We all go and grow through our trials and tribulations. Each of us has our own stories that have molded us into the person we are today. No one's story is better than someone else's. Our stories are uniquely ours. That is what makes them so incredible.
This is my story and it is not over yet. Our stories are filled with new chapters constantly until we leave this magnificent earth.
On April 8th of 2000, I was born into a quite interesting family. Both my mother and father were in high school when they had me. Nervous for the responsibilities that were headed their way with a newborn. My parents had separated before I was born but still tried to do what they could to give me the childhood I deserved.
Unfortunately, this duty became too much for them. My mother was young and still trying to live her best life and my father was doing what he knew best to put food on the table for his daughter. All of this mess led to one big crash and I landed in the hands of my grandmother.
My dear grandmother, a warrior. She took on the responsibility of raising me to be the woman I am today. Before I entered Kindergarten my father was incarcerated and my mother was wrapped up in her own life. My grandmother began to tend to my wilting roots and watered my flowers so I could bloom.
I was in Kindergarten for about a week and my dad had been released. I remember sitting in the old wooden swing in the front yard while a man I did not recognize pulled up and gave me a big hug. I was petrified, I had no memory of my own father. Not too long after his welcoming home, the real war began.
I was still in Kindergarten at this time and my mother came to pick me up from school early, which she had never done before. This day reminds me why we should always say "I love you" to our loved ones when we depart from them. When my mother picked me up it turned into something more. She enrolled me in a new school and little did I know it would be a long time before I saw my grandmother or father again. This was an ongoing battle for years. Finally, enough was enough and my grandmother and father showed up to my mother's house and they went to court. The court finalized I would have three days with my father and three days with my mother.
This court order did not last too long. By the time I was in third grade, I had been to four different schools and my mother was exhausted with her responsibilities. She allowed me to live with my grandmother and come visit her when I missed her.
My grandmother was breaking her back to take care of me and I cannot thank her enough. My middle school years rolled around and my father was incarcerated again. Weekends turned into long road trips to visit him and this took a toll on my mental health.
I began to see a therapist in eighth grade for my depression, anxiety, and eating disorder. I still seek counseling today. My father returned home when I was in tenth grade and I began to realize how rocky my relationship with both of my parents was. Except I did not know how to mend these relationships. I found one thing that made the pain a little more bearable. I began to write. I wrote and wrote. Filled every birthday journal I owned. I started performing at spoken word poetry contests and realized that not only was my writing healing me, it was also healing others around the world. My hard work in school and in my writing was paying off. Senior year rolled around and I was accepted into Florida Gulf Coast University, my dream college.
When it came time to leave for college it hit me. I had no relationship with my parents. It was time I let go of the anger and try before it was too late. I began opening up more to my parents. I started showing them my poetry. Invited them to my events so they could see that their daughter was doing just fine. I was becoming the woman I always wanted to be.
Today, my relationship with them is not where I want it to be. We do not talk everyday but life is a work in progress. I would be foolish to give up now.
I recognized that this is a mortal life, we are only on this Earth for so long and within a blink of an eye, it is over. I have learned to be grateful for both the good and the bad of my childhood. Of course, it was tough not having my parents in my life when I needed them most but I had my grandmother, a warrior who never gave up on me. She pushes me everyday to keep blooming into the woman I thrive to be. The good and the bad memories of my childhood have sculpted me into this courageous woman who is sharing her story to the world.
I hope to remind people to be grateful for everything you go through because you grow from it. Everything we experience is a lesson for the future. You just have to be willing to listen to the message from the Universe.
Your journey is far from over. It is your time to write your story. Do not give up now, there are a plethora of people waiting to hear your unique story. It is what makes you, you. Tend to your roots. Let them bloom. As the brilliant Tupac would say, "long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared."