It’s the morning after

Anger still raging. Heart beat has not been normal since last almost 24 hours. I thought it was settling and this morning, a complete stranger from another universe, sends a message. I am not good at hiding I guess.

It’s complicated, not complex. I know that. But what makes it complex for me is the people involved. Their ignorance of the issue. My self awareness, my past. If you take the people out, there is hardly a system here to decipher.

Many years ago, when I was asked to host the schools annual day, I was told the teachers are looking for a co host to pair with me. I was at the auditions. It was clear the teachers weren’t having any luck. One of students, a friend, who had just auditioned, and was told he didn’t make the cut, while still on stage yelled at me – “people are afraid of you”.

I knew what he meant. Public speaking was my passion. My thing. I poured a lot into it. Most kids didn’t care about it. I just liked it because my father was a phenomenal public speaker himself. I was better than the kids in the audition. And it was hard for the teachers to pair me up.

I have never forgotten that day. I am still friends with the person who said it to me. I was 14. I knew that I have to go under the radar to get rid of this image people had of me. I came back – a goof ball. I put on a layer. I stopped public speaking at the school, only to pick it back up in college where people were less scared of my competence and I had a real competition in my art.

Someone people are “Afraid – fearful – intimidated by” – are humiliating words for a woman. Or a girl for that matter. We are not supposed to be any of that. So being labeled with these words, while it should be empowering, and I am sure it is to men. It is hurtful to us. I am not generalizing. There is a history of strong women the world was afraid of, and their struggle with their image. There is literature that supports what I am saying here.

This is not a figment of my imagination. It is a truth that not many experience and those who do, don’t know how to handle.

I will survive this. I have just minted another phrase that I will remember all my life, and I will dwell in its pain, and only become stronger. This time it’s not even a new phrase. It’s just a scrape on a wound that never healed.

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