It was a sunny Sunday morning. The sky was clear, and I had just gotten off the bus coming from Warwick to the bus terminal in town. It was a typical Sunday morning for my older brother, and I. Truth be told some Sundays we made it to Sunday School at Salvation Army and sometimes well, you know how that story ends. I’m pretty sure that is how my french fry addiction started. There was a little store in town that happily took my Sunday school offering for a piping hot brown bag of crinkle cut fries.
If I am honest, there are very few memories I have of growing up in Bermuda. When I think about it, I get a little teary eyed. How is that possible having spent the first 18 years of my life on the island? Yes, I was born in Bermuda, attended Dellwood Primary School and graduated from Berkeley Institute, but yet I often feel like that life never existed for me.
Do you ever wonder why you do the things you do? What makes you who you are? Your thoughts and your values. If you’ve ever wanted to change, it requires finding your higher self and be willing to take the blindfold off your life.
You know what? That isn’t always pretty.
I’ve learned along the way that I have so many negative memories of growing up in Bermuda, that they cloud the good ones. Fun memories, like taking the bingo bus back home late nights with my grandma and falling asleep on her lap. I often get asked when was the last time in Bermuda; my response is, “I don’t know”, and the second is always, “For what?”
I envy my Facebook friends who are still going back home to see family, to a place where I as an adult I come to feel I never belonged. I think I lost what should have been the best years of my life.
Bermuda was the place where I lost my family. I learned rejection by both a mother and father who made other choices that didn’t include me. I thank God for my grandma.
Bermuda was the place where I learned that words really do hurt. At 45 years old, I can still recall the duet that my brother and I did at the Salvation Army.
I remember when we were finished a woman came to us and told my brother he sounded so lovely and that I dressed nice. I have not forgotten it, and it has shaped my entire life. Although I do not believe she meant any harm, as a child it left the impression upon me that my voice didn’t matter. What I had to say didn’t matter. As a result, I was never vocal about anything unless directly asked by someone.
Bermuda was the place where I learned that family only really mattered for the family members who were deemed valuable.
There were so many family members who could have played a more crucial role in my life in the absence of my parents, and they chose not to. They decided to make me feel insignificant yet are throwing crumbs now—I guess to make themselves feel better.
Bermuda was the place where I became a member of the #metoo movement; where a very close older friend of my brother thought I was the right type. I have only shared with one other person before now.
Bermuda was the place where I received my first heartbreak. The one person I told, my brother, who didn’t believe me. He shattered my heart, and I never spoke of it again.
I didn’t share these memories because I needed a pity party, I shared them because our experiences shape who we are. Unless you get to the root of the issue, you’ll never be the person you are meant to be. While life has dealt me some unfavourable cards, I chose the outcome and created the life I know I deserve to have.
Every negative thing that happened to me, I have shaped a positive value around it. I walk in forgiveness every day of my life. Why? Because it was far too easy not to forgive. No one would ever know that I didn’t grow up with my mom, because the relationship I chose to have with her now isn’t mandated by a past long gone. I understand why family is important to me because I didn’t have it growing up. In my life, family really does matter and anyone who knows me sees it every day. The memories I create matter.
If you’re stuck in life, the only way to get unstuck is discovering what is important to you. Trials and tribulations in life will come, but they don’t have to weigh you down. You have a choice, and your choice will determine if you sink or swim. We are not bound by our past or by people, we are only bound by our choices.
I know you have heard that there is a purpose in your pain, it is my prayer that you find that purpose and live out your best life.
Telanna is a businesswoman and personal excellence coach. Through her free resources and personal coaching, she helps moms manage their time effectively so can live out their purpose, by permitting themselves to do what they love. Find her on your favourite social media platform @escapeyourmess.