My father’s death shrank me. I lost all confidence. It had been waning a bit before, anyway. At my largest I am a showperson, almost. I am comfortable on a stage. I speak up. My thoughts and opinions are fluid, coherent, relevant to the moment. My voice remains steady as does my eye contact.
I have, at my largest, been called eloquent. People attempting to shrink me, to take away that self confidence and self-control, called me “opinionated.” Notably it was only used when I expressed my own opinion – reflection of theirs got me painted as “well behaved.”
I am not well-behaved.
At my largest, I bear a potent sense of mischief. I use window markers to write disapproving comments on double parked cars. I print out “be kind rewind” stickers for a friend to surreptitiously plant on DVDs. I convince people to climb a tank parked in the town square and dance the hokey pokey.
At my largest I call people out on manipulative bullshit. I am courageous, dislikable, unladylike and strong. I am my best self in the situations where the most people are likely to not like me – often because I am refusing to be a victim, refusing to let them make someone else feel like shit just for being.
I am extremely likable to the discerning.
I am funny. I am generous. I am sharp-tongued, incisive, insightful. I say things out loud.
I am infinitely creative; I am at my largest when I have finished something, published something, provoked a good laugh for a stranger. I get mad about things and find solutions to the things that anger me. I express love, fiercely.
At my largest self, I am fun and terrifying; powerful in ways that people find unacceptable, smart, discerning, and utterly myself.