Today was surreal. I had a meeting with my friend and city counselor Vera LaFranc. A woman I both admire and adore as friend and community leader.
It occurred to me as I was walking to her office that I am now an adult.
In a very real way I have never seen myself as an adult before – I know many people who are “adults” but I have never counted myself as one of them.
Today was different.
As I walked past Surrey Central Skytrain station towards Surrey Central Station I had a fleeting memory.
Surrey Central Skytrain. A Place my friends and I would often gather to hang out, act like the children we were and smoke pot – meet up before going to a predetermined party or other meeting place.
It was “the” place to meet up after school or work, and be seen. Strange as it may sound to some of you.
It was our place. As time moved on people did too, some of us went our separate ways – others became closer. Other’s still had children and wives or husbands.
Some of us however stayed broken. For a very long time.
The death of my friend Andy I truly believe was the catalyst. He was the first person I knew – truly knew inside and out and loved to commit suicide. Not by any means the last to die but the first I knew personally to end his own life.
Andy was the most annoying of my friends, always telling me to follow my heart.
It was the best and most annoying advice because my heart often led me astray from those I considered friends, and often times, Family.
Today I didn’t think of Andy when I went to meet with my friend Vera. I didn’t think of Vera as my friend.
She was Counsellor LeFranc – a woman who had the power to make my program for at risk youth a reality. A Voice in our community with the power to affect change.
I shared some of my story with her – not all of it – but enough to make me realize just how far I have come.
From the girl who was broken and alone, with no one to look up to and count on; to a woman who now has a voice that will not be ignored. A Voice that will be used to inspire others, to be strong in the face of defeat.
I have no trouble believing that one day my dream of creating this program will become a reality. It will not be easy, and it won’t be a short journey but it has one that changed my life.
To that end I’d like to say how proud I am of Katherine Burke, SFU University and VanCity for the support of the CLIC program.
Not only did did it change my life but I have no doubt believing it will go on to continue to change and inspire many others to come.
I am so proud to say that I was apart of the first test group – so proud to say that because of that program I am truly happy.
As I said to Miss LeFranc, I may be jobless, penniless and have little to no idea what my next step might be but I have never, ever been truly happier.
I even look happy. I looked into my camera for the first time in I do not know how long and today I look beautiful, and strong, capable and loved.
Today I love myself. That is an amazing feeling and I look forward to what comes next.
Now I get to go spend the afternoon with my beautiful mama in the best city in the world, (Vancouver of course) and strut my stuff and laugh and have the best time ever.
Te Amo my loves