I’ve taken a lot of time for reflection in the beginning of this year. December was a busy month, with social obligations every other day, so by the time the New Year came I was ready to disengage and just spend some time at home to get grounded. In my reclusive state, I spent a good amount of time thinking about what my goals were for this year, and although I have a bevy of surface level goals, I wanted to take this year to closely pay attention to how I take up space in this world.
As many women have experienced, there is a timidness of how we were raised. To this day I catch myself shutting down if I’m challenged by a male or a person in charge, even when I know I am in the right. There have been multiple times when I have consciously made myself physically as small as possible so that the person sitting next to me can continue to spread there body and take up as much space as they wish, just so I didn’t have to confront the situation. There are numerous times when walking down the sidewalk I’ve had to pull some Tetris maneuvers just so someone else could continue taking more space walking down the side walk. I have learned to ebb and flow in between others perceived self-assertive natures.
But there comes a time, when looking at photos and wondering why I didn’t stand up as straight as possible even if I would have been towering over others in my 6 foot stance in heels, that you start to question why shouldn’t I take up the natural space I have been given? Why should I make myself smaller so that others notice me less? Why shouldn’t I walk down the streets, claiming a reasonable amount of area for myself with pride and confidence? Why should I let others, who either have the courage or arrogance make me feel less than I should with just body language?
So I have decided that this is the year I stand tall and hold my ground. When I’m at the gym, in the perceived boys lifting area doing squats, I refuse to look down timidly almost asking forgiveness for being in that area. When I’m walking down the street, I refuse to pull some back bending motion just because a group of rude people decide to walk three across with no consideration for traffic moving in the opposite direction. And when I’m taking photos, I will stand tall, no matter what the height of those in the photo with me. Unless we’re all sitting down or doing some cute pose. Because who wants to be that asshole?
So here is my challenge to you. Take up your space. Even if you are in a demographic that society has continuously tried to deem lesser than. No, ESPECIALLY if you are in a demographic that society is trying to keep down. Hold your head high, and know that you are 1 in 4 billion. Occupy the space that you have been given.
*Photo by Vixen Photography*