On Time and Respectability

Me, Caron, disrupting another conference by asking a simple question no one wanted to ask or answer.

I spent a lot of time today thinking about time. I thought about how much time I've spent in my life trying to be what we call respectable, but the truth is I'm probably not.

I am loud, sometimes rude, sometimes even vulgar. I have no qualms about speaking my mind or hesitations to do so. My father used to say the worst thing about me was my enemy could always see me coming because I would tell them I was on my way. There are times when that's exactly what I wanted. I wanted my enemy to see me coming, to be forewarned of my wrath. I don't bark, I bite. In the workplace and in the church, this made me both target and asset. It's all about perception. It's all about respectability and a woman who didn't keep her mouth shut or know her place is not respected - at least not until they need the power she brings to the table.

Respectability goes a lot farther than public perception. It's social, it's political, it's even personal. This thing we call respectability politics is a game I choose not to play. It's taken me a very long time to discover who I am and proud of the woman I present to the world. It's taken a long time to come to terms with those traits, those dominant and innate abilities equally loved and despised. I had to learn the hard way that I didn't need the respect of anyone outside of myself, I needed to respect myself enough to know my voice is power and strong enough to use my voice for change.

Over the years I've come to learn who respects me and why. I've also come to learn some people have no respect for anyone or anything at all. That's not my problem. My problem is being judged on whether or not I'm enough of a lady to be considered a woman because I fully utilize the word NO, I don't back down and I'm not obedient. I am not quiet, I am not demure, I am not calm - I am passionate, intentional, sensual and a force to be reckoned with... And I make no apology for it. At the end of the day, I would much rather be respected for who I am, not for who I pretend to be. This is my year of intent.