Everyone should know by now that I’m a huge believer of doing the things you are passionate about and also fighting for the things you know you are capable of getting. I’m not sure where I got this “fighter spirit” from to be honest, but I’ve had it ever since I was a young girl navigating my own little world. Every now and then, I sit back and think about the influence I’ve had in my life to make me a fighter at a young age. I decided that there are indeed many factors to it. One that definitely sticks out to me is the impact of my strong Ethiopian mother. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve never seen such a strong woman in my life and seeing her work, fight for my sisters and I to live a beautiful life in this country and be vocal about her passions had such strong influences and contributed in creating my very fierce attitude of life and living.
This type of personality trait of course doesn’t come without a price. Before I learned how be myself with all that I have, I used to be doubtful of my fighter personality and thought it may even lead to my downfall. I think it is without a doubt when I say many people, even those who are not necessarily fighters, are scared to speak up about things that don’t involve them (trying to avoid “confrontations”) or even things that are affecting them on the daily (because that’s what society has taught us). Many people choose silence over speaking up because silence is safe, silence is comfort, because it gives us comfort at the moment, although it may cost us in the long run.
As you can see, I’ve become very vocal about my needs and when in comes to the things I deserve. This shows me that I’ve come to embrace this fighter side of me and have learned to live with it by exploring it more each day. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I feel like I’m going crazy or that what I’m doing is completely insane, especially being an immigrant woman of color, and being told constantly to silence myself and assimilate in order to be successful. This definitely has such an impact on my psyche, after all, what all of us, especially immigrants, want to do is to avoid the traits that hinder us from growing or becoming successful in a world where we came to do just that.
Although its very evident that I’ve embraced this side of myself and even created a space to talk about the many things I want to fight for, I recently realized that I can’t live my life fighting day in and day out. At some point, your energy gets drained and it becomes tiring. I used to believe that people should fight for things even at the cost of their peace (like I mentioned in previous paragraphs), but I’ve recently had a realization that not everyone has the energy or is built to fight. In short, fighting is not for everyone and it doesn’t have to be, and even for those of us who do it, it’s still tiring and we’re certainly allowed to take breaks. We can most definitely take a break and don’t have to fight every battle we experience.
After all, people like me, who have the “fighter spirit” do try to make the world a beautiful place for everyone to live in but it’s not our responsibility to do that everyday, and certainly not our responsibility to make sure everyone is taken care of. We are humans too and sometimes, we want to enjoy our lives and choose not to speak up in certain circumstances because we are choosing our “peace” at that moment, which is completely okay. It is also not our responsibility to correct everyone’s ignorance whenever we see it happening at every little corner. At the end of the day, we have to do the things that’s best for us with the lives that we’re living, even if it means not fighting for it when we are so drained to do so.
Peace and Love,