Age 28, from I Am Yours

Age 27, taken a month after my ex-husband and I separated.

For years, I lived as the girl the world preferred me to be. Silence was part of this role. As was starvation. As was self-hatred.

Silenced and unhealed assaults had compounded, and I had grown to believe my voice and I mattered very little in this world. We mattered so little that to apologize for the space we inhabited, I made sure to be as tiny as possible. To fit into this smallness, one that the world teaches us girls it desires, I denied myself food, love, intelligence, ambition, and audacity. Nourishment in all forms. I whittled myself petite and demure in body, mind, and above all, in voice, lest I offended others.

Four years ago, I decided to shift axis. No longer would I live from the role. I would live from the soul.

Write from the soul.

Behave, walk, work, love from the soul.

Speak from the soul, not the role.

My entire world grew from starvation to fullness. Scarcity to abundance. Fear to love. Hiding to speaking.

The moment I began writing, I learned that when we claim our narratives from the hands of others, when we decide to heal, lift, and give voice to the stories we kept hidden for decades, what we are saying is, "I am the sole author of my life. I will speak for I matter as ardently as the sun."

Silence is synonymous to imprisonment. Never again. I am now part of the collective roar. I will forever speak the sonnet of my audacity. I will speak for speaking is the first step to healing, and healing is necessary for freedom. I will speak for this is so much bigger than me. I will speak for whenever I do, another woman hears that her narrative matters, that she too deserves love, kindness, and respect, that she too deserves to drink from the wellspring of resilience, that she too, you too, me too, we are all vital voices in the collective, connective roar.

“Look at the sky. When she wishes to explode in a fury of flamingo, peach, lavender, and indigo, she will. When she desires to be an expansive swatch of calm blue, she is. When she longs to spill oceans of rain, she follows her yearning.

The sky does not hesitate. Neither shall we.”

From my memoir, I Am Yours.

I wrote the words for you.

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