February 5, 2017

To the Woman Everyone Loves to Hate.

I see you—boundless in your creativity, glowing from living your truth.

But you feel ashamed, downtrodden, misunderstood.

Every time you birth something new and beautiful and then decide to share it with the world, you hold your breath, hoping to be known. You are radiant from claiming your voice, owning your art, or caring for the disenfranchised.

But no one sees you.

Many look away, perhaps because you show them a side of themselves they do not want to see.

You work fervently throughout the night—the quiet hours, the only time you have to yourself—to put something wondrous out into the world, only to be held back by haters. You want to quit, throw in the towel and join the mainstream, because being you has become too hard.

I feel you. I am and have been there. It took me so long to let my voice echo into the void, and oftentimes I am still afraid of the backlash. The need for validation runs alongside my art like a muddy river, splashing its insecurities into the flow of my creativity. I have felt downcast and alone after mixing my blood, sweat, and tears into my endeavors.

I understand the looks, the hushed whispers, losing friends as you gain your footing. Those difficult years grappling with my passion, and finally coming out—only to be disregarded as quirky, off-beat, alternative, or what’s worse, strange.

I am still in the process of accepting that the more I become myself, the less people like me. The less time I spend smoothing the rough surfaces, censoring myself, and people pleasing, the more time I have to embrace authenticity. But the road is rugged. It’s full of potholes and pit stops, because people pleasing is the thorn in every artist’s side at one point or another. But take heart and pull that thorn out; let self-love bleed into whatever your passion is.

The haters are going to hate, because they are still walking around in their pain. You are free, and that power sends people reeling. But the great struggle of every woman is to know and be known. It is why we clamor and grasp at quick fixes to make us feel more beautiful, loved, or accepted, when all the while our true selves are the most beautiful things on the planet.

I have let go of the notion that one day we will all “get it” and support one another—it is just not in our nature. But we can spur the other wild women out their journeying toward their truth. We can give them a knowing smile and boost of confidence with the kind words we wish on ourselves.

So, to you out there, wherever you may be—I see you, I feel you, I know you. Stand brilliant in the space you own, the space that is utterly and completely you.


Author: Quenby Schuyler

Image: Courtesy of author

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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