Showing posts from September, 2019

Transformation Hurts!

My life has been defined by turbulent change. The most familiar feeling to me is a strong panic. Sometimes I could just be sitting still but then be hit by an indescribable emptiness in my chest and no matter how deeply I breathe I can’t seem to fill that space. I feel like I can even hear a bit of a whistle, like my chest had been a solid thing but now is full of holes. I was born on a cold Tuesday in November in Odessa, Ukraine. My mother was the only black woman on her maternity ward, and most likely in the whole hospital. She was very young and alone, a shaky 23 years old trying to balance this terrifying thing called motherhood with fast paced college classes taught in Russian. My birth itself-my arrival in this world- was a disruption. By the age of 4 I spoke a blend of Russian, French and a tiny bit of Kinyarwanda. My mother and I had spent nearly a year in Switzerland while escaping the 1994 genocide, and it was around this time that I began to develop a stutter. It became a st…