Born the eldest of four to young, loving, hardworking, and admittedly, overwhelmed parents, I grew up with a soul crushing sense of responsibility and pressure on me. Like the quintessential monkey on my shoulder, except this was no monkey. Instead, the pressure was all encompassing, threatening to steal both my joys and breath each morning as soon as my eyes sprung open with crippling anxiety.
The pressure came from everywhere. Pressure to please my parents, pressure to make my Nana and Papa happy, pressure to be the perfect example to my my younger siblimbs, and later, pressure to be a Dean’s List Student all while managing to be the “perfect wife” and first time mom; at 24.
After spending the majority of my twenties going through the motions; graduating college, getting married, having a baby, the house with two cars a dog and a literal white picket fence, I found I was a shell of who I thought I was; seemingly trapped in a terribly destructive marriage. I knew I couldn’t allow my son to grow up in the environment we were living in, but how could I, the one whom had always been the example, get divorced? Turns out it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d imagined and most of the pressure I felt was self imposed. So, I just made like Nike and Did It without ever looking back.
While it wasn’t easy, it was single handedly the very best decision I’ve ever made for my child and myself. Growing up in Blue Collar Boston I was taught to go to school and get good grades so that I may get into a good college and get a good job after graduation. It was in bred in me that a “city or federal” job with great benefits was the goal to strive for, and many of peers did just this and are making great livings now.
This was never me, though. I always had a burning passion inside of me to write, to create, to share my story and help uplift other women and girls.
A few years after my divorce I remarried a childhood friend whom has encouraged me to be me; the real me. Because he is so successful in his career and because of where we live, I have the luxury to write. I have the freedom to be me; my soul is finally free. I feel as though I’ve had a breakthrough or as Kate Chopin called it an “Awakening.”
Although I’ve been published I still find myself bashful when telling people I’m a writer, for fear they won’t take me seriously. I’m working on this though; letting go slowly. I’ve finally learned the very best example I can be for my child, my siblings, and all my loved ones is to be the very best version of myself that I can be.