I’ve lived my life accepting the labels others apply to me: shy, sullen, sensitive, cowardly. It’s hard to be my best self with my heart caged by such daggers.
And the truth is, these labels say more about their speakers (their needs, their expectations, their strategies to protect themselves against their own vulnerability) than they say about the “truth” of my character or humanity.
And I’m tired of tiptoeing around the barbed wounds of others. Cramming myself into boxes that have never fit. Attempting to pretzel myself into a less offensive version of my being.
So today I choose one label I am no longer willing to let apply: cowardly. It’s true, I’m an introvert in a culture that prizes extroversion. I like to take my work breaks in solitude, preferably outside, even better in the shade, lulled back to equanimity by the slight hiss of overhead leaves and the brown finches rustling in the grass. It’s true, I have an anxiety disorder. I need my medication, my therapeutic strategies, to move comfortably through this world. And it’s true that I’m a highly sensitive person. I was the child in the classroom that huddled into a ball during fire drills, eyes shut, ears covered, crying, just trying to get out the noise.
These things make me different, but surely not cowardly. It takes a fierce heart to accept and learn to work with illness and difference. A fiery spirit to walk a different path. It takes courage to love yourself in a world that does not prize your outlook, your skill set, your needs.
I have my shortcomings, but I just can’t count cowardice among them. Not anymore. I am, and have always been, dragon-hearted. I will stand in this truth. I hope you can, too.
+ + + + +
This amigurumi is my attempt at a Mega Charizard X. It was made (with obvious heavy edits) from Ana Amelia Mendes Galvao’s wonderful Charizard pattern, which can be found here.