If you’ve read any of my blogs, by now you know that I spend 9 months of my life away from my friends, my family, my children, and my sanity. Today is a rainy day so I decided to catch up on my tv shows until I got bored then I would do some work. On one of the tv shows, a father told his son “when you went to jail they replaced your name with a number and stripped you of your identify and your value”. That hit me waaaayyyy too close to home.
When I was admitted into Riverside Correctional Facility (also known as RCF) I was fingerprinted, asked about my health history, and given a tag. That tag had a series of numbers on it- 1155295. The moment that tag was placed on me, my identity was stripped away. Guards knew me by my last name and my number. Whenever I left my unit, my number was checked. When my mail was delivered, it was identified with my number. Losing your sense of self in that way can really mentally f*%! you up.
It was one thing to be ripped away from my life, but to rip away my identity was humiliating. Degrading. Demeaning. Dehumanizing. Even when I was being released, I was identified by my number. It took a while to regain my identity. I am one out of close to 1,000 women that was housed in that complex. 1 out of countless women who’s identity was stripped away. But today I make a stand- I AM NOT A NUMBER!
I am a mom. Every single day that I open my eyes I am a mother until I take my last breath. I am a daughter. A friend. A business woman. An entrepreneur. A soul mate. A future wife. I am everything BUT a number. And this was something that I had to constantly remind myself for months after I left RCF. And today I want to remind you, who is reading this and has had a similar background as me, that you are not a number. You are a person. A whole person. Beautiful. Smart. Driven. Talented. Brave. Fearless. And NOT who they told you that you were. Don’t let anyone else label you. Ever.
I refuse to be defined by my past mistakes. And I refuse to let my mistakes dictate my future successes. I am not a number, but I plan on having a hell of a lot of numbers in my bank account. Define yourself. Always.
Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!