Wholeness and wellness journal of Saskatchewan published my article on cannabis and living with trauma, and y’all, this is a game changer.
That is MY logo! That’s right, I designed that shit, the Soldier who smokes cannabis, talks about mental health, has brown skin, and doesn’t give a flying flip what anyone thinks about her, got published.
I will admit yes, I have some days where “I” think that I don’t deserve all the good things that are happening to me and my life lately, but when it comes to what other people think? I don’t care.
Caring about what other people think of me nearly killed me. It drove me to the darkest, saddest, scariest places I have ever been, and I am not going back to that, not ever.
Recently I realized there are some people in this world who don’t support me, largely because they are afraid of what supporting me means. It means standing up to the patriarchy, it means changing how they view the world, and it makes them uncomfortable because my journey is not their journey.
I wish them well and move on. I know that I am not doing the best that I can do all the time, but I am getting there, one day I am going to be operating at 100% as often as possible, and you know what else? I know that even then, there are going to be some days where I question my journey, where I wonder about my value, where I have to remind myself that I am the one that decided that I want to be wherever it is that I am going.
I am the only person that has to live with my decisions, I have no dependents, and I am trying to set myself up so that I don’t have to depend on anyone else unless I want to, unless I can really trust that they are going to be there for me, and it feels amazing.
I started my writing career in roleplay online with my best friend Barrie G. Hall, he’s the one that pushed me to believe that I was good enough to try and make something out of this writing thing. A white man from Newfoundland, we couldn’t be more different, and yet for the last twenty years he and my friend Andrew Murn have spent time convincing me that I deserve to have a chance to live the life that I’d always dreamt of.
My dreams are simple, I want a house, I want a person, I want children, and I want to inspire women and children to believe that they can do anything they want. I also want to secure the tools and the knowledge to prove that belief so that I can pass them on to others when they ask.
That’s what I, Devon J Hall, want for myself, and for the world. I want to leave behind a body of work that tells the world that I was here, that I had an interesting life, and that this life that I am living inspired a person or two.
The fact that I am published in my first ever magazine is huge for me. There is a part of me that realizes how lucky I am, not just because I am in this place where my writing is starting to have an effect on those who read it, but because not everyone gets the chance to reinvent themselves. Not everyone gets the chance to scream from the rooftops, “I’m here world, what do you have for me?” I am taking every opportunity that comes my way, and I am doing it with a style that is entirely my own.
I am not focused on what other people are doing, or whether or not I am as good, I am doing the best that “I” can do, and I am proud of how far I have come.
Considering just a few years ago I neither smoked cannabis, or even believed in the majickal powers of the universe, here I am talking about how that same universal majick has affected my life. I have people tell me every day that I am a loser, that I am a fake and a fraud. People who don’t know me, who think they know me because we used to drink together, or hang out at the same club.
People who are jealous not of my success, but of my ability to keep carrying on, when they tried deliberately to end my life and failed. These people no longer matter to me. Their words have no effect on me, and the amount of time they spend trying to make me feel bad about myself only encourages me to keep going.
Today when I woke up, I realized a dream I have had since I was five years old is now a reality. I am a published author, and I have been published in my very first magazine. Nothing and no one in the world can take that away from me. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, are seeing my work and coming to check out Loud Mouth Brown Girl.
There are days when I go to bed wondering if the following day is going to be different or more of the same and the honest truth is that every single day is different. Some days I absolutely kill it, and other days I give myself a necessary break to refuel. I don’t feel guilt or shame when I take days off or don’t get done as much as I think I should have gotten done, and all of that is because I am a writer, a creator.
I have the privalege and luxury of saying “nope, not today world,” and I am humbly grateful for that. I am grateful that the universe has decided to step back and give me a break, and opportunity after opportunity to show the world what I can do. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my belief in the Gods, if it weren’t for my belief that everything happens for a reason.
I know that so many of us go through terrible, awful, and downright evil things, on this planet, but I also know that there are ways to rise above. Coming clean with my stories of abuse and trauma is and was a big part of me finding these pockets of success, happiness, and joy, but that’s not all of it.
I deliberately expose myself to chances, opportunities, and people, that intimidate me, because I want to learn from them, I want to take what they know and adjust it so that it works for me, and here I am doing all of the things, as my friend Kim would say, and I couldn’t be more proud.
When I first interviewed Kim for CJSF I had no idea where my journey was going to lead me. At first as I floundered and flumped at CJSF I thought maybe a career in radio wasn’t for me, but the truth is that, that whole experience wasn’t about building a career, it was about reminding myself that I wanted to be out there in the world doing something that mattered.
I had to go through all of that – and yes, being arrested too – to get where I am today, and while the journey certainly sucked, the experience was well worth it. So to everyone at CJSF radio, and to Kim Rhodes, Barrie Hall, Andrew Murn, and of course my mom, I am humbly saying thank you.
Thank you for inspiring me, pushing me, challenging me and loving me. Thank you for allowing me space to fuck up over the years, and for sticking around until I got it right. I promise this is the beginning of beautiful things, I am going to make you all very proud of me.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall