Sustaining Value In A World With None : A Memoir By Zoya Yaseka
A MELNINASS MEMOIR
By: Zoya Yaseka
We live in a world where everyone bleeds the same blood, suffers the same atrocities, and battles many of the same demons. However, when your existence is housed in melanated skin the right to express this is stifled. We are made to push the resulting feelings under a rug and focus instead on dreams that can only be obtained by plunging us into financial, spiritual, or emotional debt. We are distracted by what we have been told, instead of occupied with what will truly bring us salvation.
Growing up, I always knew I was meant for something big. Even before coming to America, I remember looking to the sky and dreaming of the things I would do when I left my tiny island. I held onto this through molestation, emotional and physical abuse, and even I when I finally lost the only thing I believed I had control of.
In my senior year of college I became severely depressed and I started asking Why. Why do I have a desire so big when my experience has torn me down so immensely? What am I really here for if every time I feel I am on my way to something great, life throws a wrench in the mechanics of everything that makes sense?
I was having panic attacks at all times of the day and night. The sleepless nights amplified the residual effects I was already battling due to too many concussions. My symptoms were plaguing my life to a point where I literally could not find anything to hold onto.
Through therapy and a slow turn back to my art, I found that I had been moving towards everything I was not. As I continued to grow from this desolate place I realized my why, and found the only reason I was ever able to rise above my trials was because I had others depending on me. My sisters saved my life, and gave me something to consciously live for.
They gave me a reason to let go of everything I had been through and share it with the world because I knew, I was not the only one. I turned back to drawing, writing, and acknowledged my innate gift as a coach. In these gifts I found mechanisms of delivery that now had the potential to touch so many more than my physical ability as a gymnast ever could alone.
By asking why and how I started to uncover my passions and then my purpose. I was able to delve into facets of me that my focus as an athlete never allotted the mental space to develop.
This journey has allowed me to create things that conceptually aim to heal others the way I am constantly seeking to heal myself. Before I was able to articulate this I would simply create in an effort to release what I was feeling. It amazes me to look back and see how everything I created out of that turmoil has manifested into things with the potential to heal the masses.
THRIVE is the lifestyle facet of my brand. It came out of a piece of art I created in an effort to commemorate one of my best friends and her mother’s battle with breast cancer. Aunty Tonya took on this disease spiritually, emotionally, and physically and that effort inspired me. When I thought about it, the word that came to mind was thrive. From that came a dream that connected me with the Eye of Horus. The image was so vivid that it woke me from my sleep. I immediately began to research its connection and found that it is the the origin of the pharmacy “Rx” symbol. One of healing, health, protection and wholeness.
The aspect of wholeness resonated with me the most. It was a wholeness approach to health and life that allowed Aunty Tonya and her family to do more than simply live or survive. This approach to her health prompted them to truly live because she was thriving.
I connected with that as I was rediscovering myself and trying to find my version of healthy wholeness. The concept of healthy wholeness then became important to me and my journey of self actualization. It allowed me to take ownership of who I was, who I was growing into, and who I wanted to be for my sisters and everyone who saw themselves in me.
By asking why and how, and by paying attention to my passion I was able to finally see the motifs in my life that have brought me to a point where I know my purpose is to empower.
By rediscovering myself as a being with immense potential waiting to be tapped, I have also discovered motifs in my life that encourage balance and connection. I have found and felt that the connection we feel goes far beyond any box society has put us in. The woman I see when I look in the mirror today is reflected in the people who surround and who are attracted to me. When I look at who those people are I see so much magic and energy that it literally brings me to tears. By discovering my purpose I have also realized that the ways of the world are not the ways of those who seek greatness. Those who seek greatness know that the status quo has never been the goal.
There is inside all of us the person we wish to be. We suppress this “Her” or “Him” because of a standard imposed on us by society. That version of ourselves is constantly and subconsciously fighting to get out in an effort to envelop us in the love, strength and protection we constantly seek. That version of us has grown uninhibited by status quo because it is only motivated by our truest form, and that is love. The funny thing is, because of what you have been through, who that person is, and how they make others feel you cut that version of yourself off from the world. You stifle them, not knowing that person is exactly who the world needs.