Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground

When I first moved to NYC at eighteen, I had come from a small town and a quiet family that didn't argue much. Coming from a small town, I didn't know the meaning of fighting for space. Growing up with no conflict in my home, I didn't learn to stand up for myself the way other people had to, coming from either a bigger family in a smaller house or a family that loves to argue. Yes, there are families that love and thrive on arguing!

 

I was timid to say the least moving from my little hometown to the big city. I was also timid jumping into a new business that I didn't understand. My only photos taken of me growing up were simple ones where I didn't even know that I should be doing certain things to make the photo look better. I had also not really worn make up and I had long, straight hair that I left alone. 

 

When I started working as a model in New York City I found that I stayed quiet a lot and just watched and learned from the experts in my business. I slowly learned what to do in front of the camera and how to put on my make up and do my hair and I became more confident. When I would hit the streets to either go on a casting or a new job, I found that I was always letting other people go by on the sidewalk and stepping aside anywhere else there were people fighting for space.

 

Years have gone by since then and I find myself back in New York City. I am back to stepping aside for others thinking I am being polite. No one seems to care. I find that I have to tell myself that I have a right to my space on the sidewalk and that I don't have to step aside or dip my shoulder in order not to hit someone. I have found that when I stand my ground, at the last minute people make way for me. It is a struggle though as my tendency is to not fight but to give way. I am finding it empowering to keep my course on the sidewalk and to not make the effort to give others more space.

 

You may come from being raised differently than me. Maybe you don't get the stepping aside thing. I find that some people don't even know or care that I let them go first. They expect it!

So, as a Christian woman, what is the right thing to do? My struggle is feeling that I am good enough. I always seems to come down to that. I have to tell myself that I don’t have to step aside for others but that if I chose to, then I am doing it for me, so that I feel better as a person. Who knows, maybe being polite will pay off!