A year ago today, I stood up to power for the first time.
My legs shaking.
My voice quivering.
Tears streaming down my face.
"I will not allow you to treat me this way."
And I walked away.
And to my dismay, they let me.
The first few steps were terrifying.
The wilderness is a lonely place.
You claw for comfort but find none.
You leave behind a world, but know nothing of where this journey will take you.
Sometimes you just know you must go.
And so I went.
And a journey it has been.
What a year. It feels like a lifetime.
I am stronger than I ever knew I could be.
I am the most resilient person I know.
There has been much pain.
But there have been a tribe who have surrounded me.
And I am discovering freedom.
I am discovering purpose.
I am discovering the gift of giving my gifts away and having people receive them with respect and gratefulness.
I am discovering my intelligence.
I am discovering who I am.
Red wine and cocktails and shots
Cigarettes and Shisha
Double shot coffees
People who listen
My Sune boy
My tribe who've always got me.
1 year ago today.
I made it this far.
I'll keep making it.
I did it. I've done it. I'm doing it.
Watch me flourish.
Emily is a renowned community connector, advocate for women, Asset Based Community Development advocate and leader in her local community, recognised for her work as the Local Woman of the Year in New South Wales in 2016. She has delivered training and workshops all around Australia, empowering communities to address gender based violence and discover the inherent dignity and worth in everyone.
See all previous articles and poems by Emily Messieh