I woke up early this morning (early for a Saturday: 9:00am) and while I was going about my morning routine I decided to check Facebook. One of the first things I saw was that in addition to 6 notifications, I had a message. It was from one of my community members back home who had seen my blog on another friends page and had been reading my various postings on here. Firstly, you should know, this community member is not on my Facebook friends list, nor do I like or respect them very much. Apparently this person had read all of my Everyday Tangents posts and was not impressed with my style of writing. Basically the message said that I was disgusting because I wrote about my sex life, posted a picture of my bra, talked about my undies and all around proved through my writing that I’m a horrible role model and should not be allowed to work with the youth of our community.
This actually reminded me of the time when I was 17, in grade 11, and stuck a snake in a girls bathroom toilet. There were others involved in my shenanigans, but I was the one who got the snake from the grade 8 boys and I was the one who physically stuck the snake in the toilet. No one knew who did it, but after some searching and threatening our vice principle found out it was me who did it and found me in a foods class on my spare block mixing drinks with a couple of my friends. I was the one in trouble and according to my vice principle and I was in double trouble because I was a role model in our tiny little school.
I told him that I didn’t ask to be a role model so I shouldn’t get in trouble because of that.
I am fair certain that plain argument saved me from my first school suspension.
However, I still got lectured on the fact that I had to be better than everyone else because I was a role model and that putting snakes in toilets was wrong because I could cause a heart attack. In a high school. There was more to this talk but I zoned in and out until he started threatening my senior year sports. I probably earned that threat because the guy was a tool and I obviously had no respect for him. Eventually our talk on being a role model ended after I showed a slight amount of contrition and I was given detention the next lunch where I had to write an essay on why I shouldn’t take snakes out of their natural habitat.
The point to this story is simple: I’ve never asked to be anyone’s role model. Over the years I’ve wound up in positions where I am a role model for younger youth and I’ve become ok with that. However, over the years I’ve made a lot of mistakes, had a lot of fun and have come out of it all with a lot of stories to share. Not only that, but over the years I’ve become a fairly decent writer and I want to continue to grow as a writer, so here I am. And here I shall stay writing about anything inspires me even if it happens to be the freakiest, nastiest and most kinked up sex I’ve ever had. Even if it means I write about drunken shenanigans, dating all sorts of men, women and mixes of the two. Even if it means that I’m writing about underwear, failing out of university and burping in public. I’ll write about all of that and more because I am perfectly comfortable with the person that I am today.
Not only that, but I have spent years working up the courage to write something that people who I know in real life and people who I have known since childhood are going to read. Now that I’m at this point, I will happily flip off anyone who doesn’t like it because guess what? It’s a free world and you don’t have to read me or anything that I write.
I realize that I’m handling a little criticism very poorly, but you know what? I’ve put a lot of thought and passion into my words. I can understand constructive criticisms, but I will not let a mean and malicious attack go unnoticed.
So onto the main jist of this entry: I’ve never asked to be a role model, but I am and I’m happy to be one. However, one of your jobs as a parent and guardian is to teach your children how to choose their role models. It’s my job not to be a truly awful person and I accept that.
It is also my job to be perfectly who I am. I grew up in a community that believed it takes an entire community to raise a child…and they did. Not only did they raise me, but they brought up a lot of us. Through support, education, lots of encouragement and letting us be exactly who we are, we all grew up into amazing individuals. Not only am I different from the girls my age, but I’m different from the girls older and younger than me. Sometimes it’s deliberate because being different is fun, and sometimes it’s not so deliberate because I can’t help being exactly who I am.
Ergo, I am who I am and I’m not going to apologize for it. I’m happy with the person that I’ve become and not only am I happy, but I’m healthy and doing what I’m passionate about. Not only that but I don’t think of sex as a dirty thing, I don’t do drugs unless they’re prescribed by a professional and I’m not an alcoholic. I’m a forward minded, First Nations woman who is proud of exactly who she is, who she was and who she is becoming. I realize that I’ve made mistakes, I know that I’m going to make more, but because I’m the strong woman my family and community raised me to be, I’m going to keep on growing and fucking up and fucking around. I curse for emphasis because I believe swearing teaches us what we value in our lives. That all works for me.
I’d hate to advocate any of my shenanigans, but they’ve all worked for me and I think I’m pretty freaking amazing.
However, if you don’t like what I write, what I say, what I think or how I go about living my life, you don’t need to be a part of it, nor do you need to read about it. And if you think I’m a crappy role model for your kids, then that’s your issue and not mine. My issue is figuring out what the hell I’m going to write tomorrow and what I’m going to burn for dinner.