bravery, Alison Malee
To dare to take up space is an act of courage and bravery. It takes practice and work to believe in yourself enough to decide that you belong in every room you walk into, to take up space physically and intellectually. Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie once discussed the need for feminism by saying, “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful.” For Malee, taking up space is strength. It means finding the courage to believe that your voice, your opinions, your successes are all valid.
For many people pleasers, such as myself, it can be tempting to go through the day to day making as little disturbance as possible for fear of upsetting others. This can result in the holding back of thoughts and opinions, but can also result in the literal attempt to make myself smaller to avoid being in the way. It’s a daily practice to build the confidence to take up space. There is power in feeling the wind whistling through everything. Dare to take up as much space as the wind.
Brianna Curran, Washington, DC