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Living and Laughing Even when Life is Hard

  • Broadcast in Women
Out the Box

Out the Box


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"Turning 50 is a B^-*-*~" is a series of essays documenting Cheryl Gittens-Jones' life journey, from illegitimacy to legitimacy, on all levels. The work deals with identity, race, aging, culture, parenting, 'otherness', loss and more. She wrote these essays over the space of two years in order to help her deal with a host of complex issues, which were continually emerging from her life, as she transitioned to 50. 

Cheryl's life to this point has been traumatic, chaotic and multifaceted. In order to arrive at this point she took full responsibility for a life that was careening headlong into disaster. She was saved from herself when she found the practice of Buddhism. The practice is now her life's philosophy. It is incorporated in her every thought, word and deed.

In order to survive her life Cheryl created two existences. When the pain and trauma was visited upon her physical, her spirit retreated into one of them and was never touched by the pain experienced by her body. 

About the Author

Cheryl Gittens-Jones is a Permanent Resident of the USA. She is a practicing Buddhist, a stay-at-home mom, poet, writer and novice photographer who has an opinion about everything. Cheryl visited Senegal, West Africa, on a research trip the 1990s. There, she came face to face with the horrible legacy of slavery at the Door of No Return on Goree Island. Her writing is centered on the plight of the 'other', and thematically holds to the relationships between exile, displacement and identity. Cheryl is a 1999 Frances Perkins Scholar and graduate of Mount Holyoke College. 

Coppyright © 2013 Cheryl Gittens-Jones