Dear Lovers: My Declaration of Self-Ownership

I can solemnly swear I will not always be something you like.

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Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

By Maria Palumbo

Dear Lovers,

I can solemnly swear I will not always be something you like. I will fuck things up, for better and for worse. Maybe you will like this fucking up, or maybe not. It is not my job to make you like me, but for me to like myself entirely.

You are not the sun, and our love is not the stars. You are pretty damn great, and I dig you hardcore, but you don’t get to be the center of my world anymore.

This means I get to change my mind, my Yes gets to become No, my No might one day be a Yes.

Who I am today might not be who I am tomorrow, and I like that.

I want to hear from you, and I want to love you, but you wanting me back no longer creates or breaks my joy. I have built-in happiness that no one can reach.

It is not my duty to be sexy or to be pretty or hide my beauty. To shave or not to shave, to gain or lose weight, to cook or not to cook. To make your family or friends like me. To have sex or not to have sex.

My only duty is to be the turned-on, alive, free woman, we both are falling for. My deepest concern is how I am making an impact on the world around me and how I create my legacy. My impact on you and your world comes second, always.

I can promise you that I will leave you if this love begins to feel more like an addiction.

I will leave you if your arms become a safe place to hide instead of a place of transformation.

I will stay as long as we hit the places that need hitting, we crush the ego that needs crushing, we demand excellence from each other that simply is rare in a world where we are taught that love is always meant to feel good.

I will not pay for the wrongs of the ones who came before me. It’s not my job to clean up their mess. And I will promise you I will do everything I can to treat you tenderly and own the messes I do make.

I expect you to not let me get away with a thing and honor me with the weight of your body. I can hold you in your fullest vulnerability.

Know I want to hold you in your fullness and see you through your darkness, and I am not your mother. I will not neglect my own needs to make you feel better.

If I am hurt, mad, ecstatic, hungry, if I want something, you will know. I have too much to do to waste time on being an elusive mystery. That woman is just not that sexy to me.

I am your lover, and I will ravage you and be ravaged. I will wake you up in the middle of the night to make love, and I will let you sleep in. I will not look away if you are hurting but demand from you a presence and power that I know you can give. That I know you are.

Now let’s go fuck shit up and make holy mayhem of all the gifts we have been given. I will settle for nothing less.

This story was originally published at and republished on The Good Men Project.

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