“Sometimes I laugh too loud, or speak too quiet. Sometimes I burn too wild, or act too weird. I am not the type to fix my hair before I leave the house and clocks make me itch. During the day I guzzle Nature’s tonic. Drunk in her vibes, I set fire to my dross and during the darkest part of night, I creep around the house growing my courage. There are days I can’t handle myself or anyone else. So I give myself permission to turn in, to sit like shore sleeping boulders, or I sway my hips ‘til my muscles bite and my skin bleeds with sweat. There’s nothing more the gods want me to say than: I am. And: Oww! Owww! Owwww!” – Thug Unicorn by Tanya Markul
I don’t think we are meant to live small, apologetic lives.
As an adult and as a child, I’ve always been told that I am “too much.” I am a loud, boisterous individual who has a way of laughing at the most inappropriate times, speaks out of context like it is second nature, is overly impulsive in the way I think and do things, can be extremely excitable over the smallest areas, and has a love and light that emanates forth. I have been told my entire life that who I am is not the correct version of myself.
Each of us has been given a personality, a life, a light, and a destination to achieve. When we attempt to squash our authentic selves, we do not allow ourselves to take up the space we deserve. I have practiced being quiet, demure, and petite. It has never been successful. It feels small and unbalanced. When I walk into a room with my head held high, a genuine smile on my face as I make eye contact with everyone, that is when I know I am in my element and know that I am taking up the space I deserve.
To take up space means not being afraid of asking for what you need and deserve, and to know that you are worthy to receive it. Most of us work tirelessly, day after day, to give back to others in some form or capacity. It could be with a job, a family, volunteer commitments, etc. How many times have you gone without in order for others to receive what they need? How many times have you been given a wrong food order or passed up an amazing parking spot because you didn’t want to inconvenience anyone around you? When you don’t take the opportunity to help yourself, you are doing yourself a disservice and making yourself small. Some would call it ‘being nice,’ but who are you being nice to? When you view yourself as small, others do too.
To be honest, I’ve driven past many parking spots and have refused to send back many meals in order to not cause a stir. When I own my thoughts, actions, and desires, that is when I know I am taking up my place in the world. It doesn’t mean being a jerk. It is okay to put yourself first, as long as it’s not at a detriment to others. It is up to you to determine where you belong in your life. Stop apologizing for being you and live with intention. Dance like someone is watching, ask for what you want, don’t apologize when someone steps on you, spread your arms wide, and take up as much space as you need. Live your life on your terms. It is the absolute bravest thing you can do.