Some nights like tonight I feel like, man, they live to talk about me online; they’re talking about me in real life — always somebody talking about me in real life; now there’s even gossip groups formed online whose sole source of entertainment is me. Those nights, I think… isn’t there anyone in this world, isn’t there any place I can go where someone loves me? I usually answer myself back with that in 3 parts: 1) Jennifer Patton 2) all Can Can’s babies and 3) God. Because those three have always loved me unconditionally, I love myself. And because I love myself, I read. And when I read, pieces like the New Yorker piece I posted, I find the truth.
Almost everyday of my life, including now, I’ve written something that nobody, anywhere, reads. And the compilation of those works, are the only way I’ve ever felt free — meaning an understanding of my place on this earth. Because that’s all freedom is. It’s strange to get cyberbullied over the only thing that’s ever given me power, or ever set me free — my words. When I write, sh-t gets done. Somebody usually gets mad, but I’m usually able to make something happen. When I write, I make change. And when I write, and write for me, I can breathe.
Long before I ever knew what an escape was, I escaped inside them. And when in them, when I was in words, I created a world where nobody could hurt me. Where I could say what I felt and nobody would scold me for it. And in that safe space, books truly become my best friend. I’ve never questioned my talent to write, and most of the world doesn’t actually see that talent, as my truest works are, and always have been, just for me. And living inside of the confines of a world where others (cyber bullies, for instance) want to create your reality for you, I’ve always reverted back to what I know to be true. This: when pen is put to paper, through that process, I tap into a world in which I can weather anything. And I always have. And inside that realm, nobody on Earth has the ability to touch me. Or hurt me.
And about a decade ago, I felt like life, or my creator, was telling me that it’s time to share that world with others. The secret world that was always open to just me and my pen. And as with every escape route, there’s risk. But as they say in twelve step settings, how free do you want to be?
But the more pertinent, pressing question, is do I want to share that freedom with others.
Before life will silence my words, life would have to take my mine. I would give up my breath before I would give up my pen. My lifeline, one that would prove stronger than whiskey, has sustained me through trials and tribulations weaklings on gossip groups can’t possibly fathom. There’s nights I alternated between a bottle and the Book of Job, and some nights neither seemed to fix much. But I’ve made it, and for a lot of it, I’ve been alone. Constantly waiting for the next batch of abuse, being persecuted by the very people you’d expect to be there for you (like boyfriends or friends who claim to “love” you), waiting for life to black your other eye while still trying to heal the swelling in the one that it sucker punched you in, and all the while, the world was just waiting for you to catch your breath so they could knock it right back out of you. Through it all, I write. Through the pain and the fear, the heartache, the tears, the abandonment, the backlash, the weight of living in a world where you will never, ever be good enough, namely for yourself, I write.
It isn’t always pretty. But it’s always honest. And it’s the only time I’ve ever been able to turn loneliness, abandonment, and the want of just something as simple as someone to stand by your side into an overwhelming presence of something that suddenly seems to whisper, “I’m here, my child.”
I stand in a world where I’m usually the smallest one in it, and as such, the one sticking up for the weak; sticking up for those that can’t take up for themselves. A contradiction if ever there was one — the weak being made strong. That’s me. A David that topples Goliath. A Zacchaeus that suddenly stands tall enough to see. And while it was almost always God’s love that made me that way, the tool with which he used to transform the broken into the healed, the tool used to restore sight to the blind, was almost always a black ballpoint pen.
You will never be enough, Internet, to convince me to stop writing. To stop firing back against wrongs like cyber bullying in a world where we have people taking their life everyday, sometimes as a result of actions such as yours. You will never be as tough as me. I don’t even know why people who are the very definition of weak, bullies, are still trying.
Medical Science traditionally defines dwarfism as a grown height of no more than 4’10.
I grew to be 4’10 and 1/4 just to piss life’s limits off. A f*ck you to anyone that would ever try to limit me.
I’ve been shattering the world’s stereotypes and voices that say “you can’t, you shouldn’t, you’re wrong, you’re bad” from the day I came out of the womb. And I’ve never really found it necessary to have the love — and by that I mean approval — of anyone else so long as I can find a way to love and approve of myself. And your attempt to shame me over something I’m certain is the only reason I was ever created, to write, will only nudge me further into that abyss in which I get good. And when I get good, words roll. And when words roll, I win. I own it. I mold it. I bend it. I break it. I dominate.
That world is mine. That world is one in which my higher power comes down and stands by my side. And in doing so, I turn slight into circumstance. Misfortune into misery for those who ride to self-esteem on the forcefully bent backs of others. In that world, there is no height. In that world, there is no size. In that world there is no gender gap of “get back in the kitchen, woman” or “silly girl, the boys are talking.” In that world, pen is mightier than the sword. And in that world, this undersized and misjudged slays all damn day with just a sling shot and a rock.
Anger only propels me to that place where my secret transformation from unloved to powerful child of God has, increasingly, been leaving me with a feeling that the world is better off if that secret realm is no longer quite so secret.
Thanks for the fuel, haters.
Like Tim Tebow in college, I’m about to turn all the “you’ll never be good enough” and the shut up and go alongs into a New York Times best seller. And I’m gonna do so through my truths with one intention — to speak to one Candi out there in the world still believing the lie that she can’t.
Don’t you ever let anybody else attempt to tell you who you are. Ever.
You be you every day of your life. The world will hate you for it, but we’re all instilled with the gift to rise above it. The question for the haters is, will you like the view from underneath when my pen gives me wings to fly?