Rewriting Our Stories

Morning everyone. My name is Gary Brown. I’m the organization’s Support Service Coordinator/IT Manager. Before I go off boring you with what it is that I do. I would like to extend a word of encouragement. For some of us, waking up in Jamaica is the harsh reality we have to come to grips with. I know it is not an easy thing to do. In fact, it’s downright hard and trials, especially when we’re lacking the crucial support we need to bounce back. However, I implore that we don’t look at it as a damning situation, but an opportunity to rewrite our stories. Beef up our stories and thicken the plot.

What am I getting at? I remember sitting in an Alternative To Violence class in Oneida, and the facilitator, one of my Muslim brothers named Akil gave us an exercise. The exercise was to list 10 things that we’re strong at, and 10 things we’re weak at and then have us work on that list until our weakness became strong. My greatest weakness at that point was that I barely knew how to read and write. I would stumble on the pronunciation…and we all know how that is, when you can’t pronounce a word it’s difficult for you to spell it. This was my situation. So now I’m faced with challenging myself because I hated the fact that I could barely read and write, and I abhor that others knew about it. What I started doing was to take 10 words per day that I didn’t know from the dictionary, learn them and use them in sentences. Within months I noticed my vocabulary have improved and I started recognizing words before I’m actually there. I developed such an affinity with words that I started writing, songs, plays, books, and screenplay.

The reception I was hoping for when I got here wasn’t there. However, the fire in me hasn’t waned. I’m constantly beefing up my character and rewriting the main plot in my story. Recently I was entrusted with maintaining the organization website, but because of the platform it was created on, it posed a challenge. I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted to see. So I was tasked to create a blog page for the organization…and wah-lah. I did. This now gives me the confidence that yeah, I can rebuild the organization’s website if it deems the practical thing to do.

My point is this, never be afraid to recreate, rewrite, edit and rewrite again if it is what it takes to ensure our brighter tomorrow. Each one of us is unique in our own rights. So it’s up to us to tap into ourselves and bring out that fire in us and light a blazing trail for those to come after us to follow. We can achieve this individually or we can come together collectively and be the force that changes the way society looks at us as involuntary return migrants (IRM).

In essence, be the author of your very own story. Bless!

Gary Brown