Photo by Steve on

To those who know her, she considers herself a wolf. I understand the imagery, the power, the passion with which she defends those she cares about, but I also think that one animal doesn’t do her justice.

She is a butterfly, formed through trauma, yet emerged as someone beautiful in both spirit and soul. She is a teacher; a voice of compassion, a friend, and someone who has helped me better understand that everything is not as rose-colored as I knew it while showing that one doesn’t have to let their past permanently destroy them.

I’m talking about The Loud Mouthed Brown Girl, an author, radio personality, artist, and educator formerly known as Syndolly, Devon J Hall.

I can’t remember how exactly we first met on social media, but the moment we did, she made one hell of an impression.

Why? Because her blunt words, ability to speak the truth, and heartfelt emotion struck me right in the chest.

I scanned her twitter, her blog, and saw a heart of gold, someone who wanted to show the world love, from someone who’d seen the dark and ugly side of life. She posted of life in Surrey, British-Columbia.

A part of Vancouver I’ve only passed through. She admitted to terrors of her youth, to hanging out with Bikers who became the safety she couldn’t get from those she should have trusted.

She admitted to self-medications, to the troubles she witnessed, to the pains she endured. Somehow, we reached out to one another, and began chatting, and I discovered that the woman behind the posts is as honest as anyone I have ever known.

She’s someone who can give you all the hours of the day, who stands up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, who speaks even when she knows her words won’t find her favor with the popular majority who would rather remain blissfully unaware of the troubles anyone else are enduring.

I’d love to dive deeper, but I don’t dare try to emulate her words and emotions. If you want to know more then check her out on her blogs, SynDolly, or DevonJHall; find her on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram.

This is a post where I say “Thank you” to the woman who has given me so much more than the time of day. This is a tribute to the woman who has helped me understand my wife, who, like Devon, suffered trials in her past that I can scarce imagine. Who, unlike me, did not grow up privileged, middle-class, white, and safe in Canada.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Thank you, Devon, for your patience. Thank you, Devon, for opening my eyes. Thank you, Devon, for speaking out in hopes that the future for so many more will be better because of your words, spoken, written, and drawn.

Most importantly, Thank you, Devon, for being a friend. Her lessons have, in turn, helped me to understand the most important people in my life, and the possible dangers and risks that my family may one day face.

Written by @WordsBySC