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“I carried many storms with me. I have washed myself ashore, I have been my tide and lighthouse. Darling, this becoming me didn’t come easy. I have let my demons play. I have cursed God in three languages. Forgive me. I have peeled my flesh to reveal broken angels pressed onto my soul. I am my night and my sunshine. I have let my screams deafen me at night. In darkness, I swear I have seen the devil begging me to end it all. I have patched myself slowly, gone to war and won myself back. So, here I am. Here I am. I am not asking to be validated. Here I am. I am not asking to be protected. Here I am. I am not begging to be loved. I am here. I am here and that’s enough to be celebrated. That is enough. Darling, I am here. I am a glorious cause for celebration.”  Ijeoma Umebinyuo

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