Shackles of words so often spoken shred my skin as I tear apart the thickets.
Act like a girl. Talk like a girl. You can’t do this. You shouldn’t do that. For years I have been defined by others, conformed to standards set by the patriarchs. I have been loved, but that love has always come with terms and conditions. Be strong but needy, brave but within constraints, be smart but don’t have opinions.
I don’t know what’s out there for me. I may not make it, but I’ll fail on my own terms. I may never find that perfect soul-mate, but at least I’ll find me.
Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Weekly Challenge for photo by Toa Heftiba