I grew up believing I belonged everywhere I went, even in the rooms filled with older white men in boring navy suits. While I tugged at my loud zebra print skirt I noticed I was a little out of place but I still felt like I belonged there.
Raised to believe I could do whatever I wanted and that I was worthy to be at all the tables, I had become an outspoken woman who believed I belonged even when it seemed like I didn’t.
It was the belief that I could choose, that I had the choice, to be in this room, or that room, or to walk out of a room if I wanted to. I didn’t care if I was welcome, I walked through any door with an air of belonging and a taste of power.
I assumed they wanted me there, and not just because I was a pretty girl. I assumed it would benefit them to have me around. I assumed they knew that even if they didn’t like it. I assumed there was a place for me at the table.
I sat on that throne of assumptions, wrapped in a cloak of confidence, stitched together with ignorance, and adorned with jewels of arrogance.
It is a dangerous combination – to be the oppressed and the oppressor, to be a white woman.
The throne has crumbled beneath me. I sit in the mess and hold shards of truth and reconciliation in my bleeding hands.
It is here where I feel the power of love and the gnawing hunger for humanity.
It is here where I acknowledge the wreckage.
It is here that I commit to the healing and the work that needs to be done.