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I learned young
To build a confidence
Maybe even a swagger
In how I carry myself amongst others
A survival mechanism
Created out of necessity

You see
I was raised around dominant men
And I realized early
If I wanted a voice
I had to stand toe to toe
And make them listen

It’s been a part of me for so long
That I don’t even realize it’s on

It’s hard to juggle that
And meet people
It deters and intimidates most
And those it doesn’t are attracted
To the idea of a confident woman
But not the reality of it

I think I scare people when I do drop that guard
I’ve discovered I have no half way
Just on or off with no dimmer switch
And that level of wide open vulnerability
Is uncomfortable to them

I’ve yet to find someone
Who can handle both versions of me
And pretending to be something else
Has never been one of my talents

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