I had an encounter the other day that I can only describe as spiritual. The young lady I was assisting simply felt moved to tell me something I didn't necessarily want to know.
The young lady is 25,works as a home health nurse, has recently moved out of her parents' very traditional household and has (finally) begun college. She was writing an essay for one of her classes and needed help with sentence structure. I didn't mind helping, its what I do, help.
My laptop isn't working so I was at my aunt's using hers and my brothers showed up. I think they came just to harass me. They don't think I should be going to school. They think I should be looking for a husband, not going to college. I was so distracted that I know this essay makes no sense, can you help me?
I was intrigued. How does a person, still young, still vulnerable, living in a traditional, Jamaican household, where men sit around waiting for the women to "do" for them manage to muster the strength to walk toward the light?
Why did you move out?
I moved out because if I didn't, I was going to kill myself, and I didn't want to die.
Can't argue with that logic.
My mother thinks I"m crazy. When I moved out of the house, she damned me to hell. Daddy said I'd be raped by some stalker knowing I was alone out there. He said no man would want me because I was not living correctly.
When I told my parents I was starting college, they laughed at me. My mother said she would not help pay for it. I'm ok with that, I can pay for the classes myself. I can do this. I must do this. If I don't, I will die. I know I have more to give than my body to a man. I have a mind, and I want to share it.
I'm sitting at my computer in tears. I read her words and I wonder what moment pushed her forward. I know a few things about her that I'd already found fascinating. She was sickly as an infant and was never expected to walk. She's a virgin and has no problem letting men know that she intends to stay that way until her wedding night. She love psychology and thinks, maybe, she'd like to go to medical school and become a psychiatrist. She loves her family, she just can't live with them anymore.
Its been so long since I've been to school, I know my writing is terrible.
No, it isn't, just a little muddled. We can fix this.
Thank you. I need this essay to speak about who I was, who I now am and who I want to become. I want my instructor to understand the reason why I am in college. I want her to know the reason why I exist.
Yeah, don't we all. God's speed on your journey girl, God's most precious blessings to you.