Today we’d like to introduce you to Lolo Wink.
Hi Lolo, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I didn’t always consider myself a creative. But I was born into a family of artists.
My paternal grandmother was an incredible classically trained pianist and opera singer. My father was always a great storyteller. He wrote poetry as a young person and was an architect by trade. My maternal Grandfather was a radio-host in New York who loved music and singing. My mother was always up on trends, be it music, fashion or pop culture.
Now it may sound like, having been born into this family, that I might be very aware of my creative gifts. But I was well into my twenties before I began to really recognize my creative strengths. And I was well into my thirties before I began to harness these gifts and actively pursue them as a means to find true personal fulfillment and healing.
Six years ago, with the support of my friends and family, I was able to liberate myself from a 10-year abusive relationship. It was then that I began a journey back to myself. It’s been a rough road. There have been some very proud moments along the way. But probably more moments that made me question who I was (or thought I was) and what the hell I really wanted in life.
These experiences have come to form the pages of my first life product: Honey & Gravel. A poetry collection as raw and real as the wounds and truths I’ve exposed along this path.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The Gravel: Often, we can follow the breadcrumbs of the troubles and obstacles we face in adulthood back to our childhood.
In fact, I believe that the only way we can escape many of these woes and dilemmas is to actively reflect on our upbringing and the environments and people we were exposed to. As children, we collect messages from all sorts of people and carry this information with us as if it is the only truth. When, in fact, we are often just lugging around someone else’s secondhand truth.
I pose a question: “How can someone love or teach love if they do not love themselves?” I grew up with young parents who did not really know how to love themselves. They were still figuring out who they were when they got married and began having children. My four siblings and I grew up a latch-key kids. And as the oldest girl of 5 children, I took on many responsibilities at a very young age in order to keep our household running. This had a direct effect on my grades throughout my childhood education and led to a lot of shame and confusion. I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of an older child. The abuse lasted years. I had poor self-esteem and poor self-image. I was co-dependent and had no boundaries. I did not know myself. I did not love myself.
I became bait. I attracted abusive mates who all shared a string of similar attributes including alcoholism, verbal, physical, monetary, and psychological abuse. This felt normal to me. I felt I deserved this. I saw their best attributes and wanted nothing more for them to be their best self. But I never was able to see my own beautiful attributes. I didn’t know that I deserved better.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Honey & Gravel, my first collection of poetry, was woven from the threads of torment and restoration.
My writing journey truly began as a teen but became a way of life after I began therapy at The Center in Long Beach.
I had an incredible therapist, Martha, who helped me find my way back to myself. She encouraged my creativity and writing. Soon thereafter I met a new friend. A poet named Philosophy. He introduced me to the Long Beach poetry scene. I remember attending open mics and sitting in the back with my notebook tucked under my chair never imagining I could be up there. I had lost my voice and my power. In writing, I was slowly regaining that voice. Playing around with it. Trying to understand how it felt to speak my truth. The first time I stepped up to the mic to share an original piece, I trembled at the sound of my own voice amplified. Fast forward to 2022 and I am publishing my first book. A true-life product.
As a creative, my goal is to turn things that are considered “normal” on their head. If the masses are doing one thing, you better believe I am going to find a way to do something different. I like to bring this approach to everything I do. In my written work, this shows itself by speaking on topics that are usually faux pax. I’m taking side-chicks, f*ck boys, STDs, vices, addictions and lust. The things that people usually try to keep in the dark. In contrast, I focus a lot on self-worth, healing, and the ongoing journey of loving yourself.
- Book: Honey & Gravel – $25.00
- Instagram: @lolo_wink
- Other: https://worldstagepress.org/product/honey-gravel-by-lolo-wink/
Headshot and photos with industrial background (black clothing) Photographer @cloudnai