Several years ago I stood up at a meeting and talked about how my friends had become my family and how even though I was trying to stay sober, they were still in my life.

It took me ten additional years to realize why that wasn’t a possibility, not because I love them any less, (although in some cases I absolutely do) but because I was destined and wanted to take a path they weren’t interested in being a part of.

Someone today on Twitter said something about 2020 being the year that God is cleaning the house and I resonated so deeply with that.

It certainly feels like God is cleaning the house, like he’s saying “enough of the bullshit, show us who you really are.” It certainly feels like the Universe has had enough with the anti-Semitic racist bullshit that so many of us are experiencing.

I know I absolutely am.

I was raped by White supremacists, who would like nothing more than to have me die because I had the courage to say that I was raped by White supremacists.

I got an apology from someone recently, and while it was completely unrelated, it occurred to me that apologies don’t mean that much to me in some cases.

I mean I am, for instance, not interested in receiving an apology from my rapists.

I can’t even imagine the thought of having to face them, because if they had any shame they wouldn’t have done it in the first place.

I am not interested in seeing the people from my past for a good long time. Maybe somewhere near my death, we’ll gather again to talk about all the things we’ve learned and seen, but I am just not ready to do that yet.

I have too much to learn and to see before I am ready to talk about that with people who cut me so deeply.

I am finally beginning to understand what it means to forgive, without being able to forget. I can’t forget what I went through in order to buy my freedom, so to speak, and I can’t go back to a place where my freedom belongs to anyone else ever again.

Never again will another man “own” me, or make me feel like I need to ask permission before I do what I want to do with my dreams and goals.

Last year I was a stoner with the hope and dream of making something out of my life, and this year I will be a published author. That means the world to me. It’s a dream thirty-two years in the making, and I am really proud to have that accomplishment under my belt.

The thing is, however, that now that I’ve written a book, I want more. I want the entire world. I want to be the Beyonce, Rihanna, and Selinas of the literary world. I want to be the kind of woman who lifts other women up along their journey. I want to be the kind of woman that changes the way the world looks at what you can do when you have nothing.

I started Loud Mouth Brown Girl for free on WordPress.Com and a year later I am THE Loud Mouth Brown Girl.

I am making friends all over the world, who know my story and believe in my truth, and I am a respected part of the online community, even if those in the non-digital world don’t see the point of that.

I am really proud of how far I have come, and I am not going backward. Right now my house isn’t as clean as it could be, but I am working on it. I am working on ensuring that I am the best possible version of myself, for myself. Because no one deserves the best of me, the way that I do.

I hope you know that about yourself too.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall


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