I have always found life to be beautiful. Since childhood, I wanted to walk slow and see everything that life had to offer. I needed to smell all of the roses, and see every creature scurry along its journey. It was never particularly hard to impress me, there was something fascinating in every experience and living being that I passed. Like other children, I had endless questions about the universe. I wanted to find meaning within the mesmerizing chaos of life. As I grew older, the chaos that was once inspiring became daunting and overwhelming. I began falling deeper into psychological and emotional darkness. While I was happy to offer patience, support, and kindness to others, I was unable to nurture myself in the same ways. I spent years mistreating myself, because I could not accept the innate beauty and potential that existed within my own being. My opinion of myself was exceptionally low, and attempts to better myself were approached with unsympathetic self dialogue. I could appreciate the shining allure within others, but where was my own beauty? Why was I not good enough to be beautiful?
I unknowingly entered a journey to self-acceptance and becoming when I moved to New York City at fifteen years old. I grew up in Minnesota, where the population is predominantly white. I rejected my brown skin, brown eyes, curly and tangled hair. I wanted to fit in anywhere, but found myself an outsider to both white and black communities. I was raised by a single mother, who worked endlessly to support our family. I have never met my father’s family because they were horrified by the idea of a mixed race baby. They called me a mongrel. It wasn’t until I was surrounded by the diversity of NYC, that I began to accept my mixed heritage. Since the beginning of this journey, I have faced my own bias and prejudice, and begun to heal the trauma that inhabits my body. It was not until 2020, that I began to see myself as beautiful. I now understand that beauty is messy. It is all encompassing of both light and darkness in aura and presence.
In an effort to spiritually honour the progress I have made, I decided to begin developing a solo performance that captures the essence of my personal evolution. As an artist, I believe some of our greatest healing comes from transmuting our lived experiences into our creative expression. I do not wish to linger in trauma, but I am unable to truly appreciate growth without accepting these parts of myself. I will be utilizing both dance and macramé/fibre arts for this creation. When I communicate the same story in these two mediums, will they be perceived with the same emotional depth?
Following are notes taken and poetry written from the ongoing research of my solo: