The first book I read of him was "If Beale Street could talk", I read it in English. This story really overwhelmed and touched me. That's also when I realized that it is always better to read books in their original languages if you can, because no matter how good the translation is, you will never get the real sensations... That's probably why I got into languages and started to learn as many as I could.
|James Baldwin, one of my favorite writers and a man I have always admired.|
|I must have read this book dozens of time...|
The years of my teenagehood were really tough. I grew out of childhood so fast, it seems that it litteraly happened from one day to the next, when I was only still 12, and from 12 to 17 I really went through the worst period of my life... At home the relationship with my parents, and especially my mother, were awful, a lot of arguments and verbal violence, I was becoming someone else that deep inside me I didn't like but still I had to hold on to this new me in order to leave the little girl behind, like a heavy old coat that you carry on your shoulders like a burden. When I was a child I was always seen as the pretty one, the intelligent little girl who was a promise for her family. Promise of beauty and success. And then for some reason I lost confidance in me, I felt like the ugly duckling, and this whole positive and promising image that had been put on me became far too heavy for me, I gave up my dreams, started to withdraw in my innerself, locked up in my den like a wild animal, for a few years I completely lost track of the little girl I used to be not long before and no one from my family could understand me.
Yet, movies and music helped me a lot. The joy of the Temptations singing "My girl", the power of Diana Ross singing "Ain't no mountain high enough", the softness and innocence of Michael singing "I'll be there" helped me keep alive, though hidden, the smile I used to have on my face and heart when I was a child.
Watching this movie again, last night, was very touching. Years and years after this very difficult period in my life, I was sitting on the couch with my man, my beautiful daughter sleeping upstairs and my baby on his way to come to the world... I realized how blessed I am to be where I am, to have the people I love around me and to be loved. Today I have dreams that resemble who I am, I dress and talk and act according to who I am, my beauty is me, my weakness is not shameful, my strength is not to be proven anymore. I am a woman. I can say today that I have been fighting a lot in my life for more better days, and here they are.
As I am writting I can hear my daughter laughing, she just woke up (it is very late...) and she is obviously in a very good mood. She will probably come to me and say: "The baby hasn't come yet..." and I will give her a kiss.
This is my lesson in life: never give up, always fight for better days. When you feel lost and lonely and ugly and stupid, always remember that things can change and get better. Have faith in life and the future and try your best to make it happen... Always remember to dream...