Thursday, April 11, 2019

Keele Burgin's "Wholly Unraveled"

Keele Burgin is an entrepreneur, activist, mother of three, author, and filmmaker. Her story of survival and self-discovery has inspired a life dedicated to impacting tens of thousands of women across the globe. She has served in leadership roles on the boards of multiple nonprofit organizations that empower women.

Burgin made her mark in the business world by cofounding two companies, taking her first one public. Her second, a venture out of her hometown of Boulder, Colorado, is designed to help women rearchitect their lives by relinquishing the patterns of behavior that hold them back.

She applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, Wholly Unraveled: A Memoir, and reported the following:
I don’t know that I will ever fully believe in the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” It’s catchy, I get it, but isn’t that just the easy way out? Just let fate have its way with me?

But testing the Page 99 theory on Wholly Unraveled made me a believer. Page 99 is a strong representation of my young life. It’s about a little girl trying to be brave, knowing that her world is not a safe place to be…at all.

The page begins with me trying to cipher strength from Shirley, one of the strongest women I knew, a woman who loved me, but she was hundreds of miles away at the time and couldn’t help me.

I am in the desert with my father, who was unsafe to be with at all times, but this time he had a gun. The italics on this page defined my life for decades: Don’t let him see you scared. And: Don’t let him see your thirst. I put on my suit of armor that day and believed, quite possibly, that the whole world was going to hurt me like my father did.

For a chance at survival I adopted the philosophy that only men should quench their thirst, “He put space between the opening of the canteen and his mouth so I could see the clear, wet liquid hit his tongue.” While he did that, I cemented my role as a woman. I was to be invisible, hide my needs, and be thirsty for life.

I go on to talk about my brain feeling foggy and how difficult it was to put energy into anything other than just putting one foot in front of the other. I would feel that way until I realized that I could heal. Until I realized that it truly wasn’t my fault. I could fall in love with myself. I wasn’t someone else’s mistakes, someone else’s hatred of himself. I needed to define my own existence. The ability to heal is always gently reaching its hand out to the taker. Look down at your hands … is it time to heal?
Visit Keele Burgin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue