FearlessFibro

      Oh, wait. Now, I’m being bossy. Maybe take the above as a suggestion, that will not affect my love for you.

      I feel better now.

      • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

        Looking out for someone could never be considered bossy. Please remember this the next time my bossiness comes out. ;)

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      What’s that saying? Takes one to know one? Yes….that right there. You kick ass, homegirl.

  • Corinna

    Glad you stopped listening to those jerks

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      lolol. Me too, homette. Thank you for the support.

  • Tressana

    Elizabeth your a FOX!! Fabulous, an Original, and X-tra Special!!! You rock!!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      T, I had never heard this acronym before you. I love it. And really, I’m so happy to know you. xo

  • http://www.unitedstatesofbecky.blogspot.com/ unitedstatesofbecky

    Elizabeth – this post is the shit! I love it! I can relate 1000%. It was always something…I was too modest, not modest enough, too smart, not smart enough….
    This is one of my favorite posts of yours since I’ve been following you – and that’s saying something, right there. ;)

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      You sure do know how to lift a homette up.

      It is taking all of my willpower not to go check my mailbox erry damn day.

  • http://inpursuitofhappiness.net/blog Miss Britt

    This is an amazing post. I love the imagery and the power!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I’m always boosted by your kindness. Thank you.

  • WizJesslifa

    I fucking love you.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I fucking adore you.

  • Rachel

    I’m kind of going through the same situation right now… Where, I think I’m happy, but the past (including my past actions and nonactions) are affecting me and my ability to not fuck shit up today. I am not perfect and have many flaws. I like me for who I am (for the most part); I just gotta let the haters that have always been trying to drag me down go… those are the people that I do not need in my life!! Be you and be fabulous!! (a little mantra I’ve been telling myself lately!)

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      It’s hard to let people go, even when they and their shitty attitudes aren’t working for us. I guess I just fear that initial feeling of loss. Even when I thought I would feel some sort of immediate and deeply gratifying AHHHHH I’M FREE, I would still feel a little sad and think I made the wrong choice.

      But, I just had to be me and be fabulous….and not doubt myself. ;)

  • Caroline Mcqueen

    It’s true, all of it. I love that about growing up. I’ve always been a black sheep, rebel, trouble maker, but I’m sensitive and can’t handle criticism. I don’t think I’ve forgotten the terrible things said to me, but I’ve come into my own Praise Yaweh. The older I get, the more comfortable I get with honesty and keeping it real. Don’t you wish you could go back in time and tell all those a-holes to go blank themselves?

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I really love all of this. Because I can relate to every single bit of it. I’ve always been the black sheep, not only in my family, but sort of in the Asian community as a whole. And as a rebel or a troublemaker, I guess people assume that we don’t have feelings or that we have tough shells, but it’s not true. Maybe we act the way we do because we feel too much and things just hurt us more and linger longer. I am happy to grow older. The older I get, the less I care about motherfuckers or concern myself with fitting in. I’m okay being me. Even if others aren’t.

  • Caroline Mcqueen

    Also, please post a pic of yourself with no-make and looking really ugly. Thanks!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      lolol. But I don’t want to hurt your eyes.

  • Rosie

    Thank you for this. Keep on keepin’ on.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thank you for reading and supporting, mami. xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/leannekoh leanne koh

    Would Cal have even worn the t-shirt? it’s definitely yours. If you have a reunion in the future you should go and show people how you’ve grown to own it, and to say “suck it!” to their faces.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I wouldn’t say it would be her first choice of attire. ;) Glad she and I have different tastes.

      I’ve been running into a lot of these people a lot lately. Especially in KTown. Maybe I need to stop going to KTown. Oy, but I love the food so much. And god knows I’m not learning to cook that shit at home.

  • http://twitter.com/ThoughtsyAppear Thoughtsy Appear

    I looooooooove this post! I recently came to the same realization. And now…life is good.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I am so happy to hear this. Once you get rid of all of the bullshit that weighs you down, it’s pretty amazing how light and…..good things feel.

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  • mygirlfriendvoice

    Loved this post and shared it with friends. Can’t wait to read more of your thoughts—
    CaraW

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thank you so much for the support and for sharing. Much love, E

  • aw

    Powerful! Loved the post.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thank you!!

  • HersHisandOurs

    Amazing post! I was just thinking about this very thing – giving my power away for sooo many years when I read this post. It really spoke to me on so many levels. Thanks so much for being so open and real about your life. You’re incredibly awesome!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I think the amazing family you’re pulled together is pretty awesome. Talk about getting your power back and sharing it with the younguns! Takes a really strong and brave person to love like you do. Although, uh, kids can run you ragged sometimes and you just want to run away. I, uh, speak from personal experience.

  • mychell

    This is awesome! And it’s inspiration to me to stop giving away my power to people who make me feel little in life and inconsequential. I need to stop. I’m going to read this every time they try to take away my power to remind myself that they can’t unless I let them. Thanks for this!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Doesn’t it just seem like some people have an AMAZING gift (I mean, if I can even call it a gift) to make us feel worthless. Maybe they don’t want to see us shine because they think it will accentuate all of their own flaws and shortcomings. I don’t know. All I know is that I don’t want them in my life.

  • http://yougotsars.com you gotsars!

    It’s taken me a week or more to comment because everytime I start, I read what you wrote and well.. Tears obscure my view. I’m not sure if they’s fuck up my keyboard so I take the safe route and walk away until they’re done.

    You said once “fuck the fuckes” and I think that applies here. I too have given away too much of myself to the fuckers who think they own it. Like you, no more. Letting go is a process but it’s nice to know I have company as I float back to the top of my energy barrell.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      It has taken some time for me to come back to this post and read so much kindness in the comments. It made me feel….uncomfortable a little bit and def undeserving.

      Let us float together. Much love, sista.

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  • Roller Scrapper

    You are luminous, I’m glad you finally see that now and are helping others see it in themselves!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      It took really wonderful people like you who were willing to take the time to just be my friend and support me and be kind to me for this realization to dawn on me. So, thank you. A katrillion.

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