Last week I took a huge step in posting my story and I must say that it felt quite liberating. I had spent so much of my time hiding from who I was and all the struggles that I went through that I never took the time to realize that all the pain made me who I am. Each hurdle that I adjusted to and overcame mad me into a stronger, kinder, and patient person I am today. I know many of us see every obstacle as just that but sometimes we all need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Not every day will be filled with frustration. So take your time and realize that theres always a rainbow at the end of every storm no matter how long that storm may seem. So as promised here is the second part to my story: A Trial Subscription to Life. If you missed the first part click the link below to read it. #YouAreNotAlone
Diary of A Former Nomad: My Story, Part 1
It was warm and sunny day the skies were bluer, the air was crisp and was laced with the scent of salt. The sun seemed brighter– actually all the colors did. An island in the lower region of the Caribbean Sea is where I’d call home for the next two months or so I’d presume. My aunt and I went to live with another one of my mother’s sisters. My aunt was escaping a cold husband and I was being sent away from parents who told me otherwise.
I remember very clearly the day I found out the vacation I was told I was going on was a lie. School was starting and I kept wondering when I would be going back home. I was about five or six years old. The day will forever be imprinted on me. I received a uniform and books and was told I would be going to school. No one ever told me I wouldn’t be going home. And to this day no one has ever told me the truth behind this event. It would be years later that I’d figured out the truth that my parent’s separation was the reason I was uprooted. Everyone adjusted to the harsh way of life and no one said a word.
After this, the days blurred together–everything blurred together. Days became weeks and weeks became months and before I knew it, a few years had passed. The memories I had of my parents faded. And the person I once was grew colder yet more optimistic daily. I saw my aunts’ husband abuse her with words and knives and left her running for her life. I saw myself dwindle in size and character.
I felt unwelcomed and unwanted. I felt a deep pain within like I was a burden to these people. I had been dropped on their doorstep with a ‘help me’ sign attached. I felt guilt for eating too much, I felt stupid in school because I didn’t know much, and I felt trapped everywhere I went. There was no one on my side. I was bullied for doing the right or wrong. Even in school I was an outcast. I was the poor little beggar girl; I never had money to buy anything. Being maybe 7 and seeing everyone with candy and not having any is literally like being a kid in a candy store and being told that you couldn’t have any. Occasionally asking to try one got me labeled as the beggar. And suddenly I became the outcast. I played by myself. I had few friends but they too never wanted to be seen with me. My cousin who was the only person I knew there would leave me as soon as we got to the gates. I was left behind and left out. Through it all, I somehow never let that powerful sadness consume me, I tried every day. I tried and tried. I ran from bullies, both friend and foe. I tried to remember my life before. I tried to remember my parents, how they felt, how they smelled, even how they talked but it had been too long and I had been gone too long.
The years had passed and the vibrant island became washed out and smaller than ever. I was drifting and in the midst of it I felt change in the air and soon enough I was on a plane back to a distant home to start over yet again. Another subscription had expired and it cost me my childhood. I was cold and hurt and lost. I was betrayed and corrupted. But misery loves company and more of this was to come.
Stay tuned for Parts 3 & 4 of my story: A Trial Subscription to Life.
“This quote is important to me because all my life I have been judge on my ability in school, sports, being a son/brother and even having a relationship with someone I like. This quote makes me realize that there is more that people haven’t seen from me and throughout my life, I’m slowly proving them wrong. My brother showed me this quote when we were watching a transformer movie and they said this quote and I asked my brother, “what does that mean?” And he told me. ” there is much more for you to offer in this world little brother and that’s all I’m gonna say” and from there on, I feel attach to that quote, because by living through this quote, I am slowly finding my purpose in my life.”
“I heard this quote at my graduation ceremony when I received my Associate’s Degree. The road that led me to that moment and to finally achieving a college degree was not an easy one. I had big plans for myself when I graduated high school but they got derailed when I became a mother at 18. I was suddenly in charge of another life and so much responsibilities that I didn’t know which to take care of first. I had a college advisor tell me that coming to college was a waste of time, that I’d never graduate as a single mother. Those words stuck to me, even today sometimes. I felt overwhelmed, hopeless, like I’d never get my degree or meet the goals I set for myself but when I went back to school in 2013 I found a community of mentors and people who believed in my success and two years later I had my degree. Now I look forward to getting my Bachelor’s here at City Tech and further silencing those people who said I couldn’t do it. Anything is possible and nobody has the right to tell you that you can’t. You are possible.”
“In 1998, I came to NY to become a Jazz singer. In 2008, in order to support an artist friend I knew for 10 years, I organized the first exhibition named “A Slice of the Life of an Artist.” Feedbacks from the audience brought unexpected support and comfort to the artist, which inspired me to realize the power of art exhibitions. It not only supports the professional career of underrepresented artists, but changes their life. In this sense, Ouchi Gallery was born. In Japanese, “ouchi” means home, a place where people relax, find comfort, and get connected.”
This week I would like to feature an important figure in science. A few weeks ago, I went to Professor Sylvester Gate’s physics talk about the recent discovery of gravitational waves by the LIGO team. He is also known for his work in supersymmetry, supergravity and string theory, and received the National Medal of Science from President Obama in 2013. Above is a quote he said during his talk, and I thought it can be inspiring for any creative out there. Just remember to take chances and have crazy ideas!
To read more on the recent discovery, click here: Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction
“That’s a quote that I live by.
It pushes me to to always strive for greatness no matter what.
Being a music artist and photographer it’s hard doing what we do because there are so many of us. So it’s hard to stand out from the rest, when everyone is so comfortable copying off of the next person. So I have to work hard to become better than all these people. But while I’m working to become the best at what I do I have to remember that there’s is already a “best” somewhere in the world holding that title and working their asses off to remain the best so it’s a constant battle to become better than before.”
“I ran away from my problems for 6 days. It felt great. It did. I genuinely smiled and laughed and get to be myself again. I was happy. It was the greatest feeling ever. you know what society does to you? It takes away all those things from you. It is really important to recharge and feel what it means to be you again. You know? I may not have the solutions to my problems, I may still be lost, but I am certain that I found myself once again. 🙂 I am so thankful and humbled that I’ve met lotsa great like-minded people in this journey and never have I experienced any negativity from anyone. This is what I was looking for. Iceland happens to be one of the happiest countries (they’re 2nd) in the world. And I’m glad I came. Walter Mitty: To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”
“Unleash Your Soul is another way to say just be yourself. On March 14th, 2013 it was the last time I had suicide thoughts, I was depressed because I couldn’t be myself. If I wanted to turn into a good Christian, I had to let go my homosexual lifestyle. I spent 2 whole months reading the bible trying to find a loop where it was okay to be gay. Luckily that night I fell asleep before taking any actions, the next day I stumble upon a lady named Dolores Cannon on YouTube. I learned the difference between religion and being spiritual. That night I was extremely happy I was set free and most of all I was able to be myself again. Once you’re set free being alive is not enough but feeling alive it was a new method of thrill.”
“Everyone can be a leader. That’s what I learned after going to the leadership retreats with City Tech’s Student Life. To me, a great leader inspires. It could be something you said or something you did, no matter how little or how much. When you google the definition of ‘inspire,’ this comes up first: ‘fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.’
There were many instances that I would have a conversation with a friend, peer, or coworker, or even a stranger, and they leave saying that they feel inspired. Other times they get inspired from seeing my social media updates on my attendance of industry events, presentations and speeches, or creative work. Now, inspiration might not make the person take action immediately but sometimes it does!
I keep screenshots and print-outs of messages/notes that others have sent me, expressing their appreciation for the inspiration I offered them. It’s a collection of happiness. This is what I live for–to inspire others, and thus become a ‘great’ leader. Something very important that people seem to forget is that leaders don’t just try to influence others, but they also listen and try to understand others too.”
“The root comes from my Christian upbringing, and the joy I feel when I study scripture. I always found myself as a straight A- student. I saw the version, known the direction of answers, but always seem to miss the mark, make silly mistakes, forget things I knew, stress over the definition or perspective of other people, or just off by 1 or 2 letters when spelling, then it got me to think, of what I was told that only one man was ever perfect, and that was Jesus Christ. At that moment I thought only God is perfect. It was later during the final year in college I understood, prefect in biblical terms meant perfectly righteous, someone with out sin, one who never sinned, and the only that never sinned and was perfect was Jesus. So that is the background of my personal slogan that relieves a lot of my stresses. Today, I added this piece of scripture since I matured so much since my college days: Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. So my slogan is rooted in this bible verse these days. Since I have been studying the word so much since I left Faculty Commons 5 years ago. That is the story Mandy. It is all yours now.”