Above is a picture of the woman and first person I called my best friend, my great-grandmother, Eliza Lee. This woman was just as crazy as I am but always made sure I got whatever I wanted and everyone else got me whatever I wanted too. When she died in 2007, it threw me for a loop and I haven't been the same since. I was very heartbroken and felt alone most of the time. Then after a while, she started to visit me in my dreams every now and then and I would become so at peace because I had my bestfriend with me, even if it was only momentarily. Recently, she came to me in my dreams like every week and wouldn't say much, but would express how proud of me she was and how happy she was that I did what I was supposed to do so far in life. When you feel like no one is watching or your accomplishments are going unnoticed, baby your ancestors will remind you to never give up. One chilling moment I had surrounding her was when I was on the phone with my boyfriend, showing him old pictures I had, hers came up. I stared at it for a while and said "I miss my best friend" maybe one or two times. That same night she came to visit me in my dream. She didn't even say anything to me, but she looked at me and smiled, made her presence known and headed out the stairwell in my hallway. Ever since then, I knew the power of calling on your ancestors and believed in it even more.
But, this post isn't necessarily about how much I miss my Nana or calling on your ancestors because I am not too experienced with that yet, but I want to share my journey about learning my lineage, ancestry and using the 23andMe kit. Since I was younger, I have always wanted to learn about my family history. My great grandmother was the oldest person I knew in my family because her mother died before I was born. After she died is when I really wanted to know who and what I was. I started my journey though Ancestry.com, but I would always come across a fork in the road because I just didn't have enough documents to help me further enhance my search. The last person I could use was my great-great- grandmother's name and she barely had any documents that I could find to reference her. I am already roughly 10 years in the game, but I still couldn't find anything to connect the dots of how we are all connected and who else we may be related to. So, in September of this year, I finally buckled down and ordered my 23andMe kit. My nerves were through the roof while I waited to receive my results back from taking the test. What is it going to say? Who is it going to connect me to? Am I finally going to get the answers I've been looking for? I checked the app almost every day to see if they made any progress on my kit and when they would be done.
The day finally came, October 16th. I got my results back and it showed me everything my genetics and DNA was composed of. Now, y'all know I try not to get personal with you guys on here, but this is what my blog is for. You guys get to see my inner thoughts and sometimes my deep emotions about some topics. For the last 8 years, maybe longer, my father denied me as being his child. If you see him, you see me and if you see me, you see him. He asked me for a paternity test when I was about 14 years old and that really broke my heart and changed my outlook on life, love and myself ever since. I really was a completely different person after that day and the journey to recovery hasn't been easy. When my results came back, his name popped up as a relative. The relative being: my father. I laughed when I saw his name pop up because he finally got his wish, and I wished I could've been a fly on the wall to see his reaction to it all. It was a bittersweet feeling because I was mad that he finally got what he was asking for, unknown to me that he took the same ancestry kit, but happy because I could finally close that chapter of my life where he has the reign over my head of constantly denying me and not wanting to be in my life until I took that stupid test. But it also gave me some of the answers I have been looking for.
My genetic makeup/composition/what I am consists of me being: 74.5% Sub-Saharan African, 23.8% European, and 1.4% East Asian & Native American. They even break down the components of which countries you have some lineage in, but that's a lot of work for me to explain/type right now. But the question still lies: Who am I? There were over 1,000 relatives that they matched me to on the app, but they were all distant cousins. No aunts, uncles, first or second cousins from my mother's side, and nobody else with the last names of my great grandmother or great-great grandmother. Although learning about what I was, I am still trying to learn about WHO I come from and belong to. So, I am European/white from my father's side of the family, but when they showed me who my relatives were from my mother's side of the family, I had some white cousins from there as well. We all just looked at each other in confusion because this was the mystery question for years.. "who is white from this family?" My nana, had blue eyes, her mother had grey eyes, my grandmother and uncle have blue eyes.. My grandmother and Nana are of fair skin, have a smaller nose bridge, corn silk hair, and were/are very petite. I have some cousins who are older with some of these same compositions. Where does it come from? We aren't sure. But something is different from them compared to us and I can't seem to put a finger on the 'how?' I spoke with someone from Ancestry, a representative for genealogists from the company, and they want $3,000 to help me dig deeper and find the answers I'm looking for.. y'all.. they don't know I'm broke?! Either way, eventually I want to get this done so I need to become rich QUICK! In due time, the answer to my question will arise and that is when I'll know who I really am.
Know yourself, love yourself.