Maya Angelou, A Beautiful Survivor Turned Thriver


Life even after dropping from the stem.

Life even after dropping from the stem.

I was having technical difficulties when I posted the previous reblog from Creative Talents Unleashed- Writing Tip:  Tips for Writers from Maya Angelou.  I wanted to explain my reasoning behind the reblog.  My tablet froze.  I grew frustrated and hit reblog.  I felt compelled to reblog it.  Maya’s ability to overcome diversity and emerge as a profound, insightful author shows the power of words.

I wanted to mention how inspiring I find Maya as both a writer and a survivor.  She turned her abuse into words of wisdom and strength.  In middle school, I attended a Y Teen conference in Gary, Indiana.  Maya was the speaker.  She read Phenomenal Woman. I was excited to hear a “real” writer speak.  As I listened to her strong voice, I thought I want to be like her.  I want to be a phenomenal woman one day.

At the time, I don’t recall if I knew she was an abuse survivor. An awkward fourteen year old girl, I had yet to fully understand my abuse.  In many ways, I was convinced that my mother’s behavior was normal.  I was bad so of course she hit me I reasoned for many years, even into adulthood.

Freshman year of college, Maya’s book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was on the reading syllabus.  Out of all the books I was required to read Maya’s is forever lodged in my mind and my heart.  I understood then that she was abused.  It was as if I’d found a kindred spirit, fellow survivor within the pages.

I don’t think it was an accident that I encountered Maya as a teenager and young adult.  I don’t believe there are any accidents.  She inspired me.  She didn’t allow the abuse to destroy her, but instead used her experience to reach others.

I was sad when she passed away, yet her words will always be there, like a good friend you can turn to when you feel like giving up, allowing trauma to overtake your mind and soul.  So, with this said I will continue to fight even though I have to admit the last month has been difficult.

I found this post before I went to bed last night.  As I blankly starred at the baby blue walls and the white ceiling, I questioned if I could continue to live with all of this pain and grief.  It was a feeling mind you, not a plan.  But when thoughts turn to leaving this world, it’s an indication that I’m slipping.  As I was reading blogs, I stumbled across this post.

Once again Maya made an appearance.

I will continue writing.  Continue looking forward.  Continue to follow Maya’s strength and words of wisdom.  If I give up then I admit defeat and once again give my power away.  Freezing rain continues to sprinkle the ground beyond my window.  It is gloomy out.  Survivors I have met on WordPress who are becoming thrivers encourage me to look beyond the gloom and ice both inside and out.  Mandy is one such example.  She is telling her story and not allowing voices from the past silence or destroy her.  Write on…

7 thoughts on “Maya Angelou, A Beautiful Survivor Turned Thriver

  1. mandy says:

    My dear, Bdl. This is such a compelling post. Of all the people for you to attach yourself to, Maya would be the one. I didn’t know that she had been abused before either. When I found out I just stepped back, like, wow, and look at her now! She is who we should keep our eye on-a shining example of overcoming whatever struggle comes our way. We also have to hold tight to those living, here in the present, who hold us up until our legs are strong enough to stand alone. I have my days, Bdl. But you, and our other friends here are always in my mind. I know you’re in my corner, and I’m in yours. You don’t even know that you encourage others, too! ♥

  2. lynettedavis says:

    Truly phenomenal how many people’s lives she touched. It just goes to show you, that you never know whose life you’re touching. Just sharing your story gives other people hope. Thank you for sharing this with me.

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