In 2009 I initiated Africa 500. An effort to collect 500 books for an impoverished primary school in Zimbabwe. Together with friends and professors I completed this task and was able to ship close to 500 books over to the library of the primary school. After the first shipment of books arrived, the community decided to name the new library after me. Little did I know, but my efforts all the way in Massachusetts sparked a change within the community in Zimbabwe. My seemingly small effort enacted a sense of excitement within the community, and the principal encouraged everyone to learn how to read.
In 2010 I created Mommy Glow. I created Mommy Glow because as a younger minority mom I didn’t hear the voices of other young moms (especially minorities) represented positively in media and print. So I brought my voice into words and have the joy of connecting and collaborating with other moms of various backgrounds and nationalities. And what a wonderful journey it’s been.
In 2011 self-love is the journey I’m undertaking. I can honestly say that I don’t have much self-love. My love is showered on my daughter. She is my joy. She is my heart. She is love. I don’t take the time to learn myself and love myself. And, I suppose I don’t know how. I grew up in a household where my Mother wasn’t openly affectionate with me and my siblings. When I was a teenager, she wasn’t around much and I was just sort of wandering. I was lonely. My Father was not a part of my life, and I leeched onto boyfriends to fill the void within my heart. Looking back now I see that I was looking for a cure. A cure for an unfulfilled heart. A heart quenching for love and admiration. A love that I didn’t get from either parent. And when I loved, I loved hard. Too hard. Fell too fast. Hurt so badly I bled. I put up with so much that I shouldn’t have. For what…love? I’m not sure I know what love is.
My solution to the end of a relationship was to fill my time with someone else. I didn’t want to think, I didn’t want to hurt, I just wanted to f-e-e-l. To feel something other than numb. Silly me, huh? I have yet to heal from my past relationships. Left are wounds that still hurt, that still bleed. These wounds are left unattended, because I’m afraid to go back and fix them, to remember the pain. And I hold so much guilt inside. The guilt weighs so heavy on my mind. On my heart. I’ve realized that no one else can remove this weight. Regardless of how much they love me. Because if I don’t love me, no one can ever truly love me. Which begs the question, who am I? I feel that my purpose has been clearer since giving birth to my daughter. But am I just a Mother? I eat, sleep, and bleed for my daughter. And she knows that. People who know ‘me’ know that. I cannot be away from her without having a slight asthma attack. But I’ve gotten to the point where I have too much baggage. I have so much hurt within that it’s starting to seep out of me. I don’t want to feel hurt anymore. I don’t want to lean on relationships to mend my heart. It’s up to me.
So in 2011 my journey is self-love. Self-acceptance. To find out who I am. To find out what makes me happy, because I’m unhappily unhappy, and it’s not ok. It’s not ok.