Today, I decided to have today’s thought front and center for everyone to see:
SHARE YOUR STORY.
I started writing when I was super young. I didn’t have many close friends and I didn’t really feel too comfortable in my skin. I hating speaking in public because everyone always made fun of my lisp. I was always being called Mouse by adults because Miles came out weird. I still even receive mail to a Mr. Stann versus Spann because phone operators don’t clarify spellings anymore. This created a kid that shied away from talking and lived in his head. Around that time I turned to writing.
As a child, I had to process a lot of trauma that I didn’t even notice until I was older. My parents were absent, one with drugs, the other with a family that, for the longest, didn’t include me. My Aunt and cousin were emotionally abusive, while I just never fit in. School was tough because I couldn’t do what the other kids did. I never had a sleepover or went to play at friends houses growing up. I had my grandmother and myself. I ended up locking myself away in the world of anime, comics, and video games for life’s reprieve.
Eventually, I started to internalize the heroes on the page. I connected with Superman as a protector of the weak and his morals, while my counterparts loved the vigilante justice of Batman. I was absorbed in the tales of heroes plucked from obscurity to change the world and I wanted to do the same. I still do. I always will.
But, one thing came to me recently. As I started to write and reflect, I’d think about the conversations I’ve had over the years with my peers. They would constantly say, “Miles, you are an inspiration. I would never have thought you struggled with _______.” You could insert depression, anxiety, fear, self-hatred, anger, abandonment issues, education, the law, jobs, motivation, creativity, and the list goes on. I’ve probably struggled with a majority of the deadly sins and somehow came out on the other side appearing only slightly worse for wear.
Key word: Appear
The truth is I’ve been through more than I ever expected but it gave me fuel to talk others through their pain. I’ve dealt with the hell of loneliness and the petrifying fear of snuffing out your own greatness because of petty mistakes. Somehow, in the midst of the muck, I found myself reaching out to others that needed a hand. I was kept safe and gifted the will to keep going for a reason. Eventually, my own pain became my strength as molded myself into the man I would have wanted to help me growing up.
I became my own hero and somehow began rescuing others. Two years ago I spoke at an open mic around mental health awareness. I told my story about facing my depression and a conversation I had with my professor, Dr. Lori Riverstone-Newell, about Bison and how she had to give me a C. (Story for another day) I was nervous about this talk for days leading up to it and eventually it all melted away when I saw a student crying as she wanted a hug from me.
She felt so alone for years and suddenly wasn’t. The snow on her heart melted and life was finally moving again. All I did was share. That’s when I realized the power of my story. It’s worth me putting my words on here everyday if one sentence helps someone who is falling behind. I will continue writing until my work is finished. I will write for the child in me and the girl in the front row. I will keep writing.
What’s your story? Who’s your hero? Have you been a heroes for someone else? Share any stories, comments, and thoughts in the comment section below.