Ducks and Chucks,
When was the last time anyone told you, "You're super-ducking awesome!"? Well, I, your regular pond-managing duck, am here to set the record straight. Yes, you're super-ducking awesome. Why, you ask? Because you're here, paddling on through the blossom and the beak-slop, putting your best flipper forward. And if you're from a marginalized community, then you really need to know that you're abso-ducking-lutely super-ducking awesome.
To help you recognize your true awesomeness, here are a few quotes from both ducks and humans (with comments from me) to help you remember how super-ducking awesome you actually are:
RuPaul in GuRu:
"We often play small, so as not to threaten other people. We don’t want to intimidate them by our brightness, but the truth is, you do them and yourself a disservice by dimming what you’ve been given—your intelligence, your light. Those are your gifts."
Duck: Flipper me sideways! It's time to let go of those relationships where I, a ducking awesome duck, constantly feel I have to dim my light and paddle a little slower.
Sir Mallard Jones in his memoir Duck, Actually:
"Extraordinary as it may sound, I, Sir Mallard, wasn't always the smooth and confident duckster you see before you. How did I escape the prison of my own sad flippers? I told myself, over and over, with a fierce, unbreakable determination, that I was an exquisite mallard. Initially, when I did not believe it, I would tell myself three hundred times a day. Then I would tell myself four hundred times, because I was beginning to feel top-notch.
"And I tell you, dear reader, it absolutely worked. It's possible that I am now the only one who believes in my own exquisite nature (though my deep fame does challenge that notion), [Aside from Duck T: Un-be-ducking-lievable!] but even if that's the case, I don't give a quackmeister's toot. Why? Because I am mallardaceous."
Duck: Well, because Mallard is my best frenemy, he usually says something I do not ducking agree with, but for the mostpart, that quote actually kicked flipper. I will now be telling myself three hundred times a day that I am mallardaceous.
Louise Hay in You Can Heal Your Life
"Loving the self, to me, begins with never ever criticizing ourselves for anything. Criticism locks us into the very pattern we are trying to change. Understanding and being gentle with ourselves helps us to move out of it. Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens."
Duck: This reminds me of when I used to be so ducking worried that I wasn't swimming in a straight l line. (One of my flippers is bigger than the other, you see.) But then I got to the stage when I realized, "I'm actually a brilliant swimmer! So what if I swim differently to others? Maybe they need a little of my non-normativity!" And it's never been a problem since.
My partner Peacock Riley the Marvelous, in bed the other morning
Riley's own note: RILEY IS NOT A DUCK.
"For Riley, it's about being deliberately wonderful, even when Riley doesn't feel wonderful. It's about knowing Riley deserves this, even when it doesn't seem like it.
"So, every time Riley feels that sicky feeling in their stomach that seems to say, 'You are not enough,' Riley fights the urge to sink back under the covers. Instead, Riley stands up, reaches for their purse and rose-print top hat, and heads outside to do simple things that feel marvelous. These might include walking with the sweeping grace of Anais Nin, ordering coffee with the radiant fierceness of Mama Ru, and allowing one's tailfeathers to tickle the kerb with the ravishing pride of Jiggly Caliente.
"These are the things that make Riley feel marvelous again."
Duck: Completely ducking magnificent as usual.
Anita Moorjani in Dying To Be Me
"Transform your world by transforming your internal state. Start by learning to let go of negative self-judgment, and replace it with positive and loving thoughts about yourself. Be kind to yourself, and watch your external world change."
Duck: The inside changes the outside. Duck yes! Just like when you feel hungry inside, so you have a pondweed sandwich (which you buy on the outside) and once it's inside you, you aren't hungry anymore, so you don't need to buy any more pondweed sandwiches. Like that, but not so literal.
So there we have it, ducks and chucks. The experts have spoken. And all that talk of pondweed sandwiches has made this duck a little peckish. So off I go to let my outsides change my insides (by eating). But don't forget your super-ducking awesome!