What I say may be in a language incomprehensible, but there is a time for that, and it is right now, because this is a monster’s creed. It is for the cobbled-together, the sewn-up, the grafted-on. It is for the golden, the under-the-earth, the foreign, the travels-by-night; the filthy ship-sinking cave-dwelling bone-cracking gorgeousness that says hell no, I am not tidy. I am not easy. I am not what you suppose me to be and until you listen to my voice and look me in my eyes, I will cling fast to this life no matter how far you drive me, how deep, with how many torches and pitchforks, biting back the whole way down. I will not give you my suicide. I will not give you my surrender.
Quoted directly from The Seam of Skin and Scales. This post stopped my heart and electrified my spirit. It aligns itself perfectly with Catherynne Valente’s Monstrous Manifesto, for all that it was written more than three years prior.
I think there’s an incredible power in accepting who you are, with your thorns and scars, with your vulnerable underbelly and soft eyes. As soon as you accept who and what you are, as you are now and not in some ideal nebulous future, you can exult in your strengths and learn compassion for your weaknesses. As you would with your most beloved person, you can begin to treasure the faults and quirks that make you unique, rather than shunning them as obstacles in your impossible path to perfection.
And there is power in not being perfect – in not only accepting that, but celebrating it. There is power in being a monster and shouting it to the world, unafraid, unashamed, exuberantly imperfect (to steal an apt NaNoWriMo phrase). Reclaiming your identity – all of it, not just the pretty parts – removes the guilt, removes the unrealistic expectations, removes the pressure to be what you’re not. Things aren’t suddenly effortless, but they sure as hell get easier when you’re not fighting yourself along with all the rest of the world.
As for me? I’m quite happy to be a monster, crooked fang and briar-hair and all.