Confronting Your Fears

26 Sep

I’m turning 45 in a few weeks. As I look back on my accomplishments and my failures, I can only wish that I would be able to express myself like Sarah Kay does; she is a young spoken poet. Spoken poetry is poetry and theater all wrapped in one.

I would be able to communicate how it felt being raised in the Projects of New York City. How it felt to be scared at a young age when I had to make a last-minute decision regarding taking the elevator or the stairs depending who was in the elevator. Then taking the stairs and always listening to see if there were neighborhood gangbangers hanging out on the lower level, or if I should take the elevator on the 3rd floor.

I would explain how it felt being abused by a distant uncle and NEVER taking the title of VICTIM; I had decided as a young adult that I was not a VICTIM, not going to be LABELED, that I was not going to put MY LIFE in someone else’s hands so they could control my future.

I would be able to express the joy of getting on the airplane to leave New York City for good and never coming back. The happiness and guilt I felt as I saw my cousin crying hysterically because we were raised like sisters — and I was leaving her behind.

The feeling of not fitting in, in the beginning because even though you were considered Puertorican in New York City, you were not considered that in Puerto Rico.

The happiness I felt when my parents divorced, because I knew the fighting would stop; and the sadness of seeing the sacrifices my mother had to make to raise three daughters on her own.

In all this time I was looking for my creative voice. I was not into art, music, acting, or writing. I did try a little of everything:  guitar, dance, gymnastics, swimming, I was even an aerobics instructor. I was always willing to try new things, but nothing stuck.

I’m inspired by people who have struggled in their lives and have been able to make it through to the other side.

So if you’re wondering “have I made it to the other side?”  The answer is:  YES I have.  I made it to the other side as a young adult, once I decided that I was not going to be a VICTIM.  Believe me, it was not easy to get to that point. I was rebellious, angry and hurt.  I came to the realization that I needed to forgive, for me to be able to move on in my life in a positive way.

Sarah Kay said in her poem
And she’s gonna learn that this life
will hit you.
In the face.
Wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach.
But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs
how much they like the taste of air.

I love that! I had resigned myself to the fact that bad things do happen and it’s my reaction to them that dictates how much I let them affect me.  I’ve lived by the saying “I’ve been through worse; this is nothing”.

So if I could go back and change things, would I?  NO. Surprising, don’t you think? I have an amazing mother and family and — even with all the bad things — there were amazingly great things in my life. I believe that the bad or good things you go through in life shape who you become. But they do not define you.  If I had not gone through those situations, I would not be the person I am today. I love the person I’ve become.  I’m daring, overprotective about my kids, I love to laugh, I love life, and most of all I’ve found my creative voice. At the same time I’m also emotional, my worst critic, and shy.

But I don’t give up! As I get kicked in the stomach, I still get up and keep pushing forward.

As I write this, I’m scared to death to post it.  But here is one more wall I’m tearing down.

So, follow what you love and don’t ever let life’s circumstances or FEAR stop you from doing what you always wanted to do.


5 Responses to “Confronting Your Fears”

  1. johncoyote September 26, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    I love to watch and to listen to Sarah. She is filled with good spirit and story. Thank you for sharing the video.

  2. Hannah Holt September 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Well said!

  3. Caroline (Peggy's mom) September 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    What a powerful post! Keep writing.

  4. ticklingthemuse September 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    You are so brave and strong, a role model for everyone, including your daughters! I’m so proud to be your friend.

  5. Marlana September 29, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    I applaud your bravery for sharing your story. The positive outlook and appreciation you have for life inspires me.

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