Sunday, June 8, 2014

#SundayReflections Re-Discovering My Voice

For the first couple weeks of my middle school years my parents didn't trust me home alone. So instead of getting on the bus home after school I got on another bus to someone else's house. This girl was supposed to be watching me after she got out of school, but instead it was just me and her brother. He was a year older. During those times I was happy for the company so I talked to him a lot. I annoyed him in the beginning, but it didn't matter. He got used to me. Then one day my mom have me a key to the house and said I was responsible enough. For a split second I was disappointed and wondered why. Then I started enjoying being alone. I had to. There was no other choice. 

Wait, before we get to the alone part I talked a lot to anyone that would listen. I talked a lot to people that didn't want to listen. I didn't reveal every secret I had even when I was 7 or 8. I knew better than to do that. However, books contained a lot of information and I had a lot of questions. At a young age I read this book Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry and no one had previously discussed all of what the book contained with me. Right before going into middle school I read this book The Skin I'm In and no one had previous told me that I would be hated just for having dark skin. In my preteen years someone finally gave me a book on how the young woman's body works. No one had previously prepared me for any of this, so I had questions. The world was bigger than Missouri City, Stafford, or Houston, Texas. It was bigger than Tallahassee and Plant City, Florida. It was huger than New Orleans or Atlanta, so my mind was the most curious place to be. 

My mind was so curious that I even thought of growing up and becoming a lawyer. Once I knew it all, it would be easy to win every argument. I gave up on that dream a year later and decided to concentrate on one day becoming an author. 

You're probably wondering the whole point of all of this. I dreamed. It was so easy to dream as a kid. Whether hanging with people or being by myself I adjusted to what was going on, but my imagination never ceased to go to new limits. I wasn't afraid of being home alone, not afraid of hanging with people that I initially annoyed, and wasn't afraid of grown folks conversation either. My creativity reached such high levels that I became stuck at a certain age. I quit everything I had been doing for years, but my parents didn't feel I was ready for anything bigger. This included reading the series of young adult books by black authors. It also included sitting in on adult conversations or even making decisions that affected me more than anything else. 

For example, in the 7th grade I took an art class. I wanted to explore what I was and was not good at. Art interested in me, so why not get messy with a little paint trying to figure out life? Why not discover myself a little more in a picture? They hated it and was extremely mad that I chose to do it. I was happy that I took that extra step. 

At 27 I'm getting that confidence back. I'm looking for that bravery to ask questions to anyone, even if they don't want to talk. I'm taking steps to be that girl that makes decisions that make her happy, even if other people have problems with them. After all, the core point of an entrepreneur is that s/he is not afraid to create. 

Do I need to explain how we lose our creativity? Do I need to go into detail how everyone around us wants to conform to them and not just be ourselves? Maybe in another post. 

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