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  • Juliette Angelo

Hope is the Bird

The quieter moments are when I sit and ask myself.

How did I get here?

It's been two years since I did the impossible: leave everything that was familiar to me and follow a subtle feeling of intuition that was foreign to me at the time.

Now, as I watch the snow glisten on the trees, hear the birds sing to each other, gaze at a land so tranquil and safe I can hardly fathom it, I ask myself that question...

How did I get here?

I spent what felt like an eternity digging through my psyche, peeling back every layer of myself until there was nothing left. I thought the pain would never end. Then, I rebuilt my identity piece by piece, leaving no stone unturned, attempting to identify who and what I was, without conditioning or expectations or judgment.

I have found peace in writing, ever since I was a child. My words were my power, they still are. Others tried to silence me, and for a while they succeeded, until I realized that no one can take your words from you. They can convince you that you have nothing to say, that you have nothing to give, that no one would listen to you or believe you anyway - until the day comes when someone does believe you. When someone tells you you do have something important to say. In fact, you were told to be silent because of how important you are.

As a child, I would find a quiet place - a rarity in my life - and write. Words would flow out of me like an endless river of grief and desperation. I would try to put poetry to what I was feeling - to try to make sense of my circumstances - to try to understand what it was I was living through. I was obsessed with words. I thought, if I could just find the right one, then maybe I could understand what was happening to me. But still, to this day, I cannot find the adequate wording to articulate those experiences.

Instead, I found the power in those experiences, I found the courage to speak about them, to share them with the world, to liberate myself and to stand up for others who cannot yet stand up for themselves, and then, I found the courage to do the most powerful step of them all - I found the courage to move on.

I've lived so many sides of life. I've lived in the spotlight, I've lived in the hospital after a drunken night, I've lived in the AA rooms, I've lived on a stage in front of a thousand people, I've lived in silence, I've lived in fear, I've lived in courage, I've lived in chaos, I've lived in peace. I've lived in so many environments in so little time around so many people I couldn't even find myself. It wasn't until I lived with nothing that I realized I had everything I needed.

Life is simple. Find what makes you happy. Surrender to that happiness. I've overcomplicated things for far too long - I've sang songs that needed far less verses to convey the same message - and I've learned that the most precious things in life are free.

I've had people tell me a million things about myself, tell me a million ways how to live my life, tell me a million opinions about who I am as a person. I'm not one to listen to unwarranted advice, but recently, someone told me to keep writing.

I've decided to do just that.

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