This space is...
My charge to myself to accept who I am and keep on becoming.
My charge to you to fall in love with all you embody.
My charge to the collective to continue creating space within ourselves & professions to share truth and thrive.
I was born and raised in Bastrop, Texas, immersed in loblolly pines and a large Black Southern family. My adventures began with gravel roads, green pastures, and bare feet. After 28 years in my hometown, I decided to journey West, where the city lights reflect off the never-ending ocean waves in sunny California. The road to get here was filled with twists, flips, bruises, and treasures, and every step has allowed me to learn something new about myself.
I had an epic small town experience laced with dirt road shenanigans, Friday Night Lights, and my parents knowing my every move as a teenager. True story-I went to the grocery store after school one day, and by the time I got home and called my dad, who lived in Austin, someone had called him just to let him know they saw me at the grocery store. He answered the phone and after saying hello, he made sure to let me know "[stranger you don't know but I do] called and said he saw you at the grocery store a bit ago." What the heck! Why?!
Anyway, that's beside the point. I was a captain of my Varsity volleyball team, Homecoming Queen, Student Council-obsessed, clarinet player who was well-liked by my peers and teachers. My teachers were the most influential people in my life; many of them I consider great friends today. They reminded me often of my potential, how smart I was, and that I could do anything I wanted to do.
But that didn’t stop me from experiencing my very first identity-related panic attack at school. It was my senior year, and before I could make it to first period, I ended up in tears, overwhelmed, and spending the morning in my junior English teacher’s classroom. I was shut down, without the proper words to describe what was happening and why. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I realized the pressure of “but what if I’m still not enough” had consumed me that day. Up until that moment, I was held captive to the subconscious belief that the only way for me to be taken seriously or to achieve success was to walk, talk, and act like the White people around me, even though those White people were sending the most encouraging, “Team Lacey” vibes. I was bombarded by thoughts like:
I will never measure up. I will fall short every time.
No one will take me seriously.
Why would anyone care about what I have to say?
This would be a lot easier if I were White.
What is the common denominator? My Blackness, lack of understanding my own identity, and lack of re-affirming “whole person” feedback.
I doubted that any accomplishment I had would matter.
I worried that who I was as a person would be overlooked and tossed aside simply because of the color of my skin.
Oh, did I mention by the time I was 12, I knew I was gay? There was no way in hell I was going to tell anyone. Being Black was enough. So I kept that secret until I was 27 years old.
But not anymore. My life is my own and I have through lots of tears, education, tough conversations, and self-reflection, I am holding my own in every area of my life with a true sense of who I am. We all need to know we have something to offer and we can gain the tools to ensure we are gifting others with a space that is authentic and gives them permission to show up wholly.
So my heart offering to you is this:
An intimate space where all you have to do is show up as you are, open and willing to expand from within.
As a writer and conflict educator, there's nothing more gratifying than curating transformative spaces alongside public service professionals, entrepreneurs, non-profit executives, families, and friends groups who desire to shift the dialogue in their homes and workplaces around racial and cultural differences. It is my life's work to provide conflict resolution education and techniques that enhances relationships in a retreat-like setting that is refreshing and fun.
"32 Waterfalls" RELEASE DATE: APRIL 28, 2018!
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