When I was born the sun was shining and Angel’s fell to Earth, at least in the story about Siddha Lee Saint James, that’s what happened on April 10th 1983.

And since she’s a reflection of me, well why couldn’t Angel’s have fallen to Earth eager to meet me one day?

I put a lot of pressure on myself to have good birthdays, but the truth is I’ve never really had a good birthday. I was sexualized way too young to be the kind of child that grew up having good birthday’s.

This year I am turning thirty-seven years old. I still remember being twenty-one, and knowing how utterly and completely miserable I was.

I also remember nineteen, sipping Vodka while roleplaying Serena Valmonte against Kame Koru de Blackhart…I was a total and complete nerd back then, and I relished in it because roleplaying ignited my love of the written word.

I stopped reading books years ago because I deal with ADHD, something I’ve never actually admitted before – largely because I thought it made me weak – but also because of the word game.

The Word Wall was a wall that we as students covered in words when we were in fifth and sixth grade. Every time we read a book we had to pick 1 word to describe that book, my words never made it onto the wall because my Librarian at the time was a racist and didn’t believe that Black girls needed encouragement.

I never forgot that, just as she had intended, but instead of making me strong, that mentality forced me to believe for a short while that I wasn’t good enough.

It took me a long time to fight against the brain washing of sexual, physical, emotional, verbal and racist abuse that I suffered growing up and at thirty-seven I can honestly say this is going to be a life long experience and I am a bit scared.

I am turning thirty-seven in just a few days, and I am nervous about what that means, because I haven’t accomplished as much as I thought I wanted to, I haven’t gone anywhere or done anything in particular that means that my experience here was worth something more than sexual abuse.

Sure, I shared my story and I met a lot of really powerful people, but beyond that I am exactly where I was at twenty-one, the only difference is that the apartment has changed.

I am a bit better off today than I was then, spiritually and emotionally, but have I really come that far? I can’t quite decide yet. I know that I am a little softer on myself than I used to be.

I am more protective of myself than I used to be, that’s for sure, and I am more aware of my actions on a wider scale than I used to be. I am also more confident than I used to be, so some things have changed, but is it enough? I honestly feel like it will only be when I look back a few years from now that I get the answers to those questions.

I think I am okay with that, with not knowing if what I have done up to this point is “enough”, it’s enough for now, does that count? I am learning to be at peace with my place in the world, even if it’s not where my younger self thought I was going to be, it feels like this is where I am supposed to be.

That’s a comforting thought.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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