My Grandmother’s Truth


Photo courtesy of Kamira Payne

Kamira Payne, Staff Writer

In this section of the Hawk Eye, I will be interviewing my grandmother, Veronica Polk.

In this interview, I asked her about her life and more specifically her authenticity and storytelling.  Most grandchildren don’t know their grandparents that well, which is why I have always appreciated her genuineness that has allowed us to become closer and form a deep bond.

Free yourself and be who you are.”

— Veronica Polk


Kamira: Let’s start off with the age old question, tell me about yourself

Veronica: I was born into a family of 11 children as the second child but the oldest daughter who helped raise my younger siblings. Looking at the environment I grew up in, I knew I wanted more for myself so I seriously pursued education in hopes of a better life. I married at a young age and had five biological children, while fostering 6 others. My main goal has always been to lift up my family

Kamira: Alright, now that we’ve gotten to know you a bit, let’s talk about why you feel it’s important to share your life stories.

Veronica: I believe in storytelling as we can learn from my mistakes. I’ve been here for awhile and I feel the need to tell someone before I leave. Life and time is really precious to me so much so that I have 5 clocks in my room. I carry on the tradition of storytelling as the women who came before me did. I often remind myself to tell others my stories. I don’t want to regret not telling folks when I’m up in heaven. 

Kamira: It takes vulnerability and authenticity to tell your personal stories. How have you gotten to this point of being comfortably yourself?

Veronica: I used to try to be what people wanted me to be and say what they wanted to hear. But then you end up being fake. Being authentic helped me free myself, it was liberating being the best in my best form. I worked to cultivate who I am. Whatever I don’t like, I’m just gonna change it, which felt good. It’s very awkward and uncomfortable when I can’t be myself. I like myself a lot. I’ve tried hard to change myself but at the end of the day I love myself.

Kamira: And on that note, what words of advice would you give to my generation who often feel the need to be something or someone they’re not?

Veronica: I would say free yourself and be who you are. Presenting the best you will come so naturally. You’ll feel as light as a feather gasping, “wow.” Everyone is not going to like you. Sometimes people’s dislike of you is out of your control. Some even become jealous of your inner confidence and haven’t achieved that yet. Authenticity can be taken the wrong way so tread lightly. The most I’ve gotten out of life was when people were authentic to me so I believe presenting the real you to others. Surrounding yourself with authentic people helped me appreciate their guidance and has allowed me to guide the life of others in a positive way.