Dreams and Masks
July 14th, 2016
I turned 37 and was thinking about the dream life that my working low middle class Haitian parents wished on my behalf. The one…doctor or lawyer or respectable corporate job, the amazing marriage with at least two cute kids; and bonus point for a beautiful owned house.
And since most items on that list were left unchecked, I was sitting that day with a sense of shame and feeling not good enough.
I’ve also spent most of my life in the endless cycle of losing and gaining weight – trying to live up to the goal of pleasing the world with the perfect body.
But, I could never keep up.
Of course, on the outside nobody could see it. People usually referred to me as confident and strong.
The ugly truth is I grew up wearing different masks.
The 80’s – Childhood
My mom was a housewife and my dad was a mechanic.
He brought the money in. I lived with my brother and two half sisters in a house and neighborhood that I hated. It was one of those poor and busy areas populated with streets hawkers of all kinds. I felt trapped in between, the spontaneous fighting, people swearing and the constant noise. Hence, my love for quietness and silence.
Attending one of the best catholic schools in the country didn’t change my sense of I don’t belong.
The regular brainwashing from the sisters to make us believe we were (anyways, that’s how it felt for me) different and somewhat “superior” to the ones whose parents could not afford to send them to a “catholic school” , only reinforced my sentiment of shame, because after all I was one of those kids – I only got lucky that my dad was able to pour every dime he earned on our education.
His motto : what’s important is what’s in your head.
The 90’s – Teen Age Years
I was fortunate to have cable and experienced the world mainly trough TV and books. This is where my love for English came from.
And when I first started to watch the Oprah Show, I knew I wanted to be her. Not a talk show host or be rich…
I imagined that she was a healer ( I came to this word later on), but what I felt is that in her presence, people felt heard, seen and liberated.
This is what deep inside of me I felt I were to be.
Back then, there was an appropriation of the American culture by the Haitian youth. We all wanted to be and act as Americans. It was easy for me to talk about life in North America – mostly the USA – so that my friends would assume that we shared the same lifestyle.
I did everything I could to preserve that false illusion of I have it all.
“Because, I never fully claimed who I was and where I came from, I could not stop pretending”
High Heels and Gifts
January 2002 – Adult Years
The lie grew stronger when I enter the Job Market
High heels, professional look, fake smile navigating the regular political madness of the corporate world – Until, I stopped being scared and listened to what I knew was true for me.
The world I grew up in and the world I created to escape my reality led me to discover my gifts and develop the foundation of my work.
Finding my way trough
Even as I grew up living a restricted life (didn’t really see the world beyond my school and home), I was also doing everything I can to escape trough books, daydreaming , writing, dancing and cooking.
I started cooking since I was 6, altering dishes, trying unusual spices – allowed me to be play with my creativity.
ordinary people, extraordinary lessons
From my father, I learned that our emotional wounds when remain unhealed influence how we give and receive love. We can love deeply and not know how to demonstrate that love.
From my grand-mother, I learned that who we are is made of our personal stories and the stories of those who came before us. The stories we tell, shape our view of the world.
Connecting to new stories
The desire to understand why some of my friends had such loving connections with their dads and when I didn’t – led me to devour all materials related to psychology and spirituality.
What fascinates me is how our minds and stories influence who we are and the way we live.
Taking the stage
After 17 years working in the banking industry, I have finally put down my corporate cloak.
Living Unrestrained is the practice that I developed and have helped me redefine my self worth and live a life that supports who I truly am.
This work is a celebration of my sovereignty.
It’s the legacy I’m building and leaving for my daughter and the women that are coming after me.
It’s a promise to stand beside you and support you in becoming and Living Unrestrained !
The things I love
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