It wasn’t until I leaned into living an authentic life that I was able to journey with myself, for myself. I realized that my story was just that – mine. And it was mind to tell. I realized that if I felt like this, surely there were others that felt the same way. Hell, growing up I didn’t know what the example was. The variations between my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s side of the family were like night and day. (Or so I thought at the time. Some folks are just good at keeping their business, their business)

It boggles my mind to have such a good relationship with my dad now knowing that when I was growing up he scared the crap out of me. What’s even more – is I have very few positive memories of my dad growing up. I know they were there -but for me to get there requires a time machine almost. It’s the most negative experiences that always pop up first. The good news is – the past is just that. Owning your story means creating healthy boundaries with your past so it doesn’t hinder your present or prevent your future.

Mother. Dr. Mom. My mom, she is truly a superhero. I can’t even begin to think how she did all that she did; but he made it happen. I certainly think there was a strong sense of animosity between her and my dad – but at the end of the day she was there. That’s all I remember. Many of my memories with my mom are happy – maybe because I had more of them with her. All I know even when I think of the challenges with mother, I remember mostly that she was there and that makes it not so bad. So it was shocking to me, when at the time I was struggling the most, she “gave me back to God” Meaning she couldn’t accept having a gay son so she was done with it. I realize now, she did it to protect her heart from thinking of the bad things that could happen to her baby (me), and to be pushed into a completely new realm. Fast forward to today she is my biggest fan and most boisterous cheerleader.

Stop – look all around you. Look inside. See yourself growing, changing, evolving. Acknowledge the work you’ve done and continue to do and always remember dedication over motivation. Celebrate yourself with yourself. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are over the top and your story is yours.


Norman J. Liverpool IV