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Simple Talk Blog
I’m your host Epikliz
“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”
Hey hey hey!!! It is me, Epikliz, back with you again on the last absolute Monday of 2020 with some end of year thoughts which I hope may provoke inner reflection as we come to the close of this chapter of our lives. One of the best ways I think we can choose to look at a year like this one would be by looking at our lives in general – where we have come from- where we are- and where we hope to go!
When I was a child, I wanted to become a prima ballerina! My grandmother had bought me a musical jewelry box which opened to the tune of Lara’s Theme, with a little ballerina in a tiny white tutu spinning – one leg on pointe, arms in fifth position other leg passé. I would imagine myself on a stage somewhere grand, pirouetting to my hearts content in front of live audiences and literally dancing my life away. This was one of many hopes I had that remained “but a dream” as I rowed my boat gently down the stream of life. What I had not bargained for was what life had in store for me as a mixed heritage black girl from a working-class family growing up on a colonized island in the Caribbean.
Now, no one told me that black girls could not become prima ballerinas, but I was subtly discouraged from pursuing dance as a career path. My brother meanwhile became a professional dancer. (Lesson learnt – boys can be whomever they please) There was no Misty Copeland for me to look up to as a child so when asked what I wanted to be at school I convinced myself that a child psychologist would be a more acceptable career to go after. This led me to Venezuela where I prepared to enter Universidad Católica de Andres Bello to embark on my five-year journey to becoming a psychologist. Yet neither a ballerina nor a psychologist was to be my destiny and instead I became a mother at 18 and then again at 22. Epic fail (insert PacMan dying sound effect)! Or was it?
One of my elder daughter’s friends once said something to me that I would never forget. She said how could you not consider yourself a success? You have raised two amazing children who love you and are out there happily being their true selves and changing the world one person at a time. Up to then the concept of bringing up well rounded stable happy children never seemed to be much of an accomplishment, it just seemed like my duty as a parent. But on reflection I can attest to the fact that not every fairytale has a happy ending having seen how my friends and family struggled as parents which was no bed of roses. Admittedly not all made it out unscathed and I did go through pains to make sure I did it “right”. (Remember me? Little Miss Perfectionist?)
I was determined to raise aware individuals allowing them to have their own voice and to flourish by getting out of their way and trusting their thinking as they tried to figure out what they wanted/needed to become the best version of themselves possible. A challenging and almost impossible task. Kind of like making it through 2020. How did I achieve this? Using all the resources I could amass, including creating a community of support around me to break the isolation and never ever giving up.
And now that we are at the end of this crazy year, I ask myself the same question…how did I make it through? The answer is identical – by “Using all the resources I could amass, including creating a community of support around me to break the isolation and never ever giving up.”
Who were you before the world told you who you should be? A hopeful dreamer? Who are you now and who do you want to be? I may never be a ballerina or a child psychologist, but I know I hold the key to bringing up confident, well adjusted, stable happy children and I cannot wait to share this with you in 2021 because it is one of the biggest contributors to my success as a mixed heritage/black woman from a developing post-colonial island in the Caribbean. And it is what made 2020 so doable for me so much so that I can say – it really was not so bad – and mean it! Here is to a 2021 like no other! BRING IT ON!!
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come whispering it will be happier”
Alfred Lord Tennyson