Dragons don’t hide in bathrooms
See, I got this here tattoo on my arm. Pretty savage, right? You see that on a woman’s arm and think, “Damn. She must be a badass. She has literally chosen to be ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’. Lisbeth was vicious. She exacted violent revenge on the men who abused her. Or maybe she’s Daenerys Targaryen. Maybe she’s done being set aside for the men in her life. Maybe she’s had enough, killed the people who stood in her way, walked her ass straight into some fire, and has become a Queen, leading an army to take over the world. She’s dangerous. Don’t fuck with that chick. She breathes fire.”
Except she doesn’t.
Not even close.
I did not get that tattoo because I aspire to be dangerous and violent. I got it because I want to be done being meek. I want to be done making myself small for the comfort of others. I want to be beautiful and clever and strong. I want a reminder on my arm of the kind of woman I aspire to be. I want to have accountability to the world. I want the world to expect something of me and for me to not to disappoint.
I don’t want revenge.
I don’t want violence.
I don’t want to burn anyone.
My tongue is, indeed, sharp and I can breathe fire in my words. I’ve been accused of using them to take other people down… of making them feel small.
That’s not what I want, either.
That response is fearful, too…just like the meekness. They are two sides of the same coin.
I want to be brave. I want to be strong and my skin to be impenetrable. I want to love my people fiercely and to keep them safe. I want the wisdom to know when to breathe my fire … and when to hold my tongue.
I want to be a dragon.
The problem is…that when a dragon goes to court to ask a judge to enforce a child support order that hasn’t been paid on in almost a year, and her ex-husband follows her out of the conference room, badgering and bullying and challenging the dragon to answer as to why she would dare think she’s entitled to money from him to support their kids that he rarely sees … the dragon doesn’t run away.
The dragon keeps her chin up and her gaze strong. The dragon stops in her tracks, turns on her red stilleto heels to face her ex-husband, looks him in the eye, and states calmly and firmly what is going to happen. She is unflappable because she knows her strength. She guards her children’s well-being without apology or fear.
She doesn’t hide in the bathroom.
The judge doesn’t have to ask her four times to speak up.
I’m not a dragon.