This space is for me. It's mine. I write these words because I need to read them.
I am the queen of staying distracted. I focus my attention everywhere but the place it needs to be. For years, almost a decade, I wanted to have my corner of the internet where I told the stories of the people I encountered. Incredible people. People of color. The stories of people who are often marginalized and discredited before they are even heard. They are layered and full of contradictions. They are large. They contain multitudes. I wanted to tell my own story. To dissect my layered existence in a public space. Because, although my experience is mine, it is not altogether unique. We all share segments of each other's stories and perhaps the greatest relief when you are in the sunken place, is knowing that you are not alone, that someone came before you, crawled their way through, and survived.
Three months ago my family relocated to New York after losing our home in the wake of two hurricanes. Leaving home, for me, meant a lot of things. It meant, despite the awful circumstances, a dream come true. It meant that every excuse I had not to leave, no longer existed. But it also meant that if I failed, there was nothing to return to. That fear of failure is perhaps the biggest factor in every major decision that I've made in my life. I could try to do this thing where I would fail or succeed or I could stick with a sure thing.
Starting Telling Through Stories, officially, meant telling people it existed. Taking ground. Taking up space. But if I did that, and nothing happened, I would see it as a failure. I see now that that conclusion was misguided. Because this space is for me. It's mine. I write these words because I need to read them.
Since moving back to New York I've been keeping busy. Catching up with old friends, making new ones, job hunting, shopping. All the while, I've been neglecting my state of mind. I internalized when I needed to speak up. I shied away from difficult conversations. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find the words to express what I wanted to say. So, instead, I withdrew.
Have you heard that quote by Audre Lorde? "When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak."
Lately, my spirit has been nudging me. "Enough", it says. "Enough". In all these little ways, my world has siphoned me off. No more catching up to do, no more shopping necessary, just me, sitting with myself, with nothing left to distract me.
"Enough". I know my spirit is right. That getting quiet, sitting with myself, is necessary. I also know that the message is twofold. That my spirit is telling me, who I am and what I have, is enough.