There is heaviness inside my chest. It’s a bomb that is going to explode. It’s a magnet that’s looking for steel. It’s an unsung song, unwritten book, a blank painting canvas. It’s a calling, but I don’t know what it’s calling me too.
As a child, I was invisible. I learned it was best to be silent and stay out of the way. I learned to hide while adults did drugs; hide while fights broke out; hide while my mother was getting hit. I spoke up once. But, decided that strategy did not work when the rage of the 6-foot man my mom called sweetheart turned towards me. And so, as a child I learned to remain quite.
As a young woman I desired security and a home. I traded my innocence to a man that could provide both. By the age of 19 I brought two amazing children into the world. I found my joy in nurturing them. I was invited to play for the first time without worrying if I looked immature. After all, I playing with kids; finger-paints, necklaces’ out of noodles, reading at night and playing tag in the afternoon. Few knew that these games were healing me.
But, I could feel a calling that was beckoning me. It wasn’t until I read that Martin Luther King Jr. had also earned a college degree that I felt that I might have a right to more education. I started with one night class, terrified that I was stupid. Despite the protests of my husband, I enrolled in English 101. The evening came for my first class and I eagerly gathered up my writing binders and drove across town. I naively thought there would only be one class that night in the English building and neglected to take note of the room number. Of course, the building was full of students, teacher and classes. Afraid to ask questions, I drove home without finding where my class was located. I cried and all the way home saying the words again and again “ I am stupid. I am stupid. I am stupid.”
The marvel of life is that there is always another day and another chance to change your mind. The next week I took note of the room number, came early enough to introduce myself to the instructor and figured out how to learn what I had missed. My final grade in my first college class was an “A.”
Today I stand on my own two feet. I am creating the life I want to live. I am visible! I am strong! But, it's not enough. I hear a new calling, have a new hunger. I cannot yet understand the words. I am again drawn to something; to the stories and thoughts of women from worlds I have never seen. I am moved. I long to tell them to keep studying, keep believing. I long to tell them that every day is a new chance to change your mind.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.