Truths of Our Hues: “November 19th”

This week’s blog post is a calligraphy dedicated to my existence. I want to honor my truths and my experiences with no intent to hurt/harm others, but only to liberate myself from fear of ever being silenced again and to celebrate my freedom and growth. I hope as a reader you welcome my tellings openly and feel more empowered to understand and accept your origin story. Also, that you have (or develop) the courage to change the trajectory of your life’s narratives by acknowledging the importance of your own influence on them. Write your own stories. Lastly, I hope that if you see yourself in my experiences, you recognize that you are never alone.

I was born on November 19th, 1997, naked and unapologetically….beautifully innocent. My mother named me Mi-shael because she knew I was destined for greatness. “You’re so special, my baby girl. I wanted you to stand out and that’s just what you did. You do.” Well I stood out alright, my full name longer than spirit airlines lines at the airport! 

My birth was disruptive and dramatically unexpected, but of course a blessing to many. Y’all are welcome! I guess you can say I made a bold and very grand entrance. At the same time, my existence wasn’t the easiest fact to accept for some, even for those who raised me. That’s a heavy weight to carry, and trust me it’s one no child should ever have to bear. I probably used to feel enough pain for all of us, before I could even understand myself fully.

Ironically, I’ve been a symbol of truth, a reflection of actuality and mirror of my experiences & encounters. (IN TRUE SCORPION FASHION. Shoutout to my water signs!) Anyway, the adults in my life had to come face to face with the reality of their actions and life choices; maybe even some of their worst nightmares/fears, all because of my existence. I’m a bit of a change agent huh? 

Birthdays felt fraudulent. I learned to pretend very early, that I was only grateful for this life, when really on birthdays, I questioned the beauty in ever being born in the first place. I dealt with a lot of pain and absence of true joy/happiness. I spent most of my birthdays (and other normal days, holidays etc.) away from my mother as she battled and predominantly lost to her addictions. I didn’t understand that then, only that she was unable to mother me. I was told that she probably didn’t want the responsibility, that she was lazy, selfish. I thought just didn’t want me. To me I heard “burden.” The woman that did mother me was loving in several ways, but also very cruel in others. She tried to strip me of the beautiful things my mother gave to me at birth. Down to my name. She told me it is too ghetto, so they called me by my middle name, “Nicole”. Funny coming from a very white woman working tirelessly to appropriate herself into Blackness. bell hooks helped me reflect on my questions about love and harm coexisting. Toni Morrison helped me find a radical acceptance of myself. The man who raised me, my daddy, I knew loved and provided for me, but was emotionally absent for reasons I’d have to write an entire piece for one day. My birth father, who I met in Walgreens shortly after my 17th birthday, who’s birthday is a day after mine, struggled with his own addictions as well. May he rest in peace. On my birthdays, it was always difficult to forget about my connection to detachment and absence of pure happiness and love.

So yeah, I guess you could say that a lot of my childhood was ugly and my birthdays sucked most of the time. I had most of my needs met. Some years, I had things kids would dream of having but emotionally, the pits. As an adult, these memories still give me birthday blues. The body, the nervous system, the spirit remembers, but I also remember that I get to create a new reality. I get to write a new story.

With so much gratitude, at 26 years of age, I have reached one of the highest forms of love, complete self-acceptance. I’ve learned to honor all of my layers. My light, my shadows, my wholeness. Leading up to my birthday I prioritized little Mish because reparenting ourselves is a very essential part of the healing process. I was intentional about the small, the sweet and nostalgic things. I watched my favorite childhood movies like Rollbounce, ATL and Poetic Justice. I had some of my simple, but best-loved meals/snacks, french toast with a lot of syrup  and popcorn with hot sauce. I wore soft, comfy and colorful clothes and listened to favored songs and albums.  At Your Best by Aaliyah, Unpretty by T.L.C and of course old Beyonce and Destiny’s Child have too many to list. 

I am dedicating the year of 26, to making efforts in creating new memories with people who show me love in the ways that I ask/need and help me evolve. That I am loved, as I now securely, love myself. I am optimistic that 26 will be beautiful and if ugly in moments, I am held with care by my family, friends and community. 

Please feel free to email me at with topics you desire to see reflected in my blog posts. All posts will be anonymous, except chosen stories of my own that I will share. As my schedule persists, I intend to post weekly or biweekly. Welcome to Truths of Our Hues.

Peace and with love,