I’ve always been a secret sad girl. Maybe it was the series of unfortunate events that brought me to the US (cough, war, cough) or the fact that for four years of my childhood I lived with relative strangers. Or maybe it was the fact that, at 10, I moved to a new city with my mother who was a stranger at that point, was only a series of letters and well wishes, and two peculiar visits. Or it might have been moving from a small town to Staten Island, or it could have been the subsequent move from a diverse place to being the only black girl in my entire grade. It could have been the subsequent move away from the town, or the precarity of my adolescence. Whatever ‘it’ was, I’ve always been a secret sad girl. So, color me surprised that I not only managed to create a lovely life, but have people in it that reciprocate that love and respect. When you feel irreconcilably broken for most of your life, it’s easy to imagine all the pieces are refuse; that the makings of you is so damaged, and too sharp for others to carry. Hell, it’s challenging to carry yourself! Who would have imagined that others would see your shattered vessel and think, “totally worthy”? And yet… here I am.
I’ve spent an exorbitant amount of energy working on parts of myself. Going to therapy, reading books, and giving people in my life the benefit of the doubt; even when everything is telling me to still keep everyone at an arm’s length. Through this period of self-reflection, there have been opaque moments of doubt. Moments where, as I try to create a mosaic from all the shards that won’t remake a chalice anymore, I’m cut my some part of my sadgirlness that reminds me to take care. Moments where I find myself questioning everything I’ve worked hard to re-imagine, just to feel as thought it is all for naught. But, through the muck and the mire, I’m forging forward.