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I'm No Baby

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I'm No Baby

Annabelle Vincent

When I was little my worth could not be extinguished

The youngest of three

when teachers asked in kindergarten “who’s the baby in the family”

I remained still

and was called out for not raising my hand

“I’m no baby!” I said proudly.

Fiery in response to someone trying to make me feel small. 

 

The fire could not be diminished

I lived recklessly, with no walls. 

Breaking bones

Racing too fast down ski hills

Always with messy, wild hair. 

Screaming when I wanted to scream

Bubbling over with joy when I was delighted 

Devouring books, writing stories of my own

I did not live small.

 

Yet as I grew

I was told I was small

You are so little

So cute

They said 

 

I am wild! I am free! I am big! 

I wanted to yell back

 

But then

The growing stopped.

Petite, at 5 ft 5

I started to shrink

Draw myself in 

take it to be true

You are small.

 

Pushing away dinner plates

Quieting my voice

Less shouts of joy

More shouts of loneliness

Suppressing anger

Suppressing hurt 

I slouched 

hiding my heart

Averting my eyes

Never wanting to be the centre of all the gazes that surrounded me

I spent years

building up walls

constructing a house

around my heart, my fire

hiding my light from view.

 

Years passed

something inside me stirred.

I knew I needed more.

I looked up shyly to powerful people

Women speaking their truth

Women standing firmly in their vulnerabilities

These people began to stir something inside me

I started to peek out from behind the curtains

Opened a window or two

Curious at first.

 

Stepping one foot out the door

I began to attract wild men

Adventurous men

With vivid imaginations 

and ideas they turned into indescribable realities 

Soul shaking ownership of their talents

Full lives lived.

 

I grew tired

Of being the small one

Of them leaving

To pursue something more full

More curious

creative

wild 

and free.

 

So I opened the door 

and began again.

 

I planted my feet

Stood tall enough that I grew an inch

Remembered the wild haired child of my youth

That I am no baby

That everything I need is already inside

That I am allowed to be here.