by Shirley Ndaba (Hendricks)
I have been an orphan, had no one to comfort of protect me and I have made it through life. I have seen the darkest shades of darkness, I have been hurt countless times, I fell so hard, lost myself, my inner being disappeared from within, giving up seemed like the best option. I even thought of giving it all up, but never stopped fighting and look at me now and l don’t think this was the reason why my heart chose to love her. I conquered and I am proud to say I am a strong black woman and a survivor.
I have never had it easy in life. Well no one said it would be easy, always had to hustle for survival, always reminded myself of my worth and maintaining my dignity as a young black woman. Young girls look up to me because I know my worth, what I want in life and where I want to be. Being homeless has never stopped me from trying harder; it helped me determine my life goals. I hustle through my life struggles and wake up the next morning with a big beautiful smile on my face, like I wasn’t crying the previous night. I still don’t think my life experience is the reason why my heart chose to love her because I have always known I wanted her. I never let my past life define what I truly am or my future because I am a strong, queer black woman and a survivor.
My life challenges and struggles have made me the strong, beautiful and smart woman I am today. There are times when I want to give up but remind myself that the devil is a liar! I am a woman of faith, the child of God through Christ; I wake up in the morning and hear the devil say, “Damn, she’s awake!!” I put my God in everything I do, because without my Jesus I’m not able to do anything and know deep in my heart that He loved me before I even knew I would ever fall for her. When I break down, I get up, dust myself and continue my journey and race of life because I am a strong, queer black woman and a survivor.
I am a young feminine, strong and queer black woman; my worth beats a diamond’s worth. I shine so beautifully and bright and can’t break easily. I refuse to play a victim of life and act as though the world owes me something. I take charge of my life, I have and forever will use the bricks thrown at me to build a foundation from within. I am no longer an orphan but I am a strong woman, a queer woman, and a conqueror as I have conquered.
I am a fighter and a believer, not only have I been hurt, seen and experienced pains, seen the darkest shades of darkness. I have also gained so much strength, wisdom, comfort and protection from this world. My experience and life struggles are not the reason why I love her, I am proud to say I have made it through life because I a strong, queer black woman and a survivor.
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