There’s a picture of me that used to worry me. It was taken by someone who was a good friend. I trusted him and he made me laugh. And once, he caught a picture of my inner badass.
I was not a badass. I was a very, very good kid. I was raised to be nice, to think of others first, to get along. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. But somehow, my little kid brain decided that any rebellion, any rocking of the boat, any behavior that wasn’t “nice” was not for me.
I blame that mindset for a lot of my mistakes. It made me timid. It made me resentful. And it made me too cautious.
I am not young any more. Not even close. And gradually, I notice that the picture taken all those years ago pleases me very much. I like that girl. She’s got attitude. She probably would get into trouble given half a chance, but I suspect she’d figure a way out of it. I didn’t trust her back then. I do now.
And although the woman I am now has not a single cell in common with that young, saucy girl, I think she’s won in the end. I see her picture and I recognize her. She is me.
Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.