Opinion: The 10 year challenge: how far I’ve come
- Alyson Bear | February 20, 2019
I want to acknowledge my family and friends who have stayed by side through all the dark and hard times. I want to acknowledge all my grandparents in the spirit world who were loving, caring and held our family together and took care of all of us the best that they could. No, they were not perfect, nobody is. I can’t even imagine the things they experienced in those Residential schools, like actually living it and being them in that time, the sacrifices they have made for us and worked so hard to overcome. This should be enough to burn a fire in our souls and hearts to want to make them proud and end these cycles because they did the best they could.
I want to acknowledge our ancestors who fought so hard in the face of colonization so we could be here. Our people were so connected to land we are all living on, the one that will have final say and serve justice.
I want to acknowledge my living family who have always been there for me and done their best. My entire family has showed me the importance of working hard and did their best to incorporate tradition in our lives which has kept me strong and on this path I am on.
I want to acknowledge that my writing is rooted in my personal lived experience and everything I been through and the books and research I have done in school, and all the paths I have crossed. This is my perspective and if you do not agree with me 100% that is totally fine. I mean no harm to anyone. I also believe in the good things coming but flowers do not bloom, the sun does not shine and there are no rainbows without any storms.
Seasons are natural and so are different stages of our life. The problem is too many people are fighting change instead of adapting. We used to live in fluid communities where we could pick up and leave and only carried what we need. Now we live in these concrete jungles where the energy becomes trapped by this fast-paced life filled with pollutions, toxins, drugs and alcohol.
There was this 10 year challenge going around recently on social media. All I could think about was 10 years ago, February 26, 2009 I went face first through that windshield and it changed my life forever. I went through some dark times. I have been beat down physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually what feels like my whole life and I know many can relate to this. Always asking why, why does this keep happening to me? What did I do? Why? …. Literally when I look back there is a lot of pain and these scars I carry are not a reminder that I am not worthy. It is a reminder that I am a warrior that I come from a blood line of warriors. This bloodline is why I am alive why I persevered and made it through and why I am still going right now. I had over 100 stitches in my face and head alone, lost one eye, I was literally scalped but I was brought back to life. My femur was broken in half, I had to quit all the sports I played and they were my therapy growing up, my outlet. For the longest time I thought I was better off dead, but I don’t think that anymore.
I spun out of control but I learned from a young age, education will set you free. Probably from watching my mom work super hard while we grew up. She set the example in university and was very young when she taught high school students, grinding writing papers raising my brothers and I. A lot of my dad’s time was occupied helping our community become what it is today and I could not be more proud of both of them. Our family was definitely not perfect, and no family is. That is another thing, the social standards of the illusion of that perfect family. Single parents are normal, two dads, two moms, grandma’s, aunties, uncle’s, papas, extended family helping out is normal. We need to revitalize those kinship laws. We need our family trees, because our families have been dismantled and disrupted due to colonization and residential schools, the 60’s scoop and now the child welfare system. We need to remember who we are to end cycles for the younger generations and those still to come.
I found myself in ceremony, in researching the truth of who I was through school work and when I became a mother and looked into my children’s eyes. I found myself when I became sober and I am now becoming who I am truly meant to be. I stopped trying to prove myself and just spoke and walked my truth and owned who I am and all of my scars. I am finally figuring out my worth and once you know your worth and own your worth, no one can mess with that.