I Am Not A Dictionary Definition


The chameleon of a word, shedding connotations like a snake sheds his skin,

the word that haunts me, defines me, good and bad in the mouths of peers,

they let it slide out like warm butter

or spit it out bitterly, watching as it smacks me in the face, gross and wet


For the longest time, I presented my opinions in a way that made it seem like they weren’t mine,

like a waiter offering up a platter

Here you are, sir. I hope it’s to your liking.

I handed them over already cheapened, diminishing their value firsthand, a half-hearted sale of a used car that was my treasure but another man’s junk

I was never strong or firm.

I was scared.

Diplomatic. Reasonable. Polite. Timid. Self-Deprecating.


I let that word back me into a corner, definitions chained to my hands and a permanent marker smile drawn on my face.


I am not a dictionary definition.

I am nice but

I am not weak and

I am not boring and

I am not unimportant and I am allowed to have opinions and I am allowed to be sarcastic and I am allowed to be smart and if you are rude to me, then I am allowed to be rude back and I am allowed to kick your sorry little ass with the infinite number of comebacks I have invented and filed away for the future while I was busy being quiet and


I do not need your permission to be human.

I have every right to be infuriated and despondent and moody and thrilled and sometimes I go berserk and have dance parties in my room and

I don’t care if I’ve grown up in a society that teaches girls to deny compliments and to never celebrate their beauty or passion

for fear of being labeled conceited or full of themselves

Listen -

I AM full of myself.

Full of everything that makes me who I am.

Maybe it’s time I started wearing nice like a badge and not a noose.

I’m writing a letter to myself.

Dear Me,

I’ve decided that I love you.

Sorry I waited so long to tell you.

Guide that inspired this poem: 


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