Growing up in the gray concrete jungle I was well-acquainted with the harshness of reality. The confines within the bullet-pierced windows became my fortress, reiterating the dangers of what was often an urban warzone. This bleak climate in some ways hindered my imagination until one day a splash of color streaked across the heavens, sparking my interest and creativity. The source was a knowledgeable gentleman on my TV screen. He, and a colorful butterfly, beckoned me to explore the world. They led me to realize that though my travel limitations were restricted on a physical level, mentally, there was no place I couldn’t go.
My sisters and I found our escape through books, something my mother greatly encouraged. Life as I knew it had broadened, allowing my imagination to flow freely. Before I knew it, I found myself floating jubilantly behind the butterfly, trying to keep up. As time progressed, I flew alongside it, then finally beyond it, coasting along the rainbow as I explored my literary abilities. The further I ventured into adolescence, the fewer trips I took as reality dominated my time. I was slowly but surely returning to the colorless world I once knew. The multi-hued bridge of my imagination seemed to fade as the undertow of circumstance pulled me down.
Entering the abyss of obligation, I lost myself in what others wanted. Imprisoned by a heartache fortified by skewed perceptions, I desperately searched for a way to ease my pain. By now, I had already placed years of my life at the mercy of despair and refused to surrender a minute more. I dared to make my escape, not knowing what lie ahead. A few perilous wrong turns were made in the process and I nearly chose the wrong way out. Luckily, I made it out of the maze alive and met the man I’d later marry, a man who’d help me find my song and bring harmony back to my soul. Though I had broken free of my turbulent confinement, I sometimes relapsed into the mentality of the heartbroken prisoner I once was. My husband, Max, helped me to identify what was triggering these relapses and encouraged me to break free of yet another toxic environment. It was a difficult process, but I slowly but surely moved away from the things and people who were hindering my spirit.
No longer bound by obligation, I was elated, yet uncertain about the things to come. I found myself in a dark void as I considered the next step in my career, my future, my life. There was an eerie, yet peaceful calm as I was engulfed in silence. As my vision adjusted, I noticed billions of celestial miracles surrounding me. Each star represented a possibility, filling me with a hope I thought I had buried with my dreams long ago. But surely as the ship that was tearing through the diamond-encrusted black curtain, it was still there. I never could have imagined how much my life would be changed by the people who beamed me aboard. There I was, this lost stranger floating in space with the fragments of my discontent, about to be further changed by a group of people I had never met.
The noble golden-eyed stranger was among the individuals who reminded me of myself in some ways. In addition, through his adventures he taught me the power of perseverance and the importance of self-awareness and personal development. This led me to contemplate not only my core desires for my life, but the methods of how I’d achieve them. For the first time in years, I found myself connecting with my passion for writing again. It had become unfamiliar territory, but I was quickly getting reacquainted with not only my craft, but myself. Soon, my passion was burning so bright, the words began pouring out of me almost as quickly as they entered my mind. Through the port view of my clearing disposition I could see the brightening sky. As we landed I was met with my golden-eyed friend and a familiar looking explorer. Though the eyes of the latter were obscured, I immediately recognized him from my childhood years. He was the same man who had unleashed the colorful bridge of literacy through my television.
Leaving the vessel, my watery eyes were greeted with a spectacular display. Across the sky was the most vibrant rainbow I had ever seen. There was no end in sight and it represented limitless possibility. In the distance I could see the butterfly etched with the colors of my dream. It hadn’t died, but had transformed and traveled to another place and time. It soared into the sky and beckoned me to give chase once again. The vast new world before me had me intimidated at first, but with my newfound inspiration I decided to boldly go where I’ve never been. As I took flight, the colors of the rainbow streamed by as I gained speed. Soon, I’ll catch up to the butterfly and will go even higher, as I did when I was younger.
I credit Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation and my husband Max for connecting (and reconnecting) me with my passion for writing. I wrote the above story to illustrate the very real way in which the aforementioned, Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton inspired me to embrace and pursue that passion. I was initially apprehensive about posting it, but felt compelled to share the awesome way my life was deeply touched and how my hope was restored after a long period of darkness and confusion. Max, Brent, LeVar, if you’re reading this, thanks to each of you for awakening my spirit and for making such a huge difference in my life.