“You will be surprised that these years of/Sleepless nights and months of uneasy/Days will be rolled into/An altering event called the “Good old days.” And you will not/Be able to visit them even with an invitation/Since that is so you must face your presence./You are prepared/Go out and transform your world./Welcome to your graduation. Congratulations.”
–Maya Angelou, author of Letter to My Daughter
We did it, Dear Readers. We graduated from the year 2011 with honor or dishonor or otherwise and we managed to walk across the stage and into the year 2012.
I don’t know about you, but I feel so fresh and so clean clean. Like mad sparkly and shit! And I’m not just saying that just to do it or to give anyone false hope. I truly, madly and deeply mean this. This year will be different for many of us–especially the survivor. You know why, Dear Readers? Because this is the Year of the Inner Spirit.
The Inner Spirit was always inside of us. It was that voice that told us that we’re basically worth It–the Good and the Magnificent. The Happy, Joyous and Free Life we thought was only obtainable to those who were over 40 and established and only did what Oprah told them. All joking aside, the Inner Spirit was always there, but we were too busy listening to our Dark Passengers, who was keeping us in the corner to be miserable and to stay that way. At least that’s what my Dark Passenger was wanting me to do. That fuckin’ Emo brat was always telling me that I was destined to be a victim simply because I was molested. That no matter what I said or did, I will deemed Strange and Usual to the point of not being the person I wanted to be: Happy and Whole. And, for the most part, I allowed my Dark Passenger to take me to levels that shamed even Fear Factor contestants. However, there was also the Inner Spirit–the woman inside of me that is beautiful, funny, intelligent and playful. She’s also a huge threat to the dark side of myself. So when I began getting help, she started to come out more often than not and the Dark Passenger is getting burning like Gollum’s skin in the sunlight (“It burns!!! It burns us!!!”).
Now–in the year 2012–my Inner Spirit vowed to make Herself known. She’s the One that tells me that my life is getting better and that I am on the right path. She tells me that I am ok and that I don’t have to be perfect. She tells me that standing up for myself does not make juvenile, but is an indication that I’ve gained enough self esteem to not drink someone else’s poison. It is not my fault if someone does not like me. I am not the reason why people leave. I cannot control others or their actions. I did nothing to my Aunt Jean. I deserve to live not only because I have a purpose but everyone feels pain and I am not exempt. On a deeper level, my Inner Spirit helps me to use my past to help others and to not be ashamed of it. I don’t need to be because the past is way back in a place where it can’t hurt me unless I jump into a mental time machine and land in the day I cursed out that secretary because I thought she was talking about me or that one time when I told my Native American professor he looked White in one of his pictures (which was STUPID on my part, but he let it go and so did I).
The point this, Reader, is that the Inner Spirit wants to come out and make Him/Her/Itself known. Many of us allowed our Dark Passengers be our puppeteer for so long it’s to the point we don’t even take a nap unless they command us to. The time is now for the Dark Passenger to go sit down somewhere so you can grant yourself the opportunity to live long and prosper. Let your Inner Spirit guide you and show you how to be a Light in your own world so you can be so to others. I’m not saying that this year is going to somehow be a yellow brick road because you are going to trip and possibly bruise. However, the Dark Passenger is not not have so much influence over you to the point that you aren’t able to bounce back and keep walking. Your Inner Spirit knows that life is going to happen, but the end doesn’t have to.
So let’s enjoy our graduation.
Angelou, A. (2009). Letter to My Daughter. New York City, NY:
Random House, Inc.