“When faced with a tough decision, put your emotions aside, think victory thoughts, and try to envision how you want to end up when the battle ends. ”
― Germany Kent
Which will become things, which will become manifestations, which will see me looking back with wonder about the fact that yes, I fucking did that gold.
Holy shit, I did it! I wrote the beginnings of a business plan. Years ago I was in an online chatroom with a woman who was really angry with me, because she figured if I would just take her advice I’d be happy.
Part of the reason that I couldn’t take her advice was because I was deeply imbedded in trauma without knowing how deep trauma had affected me, but part of it was also that I just knew that what she thought was going to make me happy, just wasn’t the path that I wanted to take.
Through so many amazing organizations, friends, and allies, I have been taking “stock” of the skills that I have picked up along the way and through experimenting on this website, I have found a way to capitalize on the knowledge the acquirement of those skills has brought me.
I have spent a long time in my life, thinking “I can’t,” “I won’t,” but also, somewhere deep inside of myself, hearing a voice say “yes you can,” and now I am here realizing that “I” in particular, Devon J Hall, am the voice that I used to hear when I was growing up.
My “Big” self, has been telling my “Little” self for years, that we would always get where we get when we get where we are, and that is precisely when we’re going to be able to see where we are, and not one moment before.
I didn’t really “see” my future, I don’t think. Growing up I saw possible, potential scenarios, of things that “could” happen, if I just refused to give up.
Today was one of those days, when I sat down to speak with Jessica James for an upcoming episode of Stay Lifted Sis.
I am one of the billions of people who now fully recognize that the entire world that we live in, is going through a massive transitional phase. Like every living breathing creature on this planet, the Earth is a living life form, and the Earth is ever evolving, and we at this time in 2021 happen to be witnessing it.
I used to be very afraid of my future, I used to be very afraid of what I was capable of, and so it became easier to believe the people who said that I wasn’t capable of anything. If I wasn’t capable of anything, then I didn’t have to be afraid of what was to come right?
This is the reason that I didn’t fight back when I was abused as a child, not only because I didn’t know how, or because I didn’t know what words to use, but because when you don’t fight back, they hurt you less.
I used to think that I had to be an adult to tell my story, to make sure that it mattered, but then a funny thing happened. Without realizing it I started to become an adult and the people that I thought would believe me, didn’t. It didn’t matter how much I showed them, it didn’t matter how many times I told them, they made me repeat it over and over again, trying to convince me that I was lying, so that they didn’t have to face the fact that what I said happened, might have, actually happened. (It absolutely did.)
“I won’t stay silent anymore, not when speaking out can make a difference.”
― Romina Russell, Zodiac
There are a lot of people who have been proven wrong about me, because I have worked really hard to prove them wrong, but the thing is that that’s not me anymore. It is, but it’s not. I have really spent the last 36 years learning from all the evolutionary portions of myself that came before the woman that is writing this now, and you know what? She’s fucking terrifying.
She is so much stronger than I think I could possibly dream of being, and even as I say that, what I really mean to say is that she is me. I might not have embraced my “she” self, if it were not for the trauma and abuse. If I’d been left alone to grow naturally without abusers, bully’s, and enemies, I might be a trans man, or a trans woman. I might turn into a golden elephant for all I know.
I have no idea who I “would have” been, if I hadn’t gone through everything that I had gone through, if my education hadn’t been sacrificed in the name of me becoming a survivor.
But does it matter? Last night at around 4:30 pm I sat down and started writing a business plan, for a company that I NEED to start in Surrey.
I have reasons for starting it here, but namely because “this” is where I had all the realizations that made me who I am today. This is where I live, and this is the community that I supported for nearly 18 years, this is the place where I helped feed those who needed food, learned amazing lessons from youth who I thought I was there to teach, and tried my best, to help those who had nowhere to go, somewhere to be.
I did a lot for this city, and in return this city gave me a place to be, I wont name it, but the church that I worked in – as much as it sucked back then – gave me something to do with my life, that led me to being the person that I am today. I want to build my future first legal company here, in this town, so that I can say “you, Surrey, BC helped me become the person I wanted to become when I was just a girl wondering who I might become if I was given a chance to become anything.”
Hard lessons were learned here, and for me to be able to be a part of kicking down a door and making sure that Cannabis companies can come and work here, and be here in this city, and that the money we earn can be folded back into THIS city for programs for youth, women, and men, is important to me.
I’ve seen too many times what neglect can do to a life, and neglect doesn’t always mean by a parent or guardian. Neglect can come from all walks of society and for too long Surrey, British Columbia has been neglected by a world that either doesn’t care that it exists, or wants to shame it for existing.
This is from a site called Numbeo.com on a page called “Crime in Surrey.” Now whether you like it or not, when you google “Rumors about Surrey, BC,” this is what comes up, which means that anyone in the entire world has access to this information, and having lived here since I was 19, I can honestly tell you? It’s not that wrong.
Living in Surrey is difficult, not only because when you tell people from Surrey they just nod their heads as if they “already know,” but because it really is difficult. More and more development is happening here, but there are still hundreds of people living without a home, living without a safe place to be at night in a city that has as above states “has a low score on whether or not it’s safe to walk at night.”
Now, I’ve walked down 135A street in the middle of the night, (it used to be classified as the “most dangerous street in the city.”) and I was perfectly safe, but that’s ONLY because I knew everyone who lived there. I worked with them every day at the Church, I heard their stories, I helped them when I could and many times they helped me when they were able. They were not “clients” they were friends, and I miss a lot of them. Since those days many of those people have died, or moved on to other cities in search of hope life would get better.
I want people to see Surrey as it COULD be, not as it is. Yes the development is great, but what about job programs for women trying to escape domestic abuse or gangs? What about safe reporting programs for women whose partners are in the RCMP or the Police, who are being abused? Where do they go?
What about nursing homes that are understaffed and not protected by people who are genuinely passionate about their jobs? What about hospital staff who whisper “I fucking hate this place,” when they think no one is listening? (Oh yes, that DID happen, while my mom was in E.R…..to be honest? I get it.)
What about afterschool programs for kids who have nowhere to be, or a home without dinner? And don’t you dare tell me that you have them, because every time I go to the local sky train station, I see at least 10-20 kids who fell through, or were thrown through, the cracks, often on purpose. They are the same faces I used to see ten or fifteen years ago when my friends and I hung out there.
All the places that we used to party have been redeveloped, to make them more appealing to people with money and less appealing to those of us who called those places home, and so they hang out at a skytrain, because there is just nowhere else to go where they can be safe.
Do you know why kids from rural areas go to the city? Any large city? It’s because in the city they are safer, they can gather together in packs, and protect each other, whereas in small towns they are easier to find and to catch.
There are so many things that the Cannabis industry can provide for this city and for the current City Council to ignore that fact out of stigma and prejudice without trying to learn from the wealth of informed educated people IN the Cannabis industry is stupid.
So yes, last night I started putting a plan together to present to Surrey City Council of all the reasons that MY company should be the first to open in this town, of all the reasons that “I“, a mixed race, bisexual, possibly gay, English, Irish, Scottish, Jamaican Gypsy woman, should be the one to open the doors in this town.
LEAST of all because I know that the reason that so many reasons that kids get involved in drugs to begin with, is because they are in pain.
For years I avoided using cannabis because I wasn’t ready to face all the doors that it would open, and check this out:
- No HS diploma
- 20+ years working in both the services and community organization world
- 20+ years of experience using the internet and getting to know various social media platforms
- 4 years of studying and using Cannabis as a healing medicine instead of anti-psychotics provided by Doctors who refuse to believe what happened to me because it’s easier
- 10 years of learning to stand up for myself in a city that spent more than 25 years telling me to shut up and be quiet.
You bet your ass I am building my company in this city, and when the foundation is set, and we begin to fill the brick and moarter with furniture and accessories, the FIRST thing that I am going to do is open that door to all of the women who are looking at their lives wondering how they escape the horror that this planet has offered them, and invite them into a world of something better.
WHEN I open my storefront, and you can bet your ass I will, there will be PAID opportunities for women, youth, BIPOC, and disabled folks who want to or are using cannabis to enrich their lives.
I am going to do that whether you are with me or against me, and I honestly don’t give a fuck about all the people who swear when they hear my name, or who refuse to answer the phone when I call, or who step aside when I walk by. You are not a part of this, that’s fine. There will be plenty of people around the world who will smile forever when they say “She did that!”
I don’t need you to celebrate me, or my accomplishments because my “small business,” is going to change the world. But you keep telling me that the thing that got me AWAY from drugs and gangs, and rape, torture, and abuse, is the thing that’s going to destroy my life.
We’ll chat when we’re dead.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall