I have the feelings I have.

Photo May 17, 1 13 11 PM.jpg

I invoke the wisdom of Ron Swanson fairly regularly. Sure, Parks and Recreation has been off the air for three years and the last season seemed painfully forced (think season 9 of Scrubs), but that doesn’t turn me off of the awkward comedy gold that runs through the other six seasons. But that’s sort of beside the point.

I have the feelings I have. | Becoming Kelly | www.becomingkelly.com
I have the feelings I have. | Becoming Kelly | www.becomingkelly.com

In the first episode of season four, Leslie and Ron are hiding at Ron’s secret hunting cabin and, in a moment of tenderness that rivals that of the porterhouse at Mulligan’s Steakhouse, Ron tells Leslie that he has nine toes due to an unfortunate nail gun incident.

Leslie: You onlyhave nine toes, Ron?
Ron: I have the toes I have. Let’s just leave it at that.

See, Ron doesn’t think he only has nine toes; he has the toes that he has, end of story. No quantifying or qualifying necessary. That lack of qualification and apology has been foreign to me for the majority of my life. I’m jealous of the way Ron can say something and it is so; it’s a biblical, God-granted right. Why does he get to command when I have to qualify? Is it because he’s a white man in Indiana? Is it the way his character is written, combined with the way he chooses to embody it? Is it because he looks like the bastard offspring of the Brawny man and grumpy cat, the embodiment of male gendered expectations?

Is it all of these reasons, and probably more?
Why shouldn’t I command?
I’m going to try and see how it feels:

I have the feelings I have.

“I have a lot of feelings”is a cliché. I’ve said it many times, typically in an effort to diffuse a situation that isn’t—or shouldn’t be—a situation at all: when I am feeling in public. Saying, “I have a lot of feelings” when I’ve begun crying while at lunch with friends and sharing something vulnerable sounds dangerously like an apology for being human. I am not about that life.

That doesn’t feel like a life at all.

When I’m having an awesome/awful/boring/exciting/whateverthefuckelse day, I cry. I laugh. I smile. I don’t smile. I stare. I roll my eyes. I dance. I sit still. I move through my day and my world precisely as I am. I’m not a hysterical woman and I don’t need a fainting couch—unless it’s a purple velvet chaise lounge because I’ve got a body designed to lounge like royalty (Prince).

Resting Bitch Face?
That’s not a thing.
My face moves because my brain tells me to feel and have a reaction to what you’re saying.
Don’t like the way my face is reacting to you? Fix your words—my face is just fine.

The ways I talk about myself matter because they tell those around me how I want to be treated. I can communicate how I’m feeling with words, tears, swinging hips, thumbs, middle fingers, flexed biceps, my teeth—whatever I choose.
I have the feelings I have.
I refuse to apologize for my humanity.