No More Sleepwalking: Waking Up
By Bethanea Goudea, YTP Trainer (cohort 2016), Foster Youth Museum Docent
Until recently, hypersomniac was a great way to describe my world. The hopes I had for my future involving happiness, stability, love and acceptance were so dreamlike and intangible–until now. They seemed so far from me, and while my life seemed to be wasting away (in this far away world), I found a missing piece of my life while being awake.
That missing piece was the Y.O.U.T.H Training Project (YTP). The most surprising part is that this project is helping to heal all of my innermost wounds externally. YTP has provided many outlets for me to reveal my innermost identities. I never imagined it being okay to be who I truly am, with ALL of my stories and truths — I just never thought I could feel this happy, valued and accepted. I did not believe it possible– I had only dreamed of it. Outlets like working with the Foster Youth Museum, giving trainings to child welfare professionals, and traveling out of state are part of my reality now. I thought that being happy wouldn’t happen until I was married with children and had an intact family of my own, but that has all changed with YTP.
Now I enjoy waking up. I feel hopeful, encouraged, and excited for my future since my present is so lit. Setting up the Foster Youth Museum today put me in the company of stories of people like myself. The stories are in plain site, no masks, no hiding. Instead, foster youth truths are shining forward. Today I helped set up, display and make a silence become heard. My work with Foster Youth Museum opened a door to the dozens of youth represented in the exhibition and it also opened the door to my story as well. Now I know I will experience happiness, love, and acceptance in the future because I feel it in abundance now. Overall, I am so overwhelmed with emotions, blessings and possibilities–I feel like it is a requirement to share this positivity with everyone I encounter .