I like who my friends and dear ones are. They respect me and accept me as I am and I do them. They have earned the right to give me criticism when they think I am going in a bad road and they have earned this right through love and acceptance.
They have seen me at my worst and loved it, not rolled their eyes at it with secretly contained contempt over it. They may not have always approved of my behavior, but they loved the core of me and know me well enough to know that I need to process things on my terms.
I say all this not as a battle cry, but as gratitude for my friends who accept my messed up honest self.
I say all this because I love the ability to be myself no matter who that is. I also love watching my friends flourish and grow.
We all need those spaces where we can be ourselves no matter how good we can shoot pool or hold liquor or dance. We need those places where we can be ourselves and allow others the same privilege.
We are going to encounter people and spaces that do not accept us as we are. Those are hard and those are more often the rule and the places to be myself and for you to be yourself are precious and rare.
When you find them. Hang on to them. The people, the places and the moments. They are a scarce commodity and a precious gift. As you decide to call people friends or lovers or any other such thing....it is more than okay to demand full acceptance and permission to be autonomous. It is what we all deserve.