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Overwhelmed by the Love

Yesterday, at work with Casey Family Programs, we had an icebreaker before our meeting, which was to give a shoutout to a woman we each admire. One woman said Zora Neal Hurston. I said Sojourner Truth. A few people said their grandmother, but then something unusual happened: Someone said, "Katerina Canyon." I was overwhelmed by this response. I completely covered my face. I couldn't believe it happened. I did not know how to respond. I cannot even remember if I said thank you.

Up until I was about 30 years old, I lived a supporting role in my life. I worked as a legal administrative assistant or as a paralegal. I was a young mom who was very much into making sure my kids had a happy life. I made sure my husband had everything he needed in life to be happy with the world. I think this comes from my childhood where I needed to help my mom make sure everyone's world went smoothly so my father would not blow up.

Then one day, I decided I wanted to do something with all those little poems I've been writing in my journals for practically my whole life, and 20 years later, here we are: I'm getting admired for my poetry in the middle of an office meeting.

I appreciate all the love. I really do, but sometimes it is hard to hear when you spent your whole childhood being told you're only worth what you're allowed to be worth, which was nothing. I got very good at being nothing: being nowhere. If you look for me in my senior high school yearbook, you will only see me on the page with senior pictures, even though I was a part of several clubs. I'm really good at being invisible.

I was used to feeling so alone back then. I felt alone for the longest time. That loneliness is why I wrote my book Surviving Home. I was in a very dark place then: yet there were so many people there to pull me out: mostly people from my graduate school. Thanks Fletcher!

Now, I have wonderful friends in the international community, the poetry community, and in the child rights and welfare community.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support. I truly appreciate it: even if I don't show it at the time!


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