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Writing Entries

Careful With Your Words

Roderick Campbell

Maybe it's because they called me “cute". Maybe it's because I was the smallest, shortest.

Maybe it's because they called me “shorty”.

Simple, harmless words. Right?

No. They stuck. And in my little 5-10 year old mind, that's what I was. Short, cute. But I didn't want to be. Innocent words regurgitated from insensitive youthful mouths.

I know, I felt, at a young age I was more than these branding words.

I chose to step out of them and prove to the world, first myself, that I am capable, able and so much more than “cute” or a “shorty”.

In hindsight, I AM grateful for the fuel these words gave me.

At the time, they effected me. Infected me.

Be careful with your words, as harmless as they may seem.

I remember playing these roles that “shorty” and “cute” falsely depicted.

I lied to myself. Playing this small, easily manipulated being. Bullied and taken advantage of.

So. Many. Times.

I am NOT that: Easily manipulated.

I will not be taken advantage of.

Sure, physically I am short. Five feet and almost a centimetre the doctor would say.

But I am bigger. Taller. Taller on the inside I would say.

I began to run. I began to build my strength, physically and mentally. Karate classes. Physical and mental discipline. Sweat dripping down my red face.

I can do more push-ups than you.

How cute am I now?

I love the fire and the power my “short” and “cute” body can produce. I prove to myself I am not limited to these two discouraging words.

I chose to push the perceived boundaries of others and of myself. I came out powerful. I always was, behind my “short”, “cute” mask.

Thank you. For your kind and misleading assumptions. Because of them, I am stronger.

I am not cute, I am fierce.

I am not cute, I am beautiful.

I am not cute, I am capable.

I am not cute, I am powerful.

I am short, yes. But that is not all that I am. I challenge you to look past my height. (Get the joke?)

I am proud and happy with my physical body, don't get me wrong. Just don't assume that my “short” and “cute” external shell is limited to just that.

I don’t agree with labels. And I sure as hell will not be defined by them.

Photo cred: @tony_f