An open letter

Build confidence

An open letter to all hoopers, and to those that inspired my journey; 

I first discovered the hula hoop at a music festival with a friend. I once told this story in a public speaking class in college. I started it like this: "How a Hula Hooping Fairy saved my life, in more ways than one". To this day that story holds more true than ever. 

I won't delve deeply into the pain and sadness that once dictated my life. About the prior abuse and neglect of my family, of the physical and sexual abuse from the father of my first child, when I was just a baby myself, or the years struggling with my fathers death, or the fact that my mother was at that time dying herself. 

What I focused on then was how that hoop helped me find myself, find the dancer within- a powerful warrior goddess with golden rays of sunshine beaming through her life. How she was able to make it back home to her family by performing at rest areas for gas money, or how selling ten dollar hoops made her realize she could do anything with just about anything. 

What I didn't know then was how much more this circle would guide me through. It brought me through college, even with an A in public speaking for a speech entitled "How a Hula Hoop saved my Life", through domestic violence counseling and the training to become an advocate, through my magna cum Laude graduation and the celebrations that followed, and soon after, the hurt it would help heal. 

I lived my teenage life as a single mother, I lived through an abusive relationship that almost killed me, through the deaths of both my mother and father, through a rape so devastating I thought death may be the only answer, through two children and years of forgotten innocence. I lived through all of this because of a plastic circle. This is not a joke. Or an exaggeration. I live to this day because of a plastic circle. I couldn't be more proud or more perfect because of this hoop and because of the tribe that it has brought me. You all make my world move in ways previously unheard of. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. 

I don't care about any recognition or any silliness, just wanted to share the truth of this circle. 

Thank you. 
Michelle Vii