Why is it so hard to accept gifts? For too long it has been challenging for me to ask for help and accept the goodness that has shown up in my life. For as long as I can remember I have always cared for people. I have always given to those I love and to so many I don’t even know. I have always understood the beauty in giving. I have always known that my life work has always been about being of service. And as I close this year I have been learning how to give to myself.As I reflect on 2015, I am thinking about how horrible the year started. My daughter Courtney lost her grandfather, and I sat watching her and feeling helpless. She who is solid. She who is more together than I. She who was now moving in the world lost, empty and confused. I did everything I could to try and be light for her, to be present for her, to take care of her.
Last May, my partner and I launched the Sankofa Sisterhood Writer’s Retreat. Our intention was to bring women of color writers together. We gathered at a beautiful house in the Catskills where the writers could focus on their own projects and create new work.
My daughter joined us for this weekend, where we served as the three hosts. Together we prepared the house for the writers, meals and amazing workshops. It was a beautiful experience. A huge success!
At the retreat my daughter spent time with our keynote, Lashonda Katrice Barnett, and in that brief meeting Courtney was restored. She began to believe in herself again. She began to tap into her confidence again. She remembered her greatness and made a decision to go back to school. She applied to graduate school and got accepted! She went for it! She has always inspired me and pushed me to believe there is nothing I can’t do! We have been that for each other.
“This is the season of giving”, they say.
“This is the season of gratitude”, they say.
“This is the season of rebirth”, they say.
I believe that 2015 has given me so much and I am so grateful. This has been the year of tremendous giving, gratitude and rebirth in my life. While the year started off with unbearable pain, the year is ending with incredible blessings.
Attending the Afrolatina Writer’s Retreat in Texas restored something in me that I had been unable to access. Faith in my ability, believing in myself as a writer! That retreat was exactly what I needed to return stronger and more ready to take chances with my writing. I came home and began to aggressively pursue writing opportunities, sending out applications to fellowships, residencies and writing competitions.
THIRTEEN applications sent! That’s how you close out a year!
I am one of seven women who were selected out of a pool of many writers who applied from all over the United States to attend the Tengo Sed Writer’s Retreat in Costa Rica. Tengo Sed, translated means I AM THIRSTY!
What this means to me is a call to quench my thirst. It is a writer’s desire and dire necessity of taking time for herself to write, to build, to sit with a story that just won’t release her until it is written.
I AM THIRSTY to me means that without writing I would die of thirst.
The universe has blessed me so much in the past few months, with acceptance into two retreats, teaching a seven week workshop and starting a new job teaching writing.
I humbly accept your help in getting me to Costa Rica and thank you from the depths of me. Your donation helps me pay the $500 deposit that is due before December 31, your generosity helps me to pay for my flight and retreat cost.
Even the smallest donation is a huge blessing. There are so many ways you can help me by reposting on twitter, facebook, tumblr and with your networks. I am so grateful for your support!
To donate: gofund.me/tbdvdhw4