I was born in Baltimore, Maryland; however, I was raised in Alexandria, VA but grew up as a child without siblings to parents both descending from Spartanburg, SC. I like to say I have a rather “southern upbringing” if-you-will, definitely being raised on politeness and character. The rest of my schooling, teenage years and young adult life were spent in Woodbridge, VA, graduating from Gar-Field High School in 1995. I wasn’t actually writing much back then, if at all. As I grew older though, becoming more exposed to this thing called “L.I.F.E.”, I found the need to have some sort of creative outlet, but it was only for venting purposes and internal peace of mind back then.
I wasn’t always as focused and true to this art form though and can easily say I’d given up on writing a handful of times. It wasn’t until life’s hardships started to weigh on me that made me to pick up the pen again, namely the loss of my mom in 2003. Within the period of 2 to 3 years time after that, I had also lost an aunt, uncle, and grandmother (in that order) and then lost my dad in 2009.
So…you probably thought I was going to write about all my achievements, accolades and accomplishments instead of this personal recollection, huh? Truthfully, me being here right now, saying I overcame…saying I’m free of previous addictions, therapy sessions and “dark” thoughts IS an accomplishment and commendable milestone in my eyes because I could be “elsewhere” with a dark cloud still shadowing me.
Why am I telling you this? Because if you’re still reading this rather long bio, you deserve to know that I’m scared by the pain and losses that I carry with me every single day. Yet, I’m still motivated…and I can’t and won’t stop telling my story because there’s someone whose going through what I went through, if not more. Taalam Acey and Black Ice are two of my favorite poets that I would listen to quite often for poetic encouragement and quite simply, I want to do for someone else, what they unknowingly have done to and for me.
If I can overcome all this and still be here, however scared, yet still somehow able to stand and tell my story, I can truly say you can overcome and achieve ANYTHING you set your mind to do.
I leave you with this:
“Everyone has talent…rare is the courage to follow that talent to the dark place it leads. If you don't risk anything, you risk even more." – Erica Jong
As one of my favorite poets, Black Ice once said…” I challenge any of you to find something that you’re really willing to die for…and then LIVE FOR IT!”
That being said, what motivates you?