Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself



I have been building empires in the stories I tell and in the storytellers I have the privilege of pulling into this industry. My legacy lives in the laughs and the tears of characters who live full and complicated human lives, all striving for their dreams and all hoping that their joy lasts longer than a weekend of bottle service. Like me, they want their existence to resonate deeply and with as many rebirths the freedom to evolve will allow.

My age corresponds to the years of quiet (and not so quiet) accomplishments I have accrued as a working mother of two teenage boys and a husband of 22 years. But there is a part of me that has been arrested for some time now. A part of me that I have put on the back burner for my survival. I suppressed that part of myself to build the very pyramid that warrants my title of Queen.

This part of me that has been unseen — mostly by me. But I’m fully awake now. And as I put my wobbly legs to the side of the bed, a little hungover from the deep sleep, I suddenly know the taste of awareness. I feel around 21, fresh off celebrating my adult driver’s license and ready to be fully grown. I laugh in the mirror, ready to be fully seen but scared as hell, with pockets of graduation money I have already spent in my head.

I grimace in the mirror to acknowledge the glimmer of my darker side, this side that feels more intimate, that feels more urgent, and I… ROAR. But in the mirror where no one can see me or hear me is no longer enough. I need to ROAR out loud. I need to hear the echo. I need you to hear my roar reverberate against your own fears and dreams the way they did mine. 

My age corresponds to the years of quiet (and not so quiet) accomplishments I have accrued as a working mother of two teenage boys and a husband of 22 years.”

Though I want to be fully realized, I still struggle with the idea of the external gaze upon me: the family gaze, the career gaze, the socially acceptable gaze… but I want to come out. I want to stalk prey, I want to run and hunt and lick my lips under the shade of the trees. There have long been hints of this aspect of myself, but I no longer want it to only appear on those days that I give no fucks. I desire to live out loud as a way of life.

I dare to mash up that part of me that has receipts of a well-lived, aspiring life, and the one that simply aspires to be fully herself. Like, truly BE… bringing all aspects of Self into one holistic experience.

And, because my children and husband gave me the best gifts of all — encouragement and support — I am coming out fully as who I am.

This is Mara Dionne Brock Akil.

Somewhere between 21 and 51 years of age.

WORDS: Mara Brock Akil
DATE: 08.11.2021
PHOTO: Emma Feil

1 Comment

  1. Mara,
    Love love love your willingness to take this step. I am also stepping into this part of myself and allowing my grey hair to do its thing and while I do enjoy various levels of freedom within the new version of me it is as you mentioned a “struggle with the external gaze.” I’ve found that as I accept myself and as I embrace the beauty of the grey, others don’t realize that they are accepting it/me too.
    Thank you!

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