I found this little sign friend in a thrift store in North Carolina like three years back, and I was like, you are my mantra, and you are coming home with me. It sits in my office and I spend a decent amount of time looking at it, and wondering if it’s true. Over the years the sentiment has unravelled for me. What is ‘nice?’ It’s a weak little word with no taste, it’s the last bits of cereal in the bottom of the bowl, it’s a hair ribbon, it’s passivity, it’s mediocrity. To what extent is ‘niceness’ just fear of hurting other people’s feelings, fear of rocking the boat, fear of starting trouble? Is niceness actually just Fear? My sister friend Carrie was joking the other day, how hilarious it would be if suddenly I was labeled some sort of Industry Bitch, as I am the literal opposite. But is this even a compliment? I am legit a huge bitch sometimes but I keep it in the safety of my mind. I can be petty and jealous and mean but am too afraid to show any of it. I so carefully avoid the awkwardness of the actual Truth. Another word for mean might be Courage. I’m not always brave enough to voice my dissent, and sometimes I have this weird negative knee jerk reaction, when people speak their minds, as if they’re occupying too much space, as if I’m not supposed to occupy Any. What even is that? And when will I stop apologizing for the space I take up, with my Niceness? All of this to say: I don’t think I want to be ‘nice.’ Nice is for little girls with ruffly socks in old Golden books. I want to be thoughtful and empathetic and kind, but never ‘Nice.’

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