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Survivorship: Getting Up with Fire.

You don’t wake up one day as a different person. You don’t just wake up changed. But you may wake up and look at yourself in the mirror and finally see a new you. I have been through the wringer this past year. A year ago, I had just chopped off my hair and felt like I had gone somewhere higher in the journey of becoming. I let go of a lot when chopping off those 9inches. I felt a new type of freedom and empowerment in standing without the hair I had held onto and hid behind. I had been positioned in that time to have what I had hoped for and worked for and looking back I’m so proud of that girl.

A year later I sit here and cannot believe I used to have so much energy. I look back and thank myself for enjoying and remembering and capturing every second because even then I knew life was too short, and unpredictable and knew that nothing was guaranteed. Now, I am in a completely different place. I feel fulfilled differently. And for the first time, I was able to look in the mirror and see the transformation.

Trauma is something that can occur multiple times in one’s life, and therefore those traumas often compound. This past year I went through trauma, and instead of running from it, I ran towards it. I went to therapy and I am actively working through it, processing, and sitting with it so I can let go and feel safer and more at peace. And it’s hard. Especially because I still often feel as though I am still in the midst of crisis. But the other day, I was sitting in the car, and listening to a song that I absolutely adored as a child, and while listening I finally saw and realized that I had been transforming without even realizing it. I had transformed into this woman who could handle herself. I had lived to see another year thanks to the little and big miracles, and the strength to continue moving, and for the first time I said, “I’m a survivor”.

The power I felt at that moment, was one that could only be felt, not described. It’s no longer a secret, I had COVID, and if you continue to follow that series, you’ll soon realize that I got knocked down. Actually, I didn’t get knocked down, I literally got knocked out. If COVID and I were in a street fight, COVID knocked me out and dragged me by my weave!! And guess what I did, I worked my ass off to pull myself up. It’s been months of trauma, anxiety, exhaustion, and I finally feel as though I am standing again. Standing with dignity, and strength, and even a little bit of hope. I feel like I can see light again, and I can visualize my future and my dreams. And I can finally breathe. Don’t get it twisted, I still have to fight every day, but the fight is getting easier, and more fulfilling.

In celebration of getting back up, of course, I changed my hair. I dyed it for the first time, and then had my stylist shave most of it off. Letting go of the COVID-ridden bedhead, and reigniting the fire I have on the inside to continue fighting. Fighting for myself, for my people, for my dreams, and for more than what I was given. If you’ve gone through it, don’t forget that you are a survivor. We’ve all survived something. You survived that breakup or divorce or that financial situation, or that illness, or that loss. You made it through. And that’s something to celebrate because all too often we forget to stop and see the becoming that happened when we weren’t even trying. We all too often forget to stop and admire the bloomed lilies, and we all too often forget to breathe in the newness that we created for ourselves, out of the ruins.


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