Fangirls, when I was younger, it took a lot to intimidate me. I was fantastic at martial arts, was the biggest person my age, and I had a short temper. The people that went to school with me knew I was not to be messed with. By the time high school hit, all of that was gone. I had quit karate, lost all of my confidence, and just wanted to fade into the background.
Sadly, that didn’t happen. My short temper turned me into a rather disruptive student. My depression got the best of me, and I went through some very difficult things. Three years after graduating high school, I moved to Florida to be a Disney College Program Intern. I was lucky then; my family drove me to and from Florida. A semester after I got back, I went back down. My family wasn’t going to bring me down again, so I took a train.
I was terrified. I didn’t know what type of people I’d be dealing with, and I was concerned for my safety. Before I left, my mum bought me a little can of pepper spray. I kept that on my person the whole way there, and back. Now I carry it almost always; not because I constantly fear for my safety, but because it gives me back my confidence.
Now, I want you all to be aware: by it giving me back my confidence, I don’t mean that I threaten people. I have gained back my confidence in keeping myself safe. Maybe I can’t kick or punch as hard as I used to be able to, and I definitely can’t run as fast or as far as I could. But if I need to keep myself safe, I have something.
I feel a bit like I’m toting a weapon. Pepper spray is not something to play with. I’ve had my little pink container for over 2 years, and have never used it. It’s a safety net. I like to take trains places, and sometimes layovers are long. Once I had a 5 hour layover in NYC, from 2am to 7am. That’s not the best time to be alone in New York. Everything was closed, and the rest station only allowed people to be there for 2 hours before kicking them out.
To bide some time, I went outside to walk around the block and see the sun rise. It was beautiful, but NYC is still full of dangerous people. Having my pepper spray gave me the confidence to go out there. It was a neat experience.
I write this here, because I wish I didn’t fear for myself enough to feel the need to carry pepper spray. I was harrassed by a boy at school, whose apartment I have to walk by to get to the bus. I didn’t feel safe, because he is significantly larger than I. I wish I didn’t have experiences like this, but I do.
I recommend getting yourself some pepper spray, Fangirls, as long as you’re over 18. It’s very helpful when you like to travel (and I know a lot of us like to travel to conventions). Just be smart with it; don’t use it unless you’re in a dire situation, and be aware that it is a weapon. It can seriously hurt people, but can lee you safe. Also, remember that pepper spray doesn’t make you untouchable. Be safe out there, Fangirls.
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