The New Oxford Dictionary defines the word resilient as “being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions; the ability to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.” I thought long and hard as I allowed this definition to resonate within me. I began to ask myself, “Am I resilient? Am I worthy? Worthy of this very definition?” When I gazed upon the phrase “recover quickly” within the definition of this word, the self doubt crept in.
Here came the voice of insecurity telling me not to put myself on a pedestal..that I wasn’t worthy to be defined as resilient. The still mentality arose..STILL IN grieving 3 YEARS LATER from my grandmother’s death, STILL working through unresolved issues from my childhood and bloodline, STILL facing the slander from those wanting to see me self destruct, STILL in therapy..not yet..put back together by my cookie cutter definition of perfection.
BUT THAT WOULD ALL CHANGE!!!
As I randomly scrolled through Instagram on December 28, 2019, I came across a post for an audition for the Vagina Monologues here in Jacksonville on January 4, 2020. I signed up, and messaged the director about tips and/or tricks for an effective audition. Her only response was to “be myself.” BE MYSELF? Okay! I went to audition and after reading the audition piece, SHE WAS THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED..WITH MY VOICE and overall personality!!! I ended up getting the part in the production! All by just ..being..MYSELF!! Who knew such advice that I assumed to be vague would be the catalyst to my next steps in my healing journey for 2020?! WOW!
This random encounter ended up being the key that unlocked my WHOLE PERSONA. On the 8th of the same month after my first rehearsal for the production, which happened to fall on year 3 of my grandmother’s death, I was led to research her middle name, Louise. I discovered that Louise is a feminine name of the French origin meaning “renowned warrior.” While looking up other symbols for resilience other than the traditional phoenix, I stumbled upon the Chinese character Li, which means power and strength. By the 10th of February, I had officially adopted the moniker, Warrior Weezy (short for Louise) Li! I was brand new, and ready for the journey under this newfound identity.
Through deep soul searching, I began to re-evaluate the definition of resilient AGAIN, this time from the perspective of a WARRIOR. Have I honored, and will continue to honor my grandmother in her death? YES! Have I come to the realization that there will be ZERO closure and/or apologies regarding certain issues and events in my life? YES! Have I made, and am currently making exemplary progress regarding my therapy? YES! Have I stood tall, head held high, with a mindset of perseverance in the face of adversity, no matter how difficult it may be at times? YES..YES..YES!! By my OWN admission, I HAD AND HAVE exhibited resilience! I began to feel the spirit of resilience coursing through my very soul! Such a euphoric atmosphere was created in that very moment!
Through my recent activism assignments, I have utilized my resilience and healing journey as a tool of empowerment not only to myself, but others as well. It is important for people to be aware of the fact that they are not alone, no matter how cliche this saying may sound.
To know that I have risen from the ashes time and time again is enough to bring me to an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis. My healing journey, will indeed be visible as well as vocal and I accept this wholeheartedly.
Whenever the lemons of life discourage you, I urge you to not only to make lemonade, but to drink it down and let it fortify you for the journey ahead, for life is not a race, but a marathon. INVEST IN YOUR SHOES TODAY!