A Sophisticate is a Survivor

"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars" Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was younger I used to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I remember watching a lot of commercials about not talking to strangers. Some of the commercials included that message by McGruff, a cartoon dog in a trench coat who by the end of the commercial would stand against a wall while the words "Take a Bite out of Crime" appeared.

Discovering my independence was hard growing up since I was an only child. My parents were always very protective of me and sometimes to get space from them I would wander off into another aisle while we were shopping. While I would wander off into undiscovered aisles I remember being very suspicious of strangers and not trusting anyone. Even though I desperately wanted my space from my parent deep down I was always worried about being kidnapped and never found again.

In August 2009, after 18 years Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped was finally re- discovered. From the moment I heard about what happened the story had a profound effect on meAs I first looked at her childhood picture with her blond hair and blue eyes I felt like I could have been at myself in a mirror at 11 years old.

For me, here was a living example of what could’ve happened to me if my childhood fears had come true. As I read more about her story, Jaycee was robbed of experiences that most of us take for granted. She never experienced the thrill of teenage rebellion, the scariness of her first job, the excitement of high school prom night, and the accomplished feeling of graduating from college. Some people may say that growing up and the milestones in their lives were not great yet, from learning about the experience of Jaycee a person realizes that anyone is still lucky enough to have those good or bad memories.

Jaycee was not only denied her rites of passage from childhood to adulthood but was also treated cruelly. She was mentally and physically tortured. The key to the story of her ordeal was that she told the world that she was a survivor not a victim. After all that she went through she had every right to consider herself a victim yet, she choose not to think or portray herself that way.

“Survival is your strength, not your shame.” Jaycee Dugard

Jaycee is a living example of how a Sophisticate is a survivor, not a victim. A Sophisticate makes a choice that she is not the victim of her circumstances and can rise above her pain (A Sophisticate is a Phoenix). A Sophisticate chooses not to be pitied or give up when everything seems hopeless but rather she survives any way she can without becoming victimized by other people. Survival give a Sophisticate courage and strength. For every bad there is good, and survival makes her fearless. (A Sophisticate has no Fear)

“I learned in therapy the word "No" is a complete sentence.” Jaycee Dugald

What makes a Sophisticate who she is? A Sophisticate is not defined by her circumstances but by the strength of her heart. In the end, a Sophisticate is a survivor because her heart and her sense of self are strong enough to overcome the odds to win and to survive anything no matter how horrible the situation. ;D