By. Rebecca Hauer
They told me God was an angry old man who would rather have me dead than happy. They told me I needed to count my blessings, but to keep in mind that I didn’t deserve them. They told me to keep my head down, cover up, don’t laugh so loud, let the boys talk.
Good girls don’t date. Good girls don’t swear. Good girls don’t wear black. Or v-neck tee shirts. Or shorts. Or swimsuits. Good girls aren’t friends with boys. Good girls aren’t friends with Bad Girls. Good girls love Jesus (but Jesus doesn’t love you in return). Good girls get gold stars. Good girls don’t talk back.
Don’t intimidate the boys. Don’t act that way. Don’t wrestle, don’t run, don’t gain weight. Don’t drink. Don’t fight. Don’t use that tone. Don’t ask for it.
Live a little more quietly. Live a little less … just a little less. Live in such a way that the people around you aren’t bothered. Live so that no one needs to make room for you. Live as little as possible if you’re going to insist on being here.
They told me good girls don’t live. I believed them for 23 years and it almost killed me. But I prayed for a God who would love me, and God showed up in freedom and light, in hope, in other Bad Girls who never did learn how to be “good.”
I ran away from a home that could never be home, and in the process found that I could be my own home.
Now I live with confidence: still too loud, taking up too much space, choosing to be more instead of less.
All the things that made me so bad? I do them anyway.
They told me good girls don’t live. But I live anyway.
I live with passion and authenticity because if I don’t, who is going to do it for me? I kick and
scream my way through life because yes, I do want to make a scene. As a girl, they shut me up before I even learned to speak.
But now I’m a woman, and I’m living anyway.