Warm and Relentless

March 16th, 2018

 

One of my lady friends recently described me as warm, caring, fierce, and relentless. And something about the combination of being warm yet relentless really stood out to me.

I’ve been called intimidating for over 15 years now. Mostly by men, but not always. It’s become so embedded into my brain as a characteristic that it’s often hard for me to think of myself as kind, positive, or sweet. In the past few years, if I receive a compliment for being positive or caring, I have scoffed and turned it into a joke. I have deflected.

I’ve been fiercely defending the women around me for as long as I can remember. As a pre-teen, I 100% was the proud owner of a keychain from the mall that read “You call me a bitch, like it’s a bad thing.”

From age 12 to 17, I stomped around school hallways in 3” heels and “intimidated” boys into letting my friends be. In 8th grade, I publicly told a boy off in the hallway loud enough for surrounding teachers to come out, see it was me, and return to their classrooms because they figured if a goodie-two-shoes like me was doing the yelling, he deserved it.

But somehow it’s taken me all this time to associate those actions with warmth.

I started my own business 4 years ago, with a main goal of helping women and femmes. I work tirelessly on it. Perhaps relentlessly. Yet I never tied that to warmth either, until now. If you fiercely defend your fellow women, femmes, and enbies, that is an act of caring.

I am not sorry for the way my warmth is packaged. And I am not sorry if my determination to uplift those around me by any means necessary intimidates men. I am warm. I am fierce. I am caring. I am determined. I am loving. I am relentless. And I won’t apologize for my multitudes.

Mallorie Dunn