NO LONGER WILL I BE STIFLED
Wednesday, August 2nd 1989 I was born.
I had barely arrived earth-side when the chains began tightening around me.
Chains of parental hopes and dreams for their baby. Chains of religious rules and regulations. Chains of socio-cultural expectations. All kinds of chains that have held me bound all these years.
Oh but I did rattle those chains. I rebelled fiercely against every rule. I battled for my freedom.
Why do I have to study to be what you want me to be?
You say there is liberty in our faith, but why do I have to adhere to all these rules that make me feel like there’s a noose around my neck? Keep your stupid faith!
Why the bloody hell can’t I express myself the way I want to?
For years and years I have felt stifled. My voice suppressed, unable to access my ability to think and feel and do things the way my soul knows.
I find it hilarious that the same person who wanted freedom so bad, decided to get further entangled when the opportunity came to have it. Because if I’m being very real with myself and with you guys, having a family is another set of chains. There are days I seriously doubt my sanity. Why didn’t I just cut loose and run for the hills like I always thought I would? Socio-cultural conditioning? Guess I couldn’t break that chain no matter how I tried.
But there’s no denying what I feel deep down in my soul. I love this plot twist. I love my blessings. I mean have you seen my babies? I’m infinitely grateful for them because through them I have discovered sides of myself I never knew were there. But why the hell do I still feel strangled sometimes? Will this yearning to do more and be more ever go away?
2016 was a turning point. My year of breaking free. I stepped out of my comfort zone like never before. I took on new challenges that I would have previously shied away from. But that was just one step. I still have a long way to go…
In 2017 I have just one hope. To no longer feel stifled.
No longer will I be stifled by norms that society and culture have dictated. How I’m to perform as a wife. What kind of mother I must be. What opportunities I can or cannot take. Screw all that! I’ll define my own terms. Adapting and re-adapting as I go.
No longer will I be stifled by the faith I was born into. I’m taking steps to discover my own. To connect, to worship and to serve in a way that my spirit agrees with.
No longer will I be stifled by my environment for I am a bird that needs to fly. I will not have my wings clipped. I will see new places, be immersed in diverse cultures and my family will be with me every step of the way. We will experience it together and build fond memories.
No longer will my creativity be stifled. My voice will be heard. My words will be read. My art must be seen. The kid with her pencil and notebook will emerge from behind the feelings of inadequacy where she’s been hiding.
My mind will no longer be censored by years of conditioning and self-imposed limitations.
My body will once again regain full strength.
My soul will be free to express her truth.
I will no longer be stifled.