DNA Analysis – Daily Post Writing Challenge

WRITING CHALLENGE:

Your challenge is to take something intensely personal — the bits and pieces that make you YOU — and use them as a springboard for a post that makes a larger point and resonates with lots of other readers.

In the symmetry of my face the right three-quarters is my mom, the other quarter my dad, or so I’ve been told.  In the shape of my eyes I see my mother’s love and facility for art in decades of notebooks that no one will ever see.  In my hair I see the frailness of my fathers poetry.

My parents are broken people, slivers of who’s lives have cut their way into mine. I see their gifts in me; cooking, poetry, talent, love of nature but more often I have felt the shards of their brokenness and see the scars. The imperfections and abandonment.  I see anger and disappointment.  I see the world through eyes of pain and misplaced fears. There are scars everywhere, most old some new: fat, ugly, stupid, lazy, insignificant.

I see Southie in my core, the tough neighborhood of mine and my parents childhood.  A private place.  I was taught not to share my life, because it meant sharing theirs.  The privacy of our inner worlds that no one was allowed to see; vulnerability, weakness. But we are connected, our families help shape who we are. If I can’t share you, I can’t share me; rendering my life and experiences insignificant, somehow unworthy.  It left me disconnected, bounded by roots, stunting my growth. I see guilt for not being strong enough, brave enough, pretty enough…or simply enough.

But…

As I’ve learned to look more closely I see the mirror has more volume.  Like the symmetry of my face where my parents both dwell in my features; I have emerged an individual.  I have been staring in this mirror for years searching for myself and fighting for my existence.  I have found a change. My features are softening, warming and calming.

Today I glance in the mirror and stop, not to stare, but to breathe. To allow my life to fill in and seal the shards. I touched the scars and blessed them with forgiveness.  I am different and quintessential. I always thought I was broken. How else could it be, I am my parent’s child am I not? But when I look in the mirror today I see a woman, scarred but whole. I see the person tending to the wounds of the past and piecing together the slivers of my parents with forgiveness and compassion.

I see strength and power, someone who understands the gravity of communication, openness and connectedness.  I see the web I have built; an intricate, beautiful network of artists, friends and individual family members who know me beyond the shards who have all added to my healing.

The woman I see is human and flawed, brilliant and compassionate and always working to be the best individual she can be. I see a wondrous work in progress emerging from the shadows of the past ready to leap into her own peace.

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Author: The Gift of Being: On Art, Life & the Process of it All

Nichole Donje is a multi-disciplinary artist, activist and leader. A philosopher and self-exploration addict, Nichole is currently working on two books of art and poetry FINDING TRUE NORTH and LIFE POEMS. She is a visual artist and photographer. Nichole founded the highly regarded New York City based independent theatre company TAPT/The Artist’s Playground Theatre, in 2006. Serving as TAPT’s Artistic Director, Nichole works diligently to support new and forgotten works that help shape the way we view the world around us. A recognized leader, Nichole serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for The Players. The Players is the oldest theatrical club in the country founded by such luminaries as Edwin Booth and Mark Twain "for the promotion of social intercourse between the representative members of the dramatic profession and the kindred professions of literature, painting, sculpture and music, and the patrons of the arts". A key influencer of the Players current revitalization she has become an advocate for the art and livelihood of a social club. The Players not only honors yesterday’s and today’s luminaries of the performing arts, but also brings back the forgotten art of face to face relationships. Nichole is a member of SAG-AFTRA, LPTW/League of Professional Theatre Women and The Players.

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