They told me to begin, I did start my speech. But my speech began in silence. I smiled and looked around the room. Comfortably I met peoples gaze, held it and smiled. Finally, I began.
It is said, you cant judge a book by its cover. But haven’t we all offered some form of judgement? Why is she not saying anything? Is it nerves? stage fright? I like her blouse… judgement. We are constantly trying to make sense of our environment.
I stand here today deciding which chapters, paragraphs, sentences or words I will share from my life’s story. I could share the basic facts, name, age, status, citizenship, and even zodiac sign. But wouldn’t your rather know one of my favourite books is the Little Prince? Because it’s a story of innocence. One that teaches lessons about it’s only with the heart that ones sees clearly.
I would want you to know that I love butterflies. But I’ve realized that butterflies are the last stage of the life cycle and I’m trying to see the beauty in each stage of metamorphesis.
I’d share my love for rainbows. Perhaps because they contain all the colors. And making decisions as simple as favourite color have always been difficult.
I also love sparkly shiny objects- diamonds, glitter, the way the sunlight reflects on the water or the stars twinkling in the heavens.
I could only focus on the glittery, shiny chapters in my story and tell you that I graduated with great distinction from the University of Lethbridge with my education degree and parade my gold cords proudly. But you would miss out on the day I taught a whole class of grade five students that trees weren’t plants. Yes, unfortunately I taught this lesson the the day my University professor and team teacher were evaluating me. I was beyond humiliated.
Later, when I asked my five year old brother if trees were plants he looked at me strangely, “Duh,” he replied, “you aren’t gonna to ask your kids that are you?” I quickly changed the subject. There is more to that chapter but perhaps another time.
I’d want you to know that dancing is my happy place. And too often I forget the joy that music and movement bring.
I would want you to know about the times where the music was hard to hear and melodies became muted. Times of reflection and growth. Moments when I realized how I could change if I choose to let go of fear. And times of tears and sadness like how I tried to process my parents divorce.
I would include all these chapters, because I truly believe ALL these stories, the good, the bad, the happy and the sad need to be written, read, told and shared! These are the stories that connect us, help us reconnect, feel normal and to put down our guard, and realize we are all the authors, editors and publishers of our own life’s narrative.
My name is Danielle Marie Low, named after my French grandfather. I have lived 38 years. I have been married 12 years to David and am the mother of two beautiful daughters. I am Canadian and French. I am a Libra. As I child I was incredibly shy but I am learning that new beginnings are possible for everyone.
In my book of life, the one I author. Where I choose the words, characters, setting and action. I’m trying to edit less and allow more people to read the original script. Learning from the past, living in the present and exploring ways to enhance the future chapters.