One of the best laughs I've enjoyed within the first few minutes post introduction, happened when my new acquaintance asked if I liked sports.
I told her my fondness of any sport was the backstory of the players, coach, and team rather than the competition itself. She found my answer both strange and hilarious and regarded me as " a little different."
Scored goals and penalties do not hold my attention; I want to know the narrative of the people in the game.
Why do I love the New York Rangers? The story of the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship was the hook; a forty-year curse, an unexpectedly magical season under one of the greatest NHL players, and the first Stanley Cup win in fifty-four years!
To me, there is nothing more beautiful, pure or sacred than a person's narrative.
I am wholly fascinated by humanity and the infinite forms of self-expression. My West Indian and Irish ancestors understood and mastered the art of storytelling. My love of narrative exists on a cellular level, it nourishes my craft and my soul.
Stories hold our collective humanity; they reflect our distinctions and commonalities in both our difficult losses and sublime moments of triumph.
Sometimes, personal narratives are hard to carry and even harder to withstand. For many, their stories include deeply traumatic experiences which profoundly define their lives. During most of my adult life, I wavered in accepting my full narrative and thus made significant life decisions from a state of disempowerment. Without a complete sense of self, I repeatedly committed my energy to unhealthy relationships.
In my heart, I knew there were chapters of my story that needed acknowledgment. I did not feel deserving of the effort and instead created false narratives to survive.
Despite my best efforts to avoid the pain, mothering triggered a reckoning that would save my life. Eventually, I began to diffuse the emotional mechanisms and workarounds I'd created for survival. In learning how to identify the people and tools which supported wholeness, I taught myself how to thrive.
I found my way home to the words; and after my decades-long writer's block, I began to compose once more. Writing my story, unearthed lifelong pain and enabled the loving work of healing my soul. I've worked for years, recovering my self-worth. I've accomplished this through gathering all the taken and cast pieces of myself and weaving them home into my narrative.
Today, I'm experiencing wholehearted self-love and joyful living. My life is not without struggle or sadness; however, they no longer hinder healthy choices or prescribe who I attract into my life.
Reclaiming my worth has empowered me in many ways;
I found my voice and enabled self-advocacy,
I'm a fully present mother and wholeheartedly myself in every way,
I've authored a book and have published essays in online magazines,
I've released toxic relationships and instead have attracted healthy bonds.
I am my story and gratefully so. I own the painful losses and divine triumphs - every beautiful chapter. I'll continue writing, upending false narratives, revealing my heart and embracing wholeness. And as I consider life's stories in the arena around me, I’ll remain enthralled by our collective humanity and infinite forms of self-expression.