BY MARY-ELIZABETH HARMON
Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes
The Power of Forgetting: Part 2
“You are born again any time you don’t bring your past with you.”
That’s a quotation by Marianne Williamson I put in a recent post called “The power of forgetting.”
Diarra Buosso’s story illustrates the quotation’s truth. I’ll share highlights below but you can get a fuller experience of Diarra’s story in Forbes.
Here are the highlights:
- Diarra was depressed in her career on Wall Street.
- Her depression, in her opinion, caused an accident that left her with 23 missing teeth, a ruptured knee cap, a broken femur, multiple lacerations and unable to walk once she woke from a coma.
- She also had selective memory upon waking: She could remember her family but had forgotten her career and much of her identity.
- Fearful Diarra would get deeply depressed if she remembered her career, her mother hung some of Diarra’s artwork in her hospital room and told her a made-up story: that Diarra was a successful artist whose exhibition would happen once she could walk again.
- Not knowing any better, Diarra blogged about her life as an artist and fashion designer, attracting 19K followers. But her memory started returning and she remembered her “true” identity.
- Furious at her parents, Diarra vowed to quit Wall Street and make her fabricated life come true. She launched a fashion brand while also satisfying her itch to return to mathematics, which she did as a creative teacher. She considers her interdisciplinary approach–bringing math to art and art to math–to be her super power.
There’s another important part of Diarra’s tale:
As a Senegalese woman, she hid her depression because mental health issues were considered embarrassing and not discussed in her culture.
Which parts of your identity and culture could you stand to forget?
And which identities could you stand to adopt?
“A lot of my girl teenagers are getting more excited about STEM when the fashion is involved,” Diarra says. She also says it makes girls feel like they belong in math class.
Previously D/F students were getting As in Diarra’s class: “When your identity as a learner is boosted, it changes your whole experience.”
I am a storyteller and powerful creator.
Just like you.
My friend Monica wrote a book–Be Yourself to Free Yourself–that can help you forget your false identities and remember who you truly are to unlock the life you were meant to live.
“See” you next week,
Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for kind people, products and businesses in food, fashion & more. Subscribe to her newsletter here.