This life lesson has been one I’ve learned through various different stages of my life.
When I look back at the different stages of my life, I find that there have been a variety of different things I’ve been judged inaccurately on by others. It’s very hard not to shout to the world that you’ve been wrongly viewed in some instances. And in fact, in my youth, that is indeed what I would do – shout to my judge and juries that they had pegged me incorrectly. As time has gone by, I find the quiet resolve of staying my course has done far greater service to the truth about me than when I chose to vociferously defend my honor. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is a time and place for these louder, sometimes riddled with blue word conversations. But over time, I’ve learned that when I sit back and let verity rise to the surface, it exposes not only my truth, but theirs.
When I was a child, growing up with brown skin, I was judged. I was told by bullies, “Go back to your country, Paki” which confused me because Canada is my country and I had never been to Pakistan. I remember my father telling me, “They aren’t insulting you. “Pak” means clean. They are saying you are clean.” Yeah, telling a bully that their insult was a compliment only got me beat up.
My father came to Canada at a time when his brown skin was such a novelty that people would rub his arm to see if the colour came off. By the time we were born, fairer in skin than him but still decidedly still quite mocha-tinted, my sister and I were shunned by some for being different, stinky and not like the others. Therefore, gross.
As a vibrator salesperson I was judged. Most people don’t know just how hard that job can be (“hard”, get it? But pun not intended). So I was especially hurt when I would hear some of the rumours about why my sales were so high from my fellow colleagues. Among the more ridiculous things I had heard was that I made an average of $1,500 a night in sales because I stripped at my parties. I like to think if I was stripping the sales would be triple that but what do I know?
And as the author of a novel with the word “SEX” so boldly emblazoned on the cover, I have received the most judgement by far.
“Don’t date that girl. She wrote that book.”
“She must be amoral. She wrote a book about sex, after all.”
“Anyone can sell books if sex is in the title.”
First of all, that book is not about sex only. It’s a journey of self discovery and personal awakening. It just happens to have some brilliantly written sex scenes in it – if I do say so myself 🙂
If waiting until you are 30 to have sex makes me amoral, then sure, you pegged me (this is to be read sarcastically of course).
You try to write a sex scene tastefully and with class and then come back and tell me that anyone can do it. What has propelled my sales has been the ongoing praise for the way that I tackle difficult subjects of culture and taboo topics. And just to toot my own horn, I’ve also been told repeatedly that the orgasm scene in my novel was handled beautifully and has brought many who have read it to tears. Toot, toot!
The fact is that these judgments continue and will, sadly, keep on happening. But I stand up in the face of them knowing that my heart is in the right place. That I nursed my father until he died in my arms. That I sacrificed my dreams countless times so that others I love could achieve theirs. That I donate regularly to women’s shelters because I know that being in an abusive relationship and thinking you have nowhere to go is among the worst feelings in the world.
And I know who I am.
No one else can know the steps I’ve taken to get where I am today and I can’t know what they’ve been through that brought them to where they are either. But I do know that I’m a mocha-tinted saleswoman with a penchant for writing and a giant heart that sometimes gives too much. And even if someone else doesn’t see that now, the truth will always rise up. Among other things…this time pun intended.