On My Own

Kenya Barbosa-McCauley - Brazil


December 14, 2016

*written using some parts of my diary*

I was rarely serious about anything I did. The things my hands have created are all seemingly done accidentally. Rushed, as though they too can barely wait to get away from me. To do things seriously means to plan for reality, to plan for waking nights and sleepy days. It means having to bare my soul and being ready to accept so many things; things like failure, but most challenging of all, myself. I am covered in mistakes, something I always used to be so certain was a bad thing, something to be ashamed of, but now I've found the upside of failing. It all started with the decision to be my own person. 

In high school, we're all looking for our own place. Who are our friends? What classes do we enjoy? What makes us sparkle? What makes us sad? Some people find this during their time in high school and other don't. For me, it wasn't until I left and left everything from that time behind, that I began learning from myself. Before I graduated I was trapped in the stressful cycle of school, drama, nonfunctioning friendships, and the large blinking question mark in front of my face about the future. I was sad and I was lonely, but most of all I allowed those around me to control me. I allowed the fear of self-reliance and the fear of not being accepted, control me. When I escaped this, it was the moment I finally became a butterfly and left the cocoon. 

I often think if I had let go of the mess surrounding me sooner, I would be much happier but I know I wouldn't be where I am if I hadn't experienced the pain. Pain and failure is inevitable in our lives and something I've become grateful for. If it wasn't for the failure and the pain, I wouldn't be here in Brasil now connecting with my roots and discovering myself. I would have followed the conventional path of college and let my peers influence my decisions, as I so often did. I now have a different classroom, one that has allowed me to reach a completely hidden side of myself. One that has forced me to face my flaws head on and find a way to turn them into my strengths. A classroom that exposes me everyday to a new gift, a new lesson.  Accepting my failures has show me to also give myself more credit. Until now, I spent so much time shooting myself in the foot and letting the words and the insults of those around me, flood my head and send me into a self-loathing spiral. I now am filled with a greater sense of self and happiness because I am able to appreciate these bumps in the road.

— Kenyacita

Kenya Barbosa-McCauley