Anyway, I think a big part of my life has been learning to accept things about myself or my life that aren’t maybe so socially acceptable. For example, my first two kids – now society has come a long way re: racism, but not THAT far.
When Matt was a baby, there were comments about me being a “nigger lover” and about Matt being a “nigger baby.” Those comments happened a lot, and I didn’t give a shit. (Okay, it HURT like a sonofabitch when a relative made the comments, but from strangers? It just pissed me off.)
But I never internalized those things. I didn’t believe then (or now or ever) that having a baby with a black man made me inferior to anyone. I simply refused to accept what a few bigoted dickheads thought of me. I didn’t accept that who I dated made any statement about my value as a person. I did not accept the shame with which they tried to burden me.
Another example: I figured out pretty early on that college just wasn’t for me. I’ve never, ever known what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve fluttered from this to that to this. (The only thing I can say that I have always, always, always wanted to be is a mom. That’s the only vision I ever had for myself continuously.)
So, when people assumed that I dropped out of college because I was lazy or stupid or whatever, I didn’t internalize that. Well…maybe a little, but for the most part, it really hasn’t fazed me. I refuse to let myself be ashamed for not spending money I don’t have on a degree I probably won’t use. (See my comment re: being a mom.)
I think when I finally discovered the “Fatosphere,” (thank you, Mel) I was already prepared for the idea that what other people think doesn’t have to be what I think. I don’t have to be ashamed of myself because I’m fat. I don’t have to internalize what society says is beautiful. I can be me doing my thing, and it’s not only okay, it’s fucking AWESOME.
At the end of the day, THAT is what I want to pass on to my kids. “Be yourself; it’s enough.” (Oh. Also “Old skool rap makes life worth living.” So, those two things.)