If you say what you think,
don't expect to hear what you like.
I’m largely misunderstood. I don’t have any glorified romantic ideas about being a loner. I know that I am abrasive, short tempered, horrible at first impressions and uncomfortably honest. I understand that people’s interpretations are based on these characteristics, I don’t blame them. It just means that I spend more of my life defending myself than getting things done. It’s quite exhausting. I have a constant internal struggle of just going with the current or making the decision to follow my gut and swim upstream. Obviously it wouldn’t be such a struggle if I had better tools and tactics for expressing myself. I’m just so explosive.
I can’t help it. (Believe me I’ve tried). That doesn’t mean my glass is half empty and I’ve accepted the negative. I persevere. I write, I think about the positive, I think about the future, and I push the other stuff away. Sometimes it does make me sad knowing other skaters don’t understand where I’m coming from or think I’m a defector, especially considering how much I love roller derby, but it only serves as more motivation to keep my dream alive.
Whether it was for my friends on the playground, or raising issues of religious equality on campus, to questioning the environmental impact of adding paper toilet seat covers to bathrooms, to eventually co-founding the first Gay-Straight Alliance at my High School, my whole life I have been an advocate for justice and spoken up for those who did not have a voice. It has been challenging, but always rewarding. So I say: “Embrace that which defines you”. Being loud and being honest is my gift people, not a hindrance!
My message to other skaters is to stand up for what you believe in, and if it doesn’t feel right it’s probably not. Your league is not the only one around and your integrity is important too. Of course, pick your battles and understand that if you say what you think, don’t expect to hear what you like.