She Said My Daughter Was an Accident
I told her thank you
I’ve always struggled with this. Just the thought or belief that there’s no such thing as an accident is both scary and exhilarating. I think I’m more on the scary side, actually. To think that every encounter, every fuck-up, every step or lesson I’ve learned was meant to be is truly a frightening thought.
I’ve thought about this whole accident thing so much that the entire premise of my novel BEAUTY SCARS is based on the main character becoming beautiful by “accident.” Actually, it’s literally an accident that starts off the book, with Treasure being hit by a car. But that encounter with fate changes the trajectory of her entire life.
They say that writers can never remove themselves from a story no matter how hard we try. It’s only through reflection that I realize how true this statement can be, and how much of my own life seeps into the stories I tell. The thing is, I had my daughter when I was still a teenager. If you ask me if I deliberately got her mother pregnant, my answer would be no. That assumes that my daughter, by definition, was an accident. But never for a second, not once, did I ever feel like she was not purposely placed into my life.
But that seems like such a contradiction, doesn’t it? How can something I didn’t intend to happen not be an accident? I’d answer that by saying it’s all about perspective. I said that I never looked at my daughter as some kind of mistake. But when she was first born, I have to admit that I did have a difficult time seeing what the plan was. I didn’t have much money (understatement), had to move out of my mom’s house, and I chose to pass up all of the scholarship offers so I can stay in Toronto and help raise my daughter. Those are tough times for an 18-year-old.
Tough, yes, but I’ve endured it. More than that, I’ve excelled. And I would say that both my personal and professional life has been enriched a million times over because of my daughter. She taught me the real meaning of unconditional love. She taught me about responsibility, patience, and has fueled my ambition more than any other factor combined, on par with my own insane desire. How can any of that be an accident? It can’t. I know that now and knew it even before I could articulate it as well as I can today.
I was getting a haircut the other day and my barber used the term “bad blessings.” I can’t remember exactly what he meant, but I’ll tell you what it meant for me. Bad blessings are those moments in which we can’t immediately see the positive. The incident is often to painful for us to see anything past our immediate emotions. That is the bad. But what comes out of those instances can trigger a lifetime of new and beautiful moments. Those seemingly “bad” moments force you to change your perspective and it’s up to you what that change looks like. That is the blessing.
I took night school to get my final high school credit after my daughter was born and I initially dropped out of high school. I remember vividly having a conversation with my night school teacher who told me boldly that my daughter was a mistake. I laughed like I’m laughing now while I’m writing this. “Thank you,” I said. “I’m so happy you feel that way.”
Read BEAUTY SCARS here.