Needless to say I was a bit heartbroken to hear of Maya Angelou’s passing this morning. Her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings affected me unlike any other book I had ever read when I was young. It was the first book to bring me to tears. It was the first book I had read in which the ending wasn’t wrapped in a neat little package, but at the same time, gave me more hope than any other book.
I didn’t completely understand the book when I first read it, which was in middle school. But it always stuck with me.
This book was important for me, in so so many ways. Angelou was important to me. She still is important to me. She is a woman that managed to reinvent herself so many times and became this incredible force of nature that continued to blow us away, even in her 80s.
I don’t only look up to her as a great writer. She rose up out of an abused past, and was above her shame. Nothing is more toxic to anyone than shame. She talked about it. She wrote about it. She overcame it. She was powerful and successful. She became a voice for so many people (which, if you know her bio, is such a wonderful, fateful thing). This is something I still strive for, and I can’t think of a better inspiration than her.
Unfortunately, this post wasn’t of my best writing, because I have a hard time gushing publicly about other people, and I’ve over edited this because sometimes it can be hard to open up. But please note: I am definitely gushing over Angelou.
Thank you for the words you left us. You will be missed.
“I have no modesty. Modesty is a learned behavior. But I do pray for humility, because humility comes from the inside out.” – Maya Angelou