I say a little prayer whenever I see a certain kind of little girl. I'm talking about the little girl who is being completely herself rather it’s wearing a pair of red cowboy boots and a pink tutu or strutting around her room singing at the top of her lungs; Nashville here she comes. You probably know a little girl like her, or maybe you used to be like her yourself.
The world can be hard place for a free spirit, wild child who has the audacity to sing her own song or chart her own course in the world. While she is young we smile and applaud her cheeky sass. Then slowly, but surely she gets the message that it’s best to be a little less. A little less brash, a little less bold, a little less of herself because she makes people uncomfortable. It takes a strong spirit for a girl to withstand the onslaught of well meaning advice that would tame her wildish ways and make her less than her best.
It’s not any easier being a free spirit, wild child as a woman either. If you have the temerity to love who you want; a younger man, another woman, a man of color or no one at all you are seen as a threat when that‘s the last thing you are. You can begin to feel that you have to trade being for belonging. I’m not talking about the social compromises we all make as part of any group. I’m talking about feeling like you have to stuff the best bits of yourself into a box to fit in at all.
Some where along the lines I said screw fitting in and decided to be myself. It was not without a price. I do a pretty good job of it most of the time, and can ignore the sideways glances and raised eyebrows when I have the nerve to enter a room like I have a God given right. I don’t much care what people whisper when they think I don’t hear, when they question my motives or make dark remarks about what’s wrong with me because I won’t be owned by a man. The sad part of this all is that other women are the worst, the worst to judge, the worst to be unkind, the worst to sling mud. Understanding why doesn't take the sting out of it.
Free spirited women with wildish ways are a force of nature and one the world needs more of. We are the women who have the back bone to stand up and say, “What the fresh hell! Have ya’ll lost your minds!” We are the women who know the value of kindness and compassion and the courage it takes to practice those gifts in this world. We are the women who stand up for and stand with other women because damn it, if we don’t who will. It doesn't matter if it’s not a choice we would make or if we understand it or not. Free spirited women with wildish ways know that the best thing anyone of us can do is be our best selves and shelter the space that gives all women room to do that. And we do it because we know this to be the absolute truth, it’s either fear or love, baby.