Over the last couple of weeks I have been tirelessly working on a speech that I will give at the end of February for a board I currently sit on. It’s a weird feeling – having to take my words off a page and convey my message to a room full of people who have no idea who I am or what my story may be. They’ll be standing around with a nice drink in hand, wearing pretty clothes while I retell my childhood with funny anecdotes and planned pauses to deliver the right amount of seriousness.
How do I tell people about my life? How do I decide what pieces to keep and what pieces to leave on the cutting room floor. I don’t want to edit myself, I want to be completely transparent because my life was good on the outside but inside I was struggling. How do I make sure that those people leave that room understanding that even at my lowest point I was still fighting to survive?
Which gets me thinking about this specific spot – two blocks up from my moms house but its two blocks full of memories. Its a 3 minute walk where I am instantly transformed back in time. Although in a few months this will be nothing but a concrete space waiting to be built upon I can still smell the drinks being sent down the bar, the food being cooked or the parties that were had. I can remember the fights, the tears and the yelling but most of all I can get lost in all the memories that were made in this space. The good, the bad and the ugly but those memories defined me whether I wanted them to or not – this place offered me a sense of freedom that only a drinking establishment could provide. It was time spent with friends and family even when the world was closing in on me, even when the pills under my bed were calling my name. For those hours I spent in this space I felt free, a freedom I now realize how much I needed.
I feel like my life is beginning to look a lot like this building project – i am tearing down and rebuilding everything about myself – i am endlessly creating myself because i can, because I deserve to be better than the lost girl i was 5-10 years ago.
I want to endlessly choose myself because this version of Breana deserves it.