Recently, I’ve been thinking more about who I am, why I am that person and what it means in terms of the way that I live. “Recently” is issue sensitive- some I’ve been pondering for a year, and others for closer to eight. Either way, this is what it culminates in: a series of posts concerning something vital to my being: identity.
A while back, my friend Casey set her WhatsApp status to the following: “Radical self-love. I am here for myself.” The words stuck with me and have been swimming around in my head next to my history coursework and a massive section of differential calculus that I don’t understand. What does it mean to be there for yourself? To be here for yourself? I wondered, and I said that sentence many times in my head before I said it out loud. Until today.
Time: the present. It’s the day after my first exam. I’m at the store, browsing the biscuit isle in preparation for the food coma that comes with the sadness after a maths exam. I stop at the Oreos, consider them, and decide anfainst them. Then, I get cat called. In. A. Supermarket. Are you kidding me? These men- at least 25- whistle at me and start speaking to me — A HUMAN BEING IN A SCHOOL UNIFORM CLEARLY INDICATING THAT I AM MORE THAN LIKELY A MINOR– and don’t get the message that I’m uninterested.
One of them asks to buy the Oreos for me. I smile and say, “No, thanks.” He says, “Come on, I’ll give you a treat and you can be my treat.” I stop smiling. I say, “No, thank you.” He reaches for my phone (by the way, be very glad that I am behind a computer screen because I am furious) and says, “Give me your number, baby girl.” I say, “No. I’m spoken for and you make me uncomfortable.” He gets upset, obviously, because he throws the Oreos.
Needless to say, I left the biscuit isle.
Anyway, after this incident, I went back to the biscuit isle – BECAUSE I FRICKEN LOVE BISCUITS OKAY?- and two men who work at the store talked to me. In essence, they said: “That guy wanted to buy you a big box of Oreos and you said no, and now here you are buying a tiny pack of biscuits.
I don’t know why, but at this moment, Casey’s words clicked.
I looked at them and said, “I’m good. I don’t need him or his biscuits. Radical self-love, man. I am here for myself.”
It should be noted that I flipped my hair and sass walked away. It was like a movie. It was fricken GRAND.
Long winded Oreo saga aside, my point is this: independence is a huge part of my identity. Whether it’s objecting to cat calling or refusing things from others, it’s all me.
I am here for myself. And I always will be.
love and light