My journey is not one that has gone unfollowed by any part of the world. It seems as though my life, my choices, and my child have all been under scrutiny and rapid fire for five years. It’s ok. My son Nixon is the light of my life. Becoming a mother was the single best choice ever. I have grown and changed in ways I never imagined, nor known I needed.
As my story exploded, I faced many questions and many difficult choices. The most important choice being, how to protect my son. It is not something I could hide from, nor something I wanted Nixon to ever feel ashamed of, I was called to live in my truth. I was a successful marketing executive; I had come from an phenomenal family with parents who stayed married for forty-seven years until the passing of my mother, and two super achieving brothers, one hailing from Harvard Med and the other from Columbia Law School. I had carved my niche and reached soaring heights in my career. All of a sudden, the tabloids, the Internet, even the news, were ablaze with the story of me filing a paternity suit. Well, is it not the right thing to do? Should we not provide our children and our next generation with the power of identity, and the strength of unconditional love? Should we not hold others accountable for their behavior? I most certainly was being held accountable for mine. I believe that the most important tool we have is security of identity. To know whom we are. To whom we belong, and what our destiny is to be. Therefore, amidst the fervor and the massive amount of coverage, I rebooted my soul. Control. Alt. Delete.
Surely there had to be a be a way to make sense out of this whirlwind. There had to be a way to give this unexpected and epic battle meaning, for my family, my son, the larger picture, and ultimately, humanity. What I read about me, my son, and the Knowles family was inhumane. I guess I had never really paid attention to the content of the comments that net-surfers make. Now, they were aimed at all of us. Vicious, disgusting, and unnecessary. I heard the loud cry of the damaged and forgotten striking out to be heard. Self righteous and judgmental, I realized I was as much a part of “them” as ‘they’ were a part of me.
Control. Alt. Delete. Not about ME. Reboot. It is about US. All of us. We are responsible for each other. Not each other’s actions, but the well being of US as a race. The human race.
I dove into case law. I scoured every nook and cranny to find people who could understand my need for my child to have an identity… a voice. There were many. I met mothers and fathers, veterans and civilians, children and adults, every race and every creed crying out for their voices to be head. I discovered that under the cloak of an educated, “well-rounded,” and very civilized upbringing, we, collectively, had left behind so many.
I read statistics of single mothers, of homelessness, poverty, and lack of education. I witnessed and lived the statistics in every state office and every day of family court, chronicled in depth by the press and the public. I was horrified at the state of so many people in our country, my breath stolen by the silence of desperation. My mission became clear. Speak up! Stand up! Be the change! I began to listen and really hear the people that were presenting precious time and wisdom to me as gifts. Spiritual food and strength. I cried with them, laughed with them, and hugged them. I gave away all that I had left … everything, to anyone who needed it. I donated time. I donated food. I donated my spirit to help uplift those that were uplifting me. The more I gave, the more there was to be given. I found that if I shifted my consciousness to be involved in making the world a better place for my son, that he would be rich with identity and pride. That I will have demonstrated through my actions my commitment to my fight for him and for all children lost in the cracks. I could turn the other cheek every time because the only way I could fail was to quit.
Five years of silence. Two years of court leading to trial, countless death threats, and Google alerts. The death of my mother, loss of friends, staggering betrayal, and a world that had seemingly turned its back on me, my son, and everything we were taught to hold dear resulted in clarity, beauty, and freedom. For you see, once I “rebooted” my soul, there was no fear, no failure, and no judgment. I lived my truth in Technicolor. I hid nothing, and never spoke against anyone. I immediately forgave, and pressed through an incredibly long night. When the sun rose, I realized that I had helped nearly 1000 women and children. The time I had spent studying case law and the endless hours wondering why our judicial system was failing us. The time spent reflecting on how one human being could turn his back on his own flesh and blood helped me rise! It gave me humility and perspective to genuinely help others and the empathy to identify with their struggles. I knew to move forward I had to keep giving back. With love and passion, I defined myself as a woman, as a warrior, and as a mother. Nixon’s mother. Enid’s daughter. Humanity’s friend. I could not be more proud to look at the women I stand with today. They are all warriors. They are all great mothers. They are all someone’s daughters. I will never stop. Titles and salaries had defined my corporate career. Tabloids and headlines were outwardly defining my personal life. My choice to bring a life into this world, had been inspected, judged, and ruled upon by the world at large. I let go! I poured into affecting positive change wherever I went. I smiled and pushed my chin up; I was not lost, I was not afraid, and I was more sure than ever that my spirit had been defined by the faces I saw smiling back at me and the sisterhood I had foraged with the forgotten and the cast-out. I will never stand down… and if I am ever afraid…
Control. Alt. Delete. Reboot my soul!