While this phrase is often stated as “good fences make good neighbors,” I’ve used my Diva prerogative and altered it a bit. As writers John Robbins and Ann Mortifee have wisely written: “‘No’ can be a beautiful word, every bit as beautiful as ‘yes.’ Whenever we deny our need to say ‘no,’ our self-respect diminishes. It is not only our right at certain times to say ‘no,’ it is our deepest responsibility. For it is a gift to ourselves when we say ‘no’ to those old habits that dissipate our energy, ‘no’ to what robs us of our inner joy, ‘no’ to what distracts us from our purpose.”
Please understand – you need boundaries, especially on the Diva path. Some people are not going to understand and, when people and circumstances don’t fit neatly into predetermined pigeonholes, those people tend to get snippy. When you commit to the Diva path – and by so doing, you’re committing to living your life out loud – you can expect to elicit comments such as:
- Who does she think she is, anyway?
- She should know that she’s too old to wear that sort of thing!
- Hmmf – what would happen if everyone went around behaving that way?
Try to be patient, Diva, for this is nothing more than the crabs trying to pull you back down into the bucket. You’re a threat to them and people often lash out at threats.
Look – today I decided to wear a hot pink tunic, leggings, and combat boots. I had my incredibly fantastic hair stylist put a broad hot pink streak into my snazzy chin-length cut. There are those who will stop in their tracks when a woman of my age (and definitely non-willowy shape!) dares to appear in public “that way.” Here’s the lesson, Diva – that’s their problem and not yours. It’s hard to live out loud. It’s far, far easier to be predictable and conform your behavior to suit others’ expectations. It’s much simpler to form your opinions to be palatable to those around you.
The world needs your verve, your color, and your enthusiasm. For example, without the passions of women, most charities would have withered on the vine. (Seriously. Go take a look at the local boards in your community that run the local clothes drives, “Stuff the Bus” for school supplies, collect nonperishables for food banks, and so on.) Without our energies, the world would be in far worse shape than it is – and if you take even a fleeting glimpse around, you know that we’ve got work to do! So straighten that tiara and get cracking!
As for those who think (and quite possibly say) that you’re somehow just “too much,” well, I’ve heard it said that what other people think of me is none of my business. You simply cannot make everyone happy – really; it can’t be done.
So why not please yourself?
With modern technology, it’s easier than ever to take your ideas and make them reality. So if you see an empty lot in your neighborhood and think about putting in a community garden, go for it! Call the city council and start the process. If you want to try skydiving, the address of a school is as close to you as your search engine. If you want to put a hot pink streak in your hair “just because,” nothing’s holding you back but you. And we sometimes forge some very heavy chains for ourselves.
Switch ’em out for a tiara. You’ll never look back.