We were meant to be Connected.
The day I found out I was pregnant with my oldest son I wept. My boyfriend K and I fell to the ground in his parents downstairs bathroom and we both sobbed. They were cries of fear. I can still manufacture that feeling in my body if I think about it long enough. Everything was like a heavy metal concert in my ears. My heart pounded like a wild running beast, the sound reverberating throughout my entire self. My soul hurt. I was 19 years old. I don’t think I had ever even held a newborn baby in my entire life. I stared at the pregnancy test for a very long time hoping it was just a dream. Wondering if I should jump off a bridge instead of telling my parents.
I made an appointment to have an abortion. It seemed like the logical thing to do as a young woman without an education working at a low paying job who enjoyed partying more than diaper changes. It felt easiest. The appointment was on a Monday. I’m not sure why I remember that but it has always stuck with me.
The night before my appointment I had a vivid dream. In the dream I saw my son as a little boy about two or three years old. I can still remember the dream as if it occurred last night and it was 24 years ago. He looked at me with soulful dark eyes and we smiled at each other. He took my hand in his and we walked into the sun. It was so warm upon my shoulders and I was without fear or worry. All that I could feel was a pure and radiant love. I didn’t show up for that appointment Monday. My son looked exactly as I had remembered him in my dream. He was meant to be born. I was meant to be a mom at 20 years old.
I struggled. It was not easy for me. Motherhood didn’t come natural and I had very few friends left by the time I gave birth. I spent my pregnancy miserable and very very lonely. I was so young. I look back on myself now and I feel so much empathy and compassion for my 20 year old self. I remember feeling the constant pull of yearning to be free spirited and young while wanting to be with my son at the same time. I didn’t know who I was or what I needed or wanted. I was lost. I failed myself and my son in so many ways. I know that this was just part of my journey though. The failures…the struggle. I needed to be there to get here. I was just a kid and I didn't know better to do better. I had to learn and it took a very very long time. My evolution as a human wasn’t easy or quick. I dreamt of living a creative life filled with writing and art and joy. I sat at a desk for years counting the moments until I could be home with my son or out at a bar looking for a guy to save me. I was small and searching.
When I read Khimberly Milby’s story I felt all of the sadness of my younger years rush back to me. The lonely pit in my stomach. The pain of fitting in nowhere and not knowing where to go or what to do in order to belong. The worry about leaving my child to work full time and never having enough money to get ahead. Khimberly had her first child at 19. She is 25 now and pregnant with her fourth child. I read Khimberly’s words and how she too felt lonely and afraid. She wrote about how she had been struggling her whole life with depression. She is an eloquent and well written woman and her description of feeling pulled in different directions…the guilt of never feeling like she was enough for her kids and partner really resonated with me. I felt like I needed to know her. I felt a deep connection to her. I had been there as well. It was as though she was writing my story too.
Khimberly is a creative. She has a deep desire to fulfill her creative dreams. I remember having dreams as well as a young mum… feeling like I would never get there…that they were just so high and out of reach and I was so small and meaningless in the grand scheme of the world. I want to know Khimberly. I want to help her connect to her dream and be there for her as a sounding board and inspiration. She reminds me of myself. I believe we are all connected. We were meant to find each other in the dark and help one another to climb out of it into the light. This is how Khimberly describes her creative dream:
“I said I would share my vision with the world. I always dreamt of having my own book published, my dresses worn and loved, my photographs drawings or paintings hung and displayed for everyone to see. I wanted people to step into my mind and see what I saw on those dark and lonely days when depression took over. How art was the little light that made its way through the cracks and showed me, I wasn’t stuck.”
I decided to do something a bit different with this seasons friends gift away. I want to connect two women who I believe could make a difference to each other. I was laying in bed thinking about my gift away and who I would choose. Out of nowhere Brittany DeJesus’ face swam before my closed eyelids. Her smile lights up the room. Brittany is one of these people who gives you faith that one day women will indeed run the world. Her confidence and passion for life is infectious. When I see the Photos taken by Brittany I FEEL everything. She’s someone you just want to know and talk to and connect with on the deepest levels. I was drifting off to sleep when the thought occurred to me that Khimberly and Brittany were meant to connect. I was meant to bring them together and with this thought my heart sang opera.
I know that if I had been given the gift of a Brittany DeJesus all of those many years ago I would have cherished it with all of my heart. I would have given anything to have a mentor like Brittany DeJesus as a young woman. Someone spunky and free and wild at heart who with a brilliant grin and flip of her Rapunzel hair can instantly melt down barriers and lift up others. I asked Brittany to tell me what she would say to any woman who is struggling or feeling lost. This was what she said:
“My best advice for any woman is feel what you need to feel and then let it go. My personal process for this is I love myself on my very worst days. I don’t say YES to everything and I am my biggest fan. I am NOTHING without myself”
Brittany, you are a vibrant and magnificent energy meant to lead with love and joy. Khimberly, you are a sensitive and beautiful creative soul meant to succeed and bring art into the world.
Both of these amazing women live in Florida, just a couple of hours from each other. I believe the Universe has created this opportunity for them to connect and know one another. Connections are here for us everywhere. All we have to do is open ourselves up to them and allow them to enrich our lives. I look forward to creating two magical dresses as gifts for these special women. When you are feeling lost or alone or confused about where your journey is meant to lead I urge you to create. Take some time and create ANYTHING at all that feels fun and meaningful to you. Pour your lonesomeness into a creative project and please know that I am here rooting for you, encouraging you and loving you with all my heart.