At 6, I was left with some relatives while my mom was in prison, and my father’s sister who was 11 used to hit me all of the time because she didn’t want to baby-sit me. Feel that.

Someone tweeted to me the comment your blog is cool. Feel that.

And yet somehow I still love the smell of bread baking.

At 7, an uncle crawled into bed with my cousins and I, without pants and molested us in our sleep and then when I woke up he offered us ice-cream at 4 in the morning. Feel that.

You won the NABJ Award for the one act play, ‘Quietus Vexed’. Feel that.

And yet somehow roller coaster rides make me excited to be alive.

At 12, some neighborhood high schoolers chased me through a park yelling that if they caught me they would rape me and I got put on punishment when I got home for losing a shoe while running. Feel that.

Someone wrote me a whole page about how they are living their life the right way and what I wrote in my blog was confirmation. Feel that.

And yet somehow I find the sound of my own voice beautiful, when I sing.

At 14, a boy I like punched me in the face because he saw some of his friends walking past us and he didn’t want them to think he liked a black girl. Feel that.

You won the WTLC/White Castle Scholarship during BHM in High School for writing an essay. Feel That.

And yet somehow I was able to sit at a table in the Tuscan countryside, with my sorority sister, and drink wine and eat pizza we had made ourselves.

At 16, the first boy I have ever had sex with broke up with me because he said I wasn’t fucking him enough. Feel that.

Someone regularly reviews my work on my blog and often comments on which pieces they’d like to see in print. Feel that.

And yet somehow I find the feel of anything warm from the dryer, so soothing.

At 17, I had my first abortion. Feel that.

Someone else on Twitter DM-d me to tell me that my blog was awesome. Feel that.

And yet somehow my favorite memories are still kisses.

At 22, a friend had sex with me while I was drunk and passed out in the back of an SUV and begged me not to prosecute the next morning. Feel that.

You won the Earth Watch Environmental Scholarship at HSBC to go to Ghana based off of an essay you submitted. Feel that.

And yet somehow I still have hope.

At 25, I had my second abortion. Feel that.

Someone on Twitter said on their timeline to check out the blog link on my bio. Feel that.

And yet somehow my younger sisters and I bonded over our love for the character Ariel from the Little Mermaid movie.

At 30, I did a weekend at a psych ward for trying to kill myself. Feel that.

You WON the Barry Wright Scholarship for poetry in College. Feel that.

And yet somehow nothing tastes better on a hot afternoon than an ice cold beer.

At 36, after a bad fight with my then boyfriend, I packed up my car and drove across country with my son to escape him and his abuses. Feel that.

Someone on Twitter liked your feed so much that they asked you if you wanted to write articles for their online magazine and you’ve published a new article every month between 4-17 and 6-18. Feel that.

And yet somehow my trip to Alhambra in Spain made me love poetry even more.

At 40, the only real parent that I had, my grandmother, passed away and I hadn’t seen her in 2 years prior. Feel that.

You have self-published: Pixie’s Last Summer, The Minx, Drunk Talk, Lascivious Musings, It’s Never Over, Feeling Zaffre, Licking Wounds, Savage Lamentations, SeVeNtHiRtY. Feel that.

And yet somehow the beach is where I feel the most at home.

At 41, I discovered that my son is manic depressive and I have emotion regulation problems. Feel that.

You donate a portion of any writing proceeds to women’s shelters that house families affected by domestic violence and abuse. Feel that.

And yet somehow, surprising as it is, somehow, you’re okay.

I’m okay.

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