“Do what you feel is right in your heart. Don’t live by the world’s expectations. Be yourself. Do for yourself. You’ve got to be there for you first in order to be there for others, Tink.” – Mom
Whenever I’m alone I think about the countless life lessons my mother has taught me. She’s remained a quintessential part of my life as I journey across this sometimes cold, often corrupt world. Always evolving, changing, discovering who ‘Tink’ or ‘Colee’ is. Fun fact, those nicknames were given to me by those closes to me.
See, I was the kid that wasn’t supposed to survive. Born 3 1/2 months premature, underdeveloped, needing heart surgery, blood transfusions, oxygen tanks…I wasn’t supposed to be here. Some might say, if you weren’t supposed to be here you wouldn’t be. Still, it crosses my mind and is a large part of who I am today and why I try so hard to fulfill the purpose I feel is mine. I know in my heart of hearts that there’s a reason for me to be here based on the visions I’ve had all my life. How my soul feels so…old. It’s always been something that has shocked my mother and my older sisters. The things I like, the music I enjoy, the clothes I pick out that no one sees in the photoshoots. My friends have even believed me to be much older than my outward appearance because of my spirit. I have a no nonsense attitude as well. I’m not too fond of most of today’s entertainment choices or ideals, which is why I carry traditional morals and methods in my artistry and behavior. Part of me believes that’s why I have such a wonderful relationship with the elders in my family. We’ve always been on the same page.
So, why am I telling you this?
It’s so you’ll understand my blogs and how much I mean what I say. Why I write certain things into my novels through a gateway that can be easily heard. I want to reach the heart that feels like they have a purpose they haven’t found yet. I’ve always been “that girl”. When I was a kid, I was called the sensitive helper by my sisters and their friends. Sadly, people walked all over me because of it, and my mom had to help me learn to stand up for myself and know when to say no. I still struggle every now and again with it because I feel a natural inclination to reach out. The downside is, some of the people I reach out to are the same ones that never learn. They repeat the same cycles over and over again, thusly finding themselves at the same conclusions. It’s astonishing and heartbreaking all at once. Those people are the ones that get me talking to my mother to help me make some sort of peace with what I hear or see. “Sweetheart, you can’t save them all, and some people just have to learn the hard way,” she’ll say to me when I cry about the chaos. It gets to be too much, and while some call my reactions to the worries overreactive, I am who I am. I am who I’ve always been. Sometimes stubborn, caring, passionate, creative, set in some ways, hard on myself, low to no self-esteem. Within the vessel of a young woman is the child that inspired her. Day in and day out I carry my younger self in my mind, keeping myself tied to the creativity and the dreams she’s always had. That’s very important to me. Through the ages I’ve maintained but two things: I am a writer and I want to help others. Two unchanging things.
Whenever I look in the mirror, I see the little girl on her pink and purple big wheel rolling around in the living room of her mother’s home, listening to old Michael Jackson records with my family. She was happy and undisturbed by the pain in the world because of the strong souls protecting her. Luckily, they’re still with me to this day. Minus a few, but their souls live with us all. Because of them and their support I keep on keeping on even when I’m out of it. This includes my lovely photographer, dearest friend, and best companion Jasemine-Denise. We’ve got this, Tommay. Through the ages.
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