#blackgirlmagic : your allowance

you are allowed to be proud
proud enough
proud of your accomplishments
proud of what other people compliment you on
but not too proud
being too proud –
loving who you are, without conditions,
knowing who you are, without revisions,
being who you are, without hindrance –
is flying too close to the sun
proud
but, proud enough

you are allowed to be great
great enough
great enough to rise,
but not so far above them
that they hurt their necks to keep their eyes on you
(the aches will be your fault)
great enough to be known
but not so well known
that others feel bad knowing they don’t compare
(this comparison will be your fault, whether or not you make it)
great
great enough

you are allowed to be loved
loved enough
loved enough to feel like warmth
to feel like you belong
you are allowed to be loved for who you are
(superficially)
you can trust that love
until someone sees that love and begins to feel it warmer than theirs
you are allowed to be loved, and feel loved,
but loved enough

you are allowed to be free
but, free enough
not so free to be boundless
not so free you begin to believe your freedom matches theirs
yours is different
it is freedom, so to speak
you can be yourself, within reason
you can be proud of your skills, to an extent
you can touch greatness, for a while
you can be loved, with some conditions

the freedom you are allowed is
temporal
amorphous
confusing
but it’s yours
for as long as you want it
for as long as it is enough
enjoy it
“it could be worse,”
they’ll say,
to keep you from begging for it to be better
“you are proud,
you are great,
you are loved,
you are free.”
they don’t say, within reason
or, with limits
though that’s what they mean
but it could be worse
enjoy it

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