Sunday, 5 May 2013

A Puddle With a Voice

The way you are raised and the situations you are placed in as a child can really shape who you become as an adult.  I was only four when I came to this country to join my parents and my then one year old brother.

One of my earliest memories is of starting school, I was surrounded by children and other adults that didn't speak the way I spoke, and I was afraid.  I stood painting at the easel wanting to go to the toilet but too scared to ask, so nervous that my strong Bajan accent wouldn't be  understood.  Needless to say I didn't make it to the toilet but stood in embarrassed silence with a small puddle beneath my feet,  the puddle spoke for me.  I remember being taken into the bathroom and changed into a ladybird print pair of underwear, being told that it was ok to ask.  At the time I must have thought, yes it would be ok to ask if I were at home, it would be ok to ask if I sounded like you, but I'm far from home and I sound like me, so it's not ok to ask. 

I never did ask, that day by wetting myself I had learned where the toilet was without asking, so the next time I just walked to the toilet without a word to anyone.  I wish someone had taken the time then to explain to me that my voice was special because it was a part of who I am, a part of my culture and a link to my family back home (Barbados).





Until recently I took that attitude into my adult life, I would make a mistake and learn from it rather than ask for the fear of sounding stupid.  I would stay quiet in large group situations because I didn't want anyone to misunderstand me and I would keep my ideas and opinions pretty much to myself (only sharing with those closest to me.)

Yesterday I proved to myself that I could not only ask questions, but could communicate my ideas well, be listened to and understood.  I attended the ABCD ideas fair and shared our teams ideas for further Women Know Your Worth projects.  Our ideas were met with a positive and encouraging response, we will now be applying for funding for our community project and are excited about the future of our cause.

I am really enjoying this phase of my life, no longer a twenty something and awkward confused in my own body, trying to fit in with those around me.  I'm thirty something and loving the me I have become and embracing the whole of me, claiming back my identity rather than being the shadow of those around me.



Is this what happens as you get older?

No comments:

Post a Comment

UA-43450793-1