by olivia jade

**Editors note: Olivia uses lower case lettering as a creative choice**

ojhow does a flower grow when it does not have any connection to its roots?

the life of blooming without the essential soul tools- water, sunlight, fertile soil, a story of seed and foundation of root- is one that is full of tumultuous travels and filling voids. of course, the rewards of petals in the sun can be worth all the cuts and bruises.

women are the backbone of the earth; thus, the importance of motherhood, role models, and positive stigmas of the woman are vital to keep a healthy perpetuating development of young women in this world. as part of my journey to live in my truth, i’ve curated an event series titled ‘queens recognize queens’.

my goal is to make this a space where women can come together and connect on a spiritual level through mentorship, art, wellness, and relationship-building. (because “networking” is surface level and superficial at times). the purpose of the event is to celebrate women of all diagonals and cultivate a platform for harboring connections. when i first moved back from New York, i used to complain of the lack of woman-centric communities for women of color. i’ve decided to create the change. all colors, sizes, shapes (and men) are welcomed.

the first event is this Saturday, November 12, from 4p.m. to 9p.m. it is located at thCrch, my home base on 2185 Logan Ave in the heart of Barrio Logan. entry is donation based. come and bring others who want to celebrate the spirt of women.

my mother gave birth to me when she was only 20 years old. when i was 20, i was depressed, traveling Europe, struggling in an abusive relationship with a man who clearly could not give or accept love, lost a child of my own, and struggling to keep up in school with my work. my mother gave life to a blooming flower. almost impossible when you don’t know how to pull at the roots of your own being and cut the umbilical cord for another.

my mother tried. she did.

i used to blame her for things: the losing of my virginity at such a young age, my acne, the size of my nose, my weight as an adolescent, my curly and unruly hair, why i didn’t love myself, why i felt so unloved and unworthy of love from other people, why i was so different. it wasn’t until two years ago, that i began to put things into perspective.

my mother tried. she did.

she was young when she had me and didn’t have a family foundation of her own. the family that raised me was distant. aloof. there were no ‘i love you’s’. those hid under the fabricated wrappings of presents, birthday cakes, mcdonald’s pancakes, and consumerism.

sometimes the void in a child is the intricate space of three words. they hid under the tongues of aunts and cousins and only materialized in Hallmark birthday cards. role models didn’t exist for me.

strong women figures in my life included Barbie, Skipper, and whoever was on the television that day. the very small void that existed due to the relationship between my mother and me grew and permeated different aspects of my life. how i dealt with men, how i accepted love, how i gave love, how i viewed myself, how i conducted myself and dealt with other women were all affected by the lack of foundation i had from my mother. the lack of fertile soil and ‘rootwork’ for a young flower can cause wilting under multiple suns.

the significance of women in a young girl’s life is crucial for development- socially, mentally, physically, spiritually. it wasn’t until my second grade teacher, Ms. Ratcliff, came into my life did i know the power of genuine, outwardly, and unapologetic love from a woman. she was full of light and charisma. during her class, she inadvertently taught me the power of being a woman and how important it is to exude that light for the sake of others.

gradually, I became more women-centric as influential women came into my life, and I began to appreciate my own mother more. through my self-discovery, understanding and appreciation of the woman who gave birth to me bloomed. through my own ‘rootwork’ – of forgiving, letting go, and pushing through the old memories- i was able to embrace and love others. loving myself resulted in loving others resulted in loving my mother. i returned to the roots. and now i am able to blossom and grow.

This Saturday at thChrch, let’s all come together and get back to the roots.

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