“I Am Yours” is a book about voice.
In it, you will hear Reema Zaman’s voice loud and clear.
In this melodic memoir, Reema does what she hasn’t been able to do much of her life until writing this book. “I Am Yours” is her journey of being born a Bangladeshi woman growing up in Thailand, then living in New York City. It transports us through different countries where Zaman molds herself from student to actress to wife to ex-wife to teacher and writer. It takes us through her life as she confronts male teachers, her father, and romances where her voice was often silenced.
While she’s had to stay silent, whisper or speak softly, this book is her megaphone to the world. Not only is she able to voice her story but she makes a call to all voices out there to share their stories. This book is a revolutionary call to say your story, speak your truth and reclaim your life.
She has given herself the freedom to speak her truth in “I Am Yours,” and in doing so, gives you the courage to speak your truth and have your voice heard.
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Here are 10 of the most revolutionary calls to action from her book inspiring you to be unabashedly you, stand up for who you are and use your voice.
I choose to believe the reason this fateful evening intercepted my path was not to destroy my faith in men, life or my instincts. The reason this night arrived was to prove and nourish my resilience… But my formidable will to live is mine evermore.
After being a victim of rape, Reema has a choice on what to do with this incident. Instead of allowing it to break her spirit or destroy her life, this event lights something up in her. For the first time in her life, she says that she likes herself. She feels more resilient than ever, choosing to be the author of her life. It allows her to move on with an indomitable desire to live, succeed and tell her story.
There is always a way, and you will always thrive, by the simple skin of who you are… You can trust yourself.
Reema wonders what she would do if her marriage came to an end. Where would she go and how could she leave? She reminds herself in her writing to trust herself and she can thrive no matter what happens next in her life. She trusts herself to write the next chapter of her life.
I am enough as I am. I don’t want to merely endure anymore. He is not my responsibility, failure, quandary or purpose. I neither desire nor deserve punishing love that lands hard. I don’t want love that includes silence, abuse, manipulation or captivity. I long for a loving love.
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She realizes that she is enough as she is and is no longer going to put up with her husband’s taunts, threats, and insecurities. She doesn’t want a painful love and opts for moving on in search of a loving kind of love.
The night following his final phone call I realize I have a choice. The pain of memory or freedom. The past or present.
[Read Related: Brown Girl of the Month Reema Zaman on Struggle and Self-Discovery]
She decides that there is life after a bad marriage. She realizes that you don’t have to stay stuck in something that doesn’t work. You do have choices in life. You have power in your choices.
The next time, rather than falling into love, I would like to lift. Love shouldn’t feel like a descent. I’d like us to ascend.
She wants a love that makes her rise in love and life, not one that makes her feel small and silenced. She wants a free, courageous and uplifting kind of love where she can be who she is. She doesn’t want a love where she is threatened and made to feel small by her lover’s ego.
All I’ve ever wanted, my love, is for every person to speak their truth, but not at the expense of being spoken over.
After receiving a hurtful email from her father, she writes that she is hurt not from his disapproval but his unkindness. She wants each person to be able to speak their truth without their voices being drowned out or trampled upon by someone else.
Now, my love, replace “rejection” with “experience.” Replace one word and my entire story changes.
She’s had so many experiences from loving where she’s faced rejection but you don’t have to take rejection as outright rejection. You can substitute and view the word ‘rejection’ with ‘experience.’ You can’t succeed with rejection alone but your experiences can improve and transform your life.
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‘Who are you to write a book?’ ‘I am a person,’ I reply.
You being you is enough for you to write a book, share your story or do art. She’s asked by family members about her reasons and ability to write a book. She is questioned if she has enough life experiences or stories to write something of value. Despite their objections and fears, she confidently penned, “I Am Yours.”
Your art is your voice. And your voice is a muscle. The more you give it, the more you use it, the stronger it grows.
She’s talking to a child about the art class she teaches. She tells him that art is a place where you can put feelings of sadness, fear, loneliness and anger. It’s the place for you to talk about the things you feel like you can’t talk about. The more you do art and the more you use your voice, the easier it gets and the better you get at it.
I’ve had to live exactly as I have. Every wound, character, experience, and skill has been used, to fill into my purpose. To say, ‘I am grateful’ wouldn’t suffice. ‘I am love’ is more accurate.
Every experience she’s had has been the exact experience she’s needed to fulfil her purpose. Every step has led her to the next one. She is in love with the life that has been given to her despite the pain and sorrow of her experiences.
She concludes that things were to happen exactly as they did:
I belong to a larger story, moving to its own wild wisdom, propelled by our fierce will to prevail. Together, we have fought to protect the once baby-flame of my voice from the harsh winds of life. Now, full fire, we rise.
Pick up a copy of “I am Yours” on Amazon.com.