I vividly recall the very last day of eighth grade. The year was 1978. I was completing middle school, a true milestone at that age. The following year, I would transfer to a new school, but within the same district. We had just received our final report cards for the year. Several girls were huddled together, comparing their progress in various subjects. They asked to see my report card.
I had received straight A’s, in every single subject, throughout the entire year. I remember that one of them quickly blurted out “You’re way too smart for us; we don’t want to play with you anymore.” Quite honestly, hearing those blunt words represented a most pivotal moment in my life.
Right then, I made the decision to not apologize for my intellect, nor for my ambition. It has been, to be perfectly honest, a very lonely decision to have made. I have been accused, multiple times, of being too driven, and too intense.
I refuse to apologize for who I truly am. I’d like to say that I have met several individuals who truly celebrate my passions. That would be a lie. I’ve met several who, at best, tolerate my intensity. At age 54, I fully embrace who I am.
I refuse to apologize for my intensity. After all, would a truly less intense woman still be here to write these very words, after all that she has experienced to date? I think not.