I Don’t Owe You Anything

I don’t owe you anything.

I don’t owe you my voice.

My words are mine and mine alone. They may give succor to you in the dark of night when you can’t sleep. They may incite incendiary riots in your head which burn for days. They may speak for you or not. My words can bring you closer to me or force you to turn your head. You may question my right to speak them with authority. I don’t force you to read or listen or share. They are mine to freely give. Whether you accept them is up to you.

I don’t owe you my motives.

Whether I advocate for myself or others, my motives are mine and mine alone. You may not understand them or the actions I take. You may poke and prod and whisper to the world about why I would behave a certain way, but my motives are my own. I carefully choose them of my own free will and make my decisions based on what I believe is best. You don’t have to agree with them, but I don’t owe you answers on why I take a certain stance on issues. I articulate them clearly if I choose to do so.

I don’t owe you my time.

Days spent pouring over research and policy documents take time. Writing takes time. Airport delays and nights FaceTiming with The Kid when I would rather be snuggling with her take time. Sharing what I have learned takes time. Creating new ways to advocate take time. My time management is lousy these days, but I am saying right now that I don’t owe you an hour, a minute, or a second.

I don’t owe you my heart.

It bleeds, just like yours, but sometimes that’s forgotten as if I am supernaturally immune. Surprising twists of Brutus wielded daggers cause pain. It’s not black, hard as coal, many sizes too small, or missing. There are times I hold it in my hand, watch it beat, then hand it to others to stomp on or cherish. No one knows what’s inside of it. Sometimes, not even me, but it is not yours to steal or demand.

I don’t owe you anything.

But my community?

The people I advocate for, the men and women and children that must be counted and seen and heard and understood?

I owe them everything.

They give me hope, they give me support, they give me love that transcends blood. They give me purpose and strength.

I love my community.

I am forever in their debt and can never fully repay them although I will try for the rest of my days.

But you?

I don’t owe you anything.


1 comment
  1. Christel, you don’t owe me anything, but I owe you so very much! I love your blog, your Facebook posts, your ADVOCASY and all that you do or the T1D’s in the world. I am anxious to attend the Unconference in October. It is amazing that you created the Unconference, and that you hold two of them each year. Anita and I are anxious to see you there!!!

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