A letter to the boss who told me I wasn’t good enough

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To the boss who told me I wasn’t good enough:

Thank you for firing me.
Thank you for spitting words in my face
Slamming the door and letting the glass shatter and cut me
Creating wounds so deep only my salty tears could heal them

To you,
I say thank you.

I worked my ass off for your company.
Made it into what it is today.
More profitable
More reputable
More marketable
I worked my ass off.
Remember that, asshole?
And what did I get in return?
“You are fired.”

You left me with lips wired shut from the secrets I kept hidden.
But I was taught long ago to use my words to shield my dignity.
And you, a misogynistic man, couldn’t bear the truth.
You were afraid of me,
an unapologetically bold woman.
Because I spoke my mind.
Because I stood up for my rights.
Because I couldn’t be silenced.

Although I can’t undo the past that has unraveled,
I’ve mustered up the courage to reveal my pain today.
So I write to you.

Let me lick my lips and prepare to part them to make way for my words.
Spread my legs into a strong stance that demands pride and respect.
Let me wire back the jaw that’s been twisted and formulate the words in a way that is mine.
NOT YOURS.
MINE.

I’ll expose the bullshit I swallowed.
You….
The one who told me I wasn’t good enough
slammed the door in my face
pushed me to the dirt
and made me kiss the ground on which you walked.
When you didn’t even deserve my slightest attention.

You threatened me, saying, “If I don’t fire you, you’ll never learn.”
Well….you were right.
Thank you for teaching me what I don’t want to be as a boss.
Thank you for teaching me how I don’t want to speak to my employees.
Thank you for teaching me how I don’t want to stampede over their bodies.

And to you, I say,
Thank you for firing me in China
over a petty little Skype call.
7,000 miles from home.
You told me to get on an airplane.
Thought you could buy my silence.

I never told you this…but you should know,
I never got on that goddamn plane.
There was no way in hell I was flying on that plane.
You weren’t going to hold me confined for 20 hours.
No. No.
No. No. No.

And just in case you don’t understand, let me make myself clear
Nǐ bù huì kòngzhì wǒ
That’s Chinese – your language – for you won’t control me.

So…
I dragged two suitcases from Hangzhou to Shanghai.
Unsure of how I’d get home, but I wasn’t going home on your dime.
7,000 miles from home.
I was afraid.
I stood on a hotel rooftop overlooking the Shanghai skyline.
It was so beautiful.

And I thought…
What if I just slipped?
Danced 35 stories in the air?
I’d have 35 words to say before I’d smash against the ground.
How much would it hurt them?
No, I’m not talking to you, asshole.
I’m talking about my family and friends.
The ones who would never make me kiss the ground that doesn’t deserve my kisses
My family… the ones who would never slam me to the ground with ignorance.
How much would it hurt them… every single story.
35 stories worth of pain.

I decided to use the body I’ve been given to fight back
MY BODY. NOT YOURS.
MY BODY. NOT YOURS.

I took the legs that had fallen and stood up again.
Dusted the dirt on my scraped knees and began to seek help so they could heal.
And decided I wasn’t strong enough to carry the weight of your bullshit

But I was strong enough to stand up and let go
Of the burdens of my secrets.
And now…
hey you,
the one who told me I wasn’t good enough.
I’ve been liberated.
Free to spread my wings and fly on my own terms.

So let me lick my lips and prepare to part them to make way for these words.
Spread my legs into a strong stance that demands pride and respect.
Let me wire back the jaw that’s been twisted and formulate the words in a way that is mine.

To the boss who told me I wasn’t good enough…
Thank you for being fertilizer.
I’ve drank water daily.
Showered myself with sunlight.
Grown – slowly but surely.
Blossomed into a garden.
Grew a pair of wings
And found my way home
7,000 miles
Yes
I flew 7,000 miles
On my own wings
And I began building bold.

With love and a smear of my blood,

The one you tried to break

 

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