Over a recent weekend, I began the most arduous task of sifting through my wardrobe closet. The annual, or in my case, the quarterly ritual of “spring-cleaning” was underway. I would keep my favorite pieces, toss those that were frayed and donate those that I fell out of love with.
About a year ago, I was diagnosed with adenomyosis, a condition impacting the uterus. Consequently, I would need a hysterectomy, considering my extremely low hemoglobin levels.
I’ve had a lot of colorful adventures on my journey. Some were cartoon strips, like the humor I had to find within the pain of trauma, and others were Oscar winning sagas, like surviving a dysfunctional childhood and watching cancer take out a third of my family in a five-year-period.
When I first entered my creative writing Master’s program at Full Sail University, I wanted to tell the story of how power is used to take advantage of the weak. I was determined to expose social and cultural ills; I was ready to show no mercy.
I spent my eighth grade afternoons immersed in “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” My teacher, Ms. Lela Lynch, thought I would enjoy his story and loaned me her copy. Later, at night, I would dream of a life that was exciting enough to write about.
Three years ago, I was given a lay off letter. I was hysterical, bitter and confused. I questioned God about the timing of my misfortune and spent many days and nights depressed. Nothing seemed to make sense to me and I felt that God had forgotten me.
Jae is a lifelong friend of mine. She and I share a birthday, men’s shoe fetishes and wit. We also share passion and creativity in all forms. However, there is one difference that makes her my hero: She is a champion survivor.
It is a rainy summer morning and the streets outside are sodden with flower petals and muddy footsteps. The wind is blowing softly and the clouds are a soft gray. The rain tickles windowsills, dashboards and tree branches.
My one pillar of refuge as a depressed and trauma-ridden teenager was the downtown library. I’d select about six or seven books and read into the sunset. I’d skip alongside characters as they found lost love and said their goodbyes to dying grandmas.