I Am Speaking for Myself

My voice is my weapon in this world. It is also my olive branch. It is my sword raised. It is my hand held out. It is my door closed. It is my heart opened up.


The words I say, the tone I use, the syllables and sounds that trip from my lips — they are mine to make.


I am speaking for myself.


The tapestry I weave is a portrait of my path. My loves and losses. My darling depths and heartfelt heights. My wild passions and lonely griefs. If you tell me that I need more color in the middle, or more stitching to the right, I will tell you that this is my design, my artistic narrative.


If I welcome your presence in my life, it does not mean I require your permission to live it. I am not here to dwell in your shadow. I am not here to hide my vibrant heart.


I am speaking for myself.


If you infringe on my freedom, if you try to trespass on my liberty, I will remind you that you do not orchestrate the music in my mind. Please do not speak for me. I will not speak for you either.


I am speaking for myself.


On my journey in this world, I have sight and smell and touch and sound to enhance my experiences. But when I speak of my pathway, I am not representing yours.


Your life voyage may be similar to mine. It may be strikingly different. My words may resonate with you. They may strike a chord of connection. They may not. Perhaps they highlight a deep divide. Regardless, I am not telling your story. I am living mine.


I am speaking for myself.


When I state what I think, when I communicate how I feel, I have no need for you to endorse me. Your acceptance of my words does not legitimize them. They are my vowels. My consonants.


I will consider your feelings as I express my own. I will afford you respect and dignity. But I shall not sacrifice my own self-worth or silence my own sentences just because my speech displeases you.


I am speaking for myself.


As I move through this world and turn each precious page, as I pause to consider all the completed chapters, I will permit myself to be altered by every rich drop and devastating drought. As the years greet me, my views may evolve and expand, fluidity an essential ingredient for my mind.


What I once thought to be true, I may learn to be distorted. The clarity I seek will need to make sense to my own soul, my own earthly existence. Though I may listen to different teachings, I will not be bound by any one belief. I will take what I need.


I am speaking for myself.


I will cry out for my freedom and I will express my fury. I will whisper of my wants, and I will roar for my rights. I will speak my truth in a thousand different ways, and the honesty of my words need not be validated by yours.


With this heart, in this skin, by this tongue, I am claiming my power and I am truly speaking for myself.