Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Chapter or The Next Phase 2013

How would you define a New Chapter

A new chapter for me means to move forward, to create and reevaluate all that has taken place within the last year. It's also about transformation, affirmation or the evolution of YOU. Transformation is about change, doing something you've never done before or taking life a step further by taking a chance, not just on yourself but on your gift. It is as well the definition to "one door closing and another one opening".

Affirmation defined for me is making or revealing a bold statement, affirming confidence in oneself no matter what it is that you're about to do, as long you feel it's positive and will provide a proclamation to YOU, and for YOU first, and then to others. For me that's where diversity comes in. As a writer you can create a character or a variety of settings which will offer the reader an alternate to something they've already seen or been a part of.

In this "new year, new chapter", I'll bring characters to life in my writings that will provide a sense of history, a range of emotion and a physical evolution, i.e. growth. First we will explore "Once Upon A Place in Time" A mystery with a twist where the reader will discover a reawakening. And then I will set my sights on "The Black and White of It" a place, a time, the environment or maybe an individual. I'll leave that one to your imagination until time permits . . .

The Next Phase

I've often wondered how others would seek their Next Phase based on past experiences. Read as Chante D. Graham of CG Productions explains her previous understandings based on her environment, venturing  and or catapulting her into The Next Phase.

The Next Phase of Chante D. Graham
The product of my environment

By: Chante D. Graham

For those that don’t know me my name is Chante D. Graham. I am originally from Brooklyn, New York. My parents moved into the projects when I was seven years old. As I reflect back this was a place where I was just supposed to be a statistic. The struggle of raising three girls in an environment that was plagued with drugs, crime, and shootings was not an easy task for any parent. Being the oldest I was my sister’s keeper and this taught me at an early age to be independent, aware and street smart! These are elements that you need to survive in any neighborhood. I commend my parents for staying together and raising their girls with morals, a sense of self and responsibility. The phrase it takes a village to raise a child is gospel; as it pertained to my life. My grandmother the rock of our family was very influential in showing me the artistic side to life. I took piano lessons, African dance classes and tap. She took me to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Those were memories I truly treasured and appreciated. I developed a love of the arts thanks to her. She produced church and school plays too. She was an educator of special education kids and raised four children. She was a great wife, and she cooked, sewed and helped to mold her family with tough love. She was old school and believed in the covenant of marriage especially when children were involved. My grandfather was the provider of his family and made sure they were taken care of.

 I developed a sense at an early age that the world was larger than the perimeter of my surroundings. I had my community to look out for me and there was no such thing as minding your own business. Our neighbors got involved. This is a missing factor today in our society. So despite the rough streets we still had solace that we were somehow protected.

I was always a book worm and loved school. But at some point peer pressure will get a hold of even the smartest kids and that’s when street smarts kick in! I went to my first funeral at age thirteen when a friend of mine was murdered. The innocence of being a kid somehow gets robbed from you when you have to go through horrible life changing events. No young child should ever have to go to the funeral of a friend at this age. Today for our youth this is common place but it shouldn’t be acceptable. My sheltered existence existed no longer after this. I knew at the age of thirteen life was not about “hot peas and butter” and double dutch, but filled with the harsh realities of poverty, the haves and the have not’s!

At age sixteen I lost a child hood sweetheart to gun violence. I had to watch the pain of many mothers that lost their children to the streets. Even as I write this I didn’t realize that so many young brothers I knew were cut down in the prime of their lives without ever getting a chance to live. The world was callous and it was all about survival.

By the grace of God, my parents, my grandmother, and community I did not become a statistic. The tales of the streets are engrained in me from the age of seven to seventeen. My personality has been shaped by my peers and environment. I am a mother, visionary, writer, poet, producer and song writer. There is more to my list as I am constantly evolving. I wouldn’t trade in my childhood for anything because I wouldn’t be me if I did!

My moral to this story is you can be a product of your environment but you don’t have to be a statistic. You can dream big and often and know that whatever you desire in life you have to pursue it! Even if you don’t achieve all of your dreams or passions have them! You can be in the“hood” and not be of it! Even if you are surrounded by the “have not’s” you hold the power to be successful! You don’t have to be a statistic.

Stay tuned for the next phase of Chante D. Graham


© CG Productions 2012