On November 24, 2010, Miami native Glenneisha Darkins’ life was altered forever. Involved in a rollover accident, the former basketball star, was critically injured. Her injuries, she soon learned, would confine her to a wheelchair. However, Glenneisha hasn’t let that stop her from setting goals and accomplishing them. 5 years later, Glenneisha is a published author, an artist, a student at FIU, and an inspiration to many. The Urban Play was granted an opportunity to interview this amazing young lady. Take time to get to know Glenneisha and let her inspire you.
How has what occurred changed you?
I’m the same person but a better version. Mentally, I feel more enlightened because I see what has happened to me as an awakening. Granted it’s cliché, but something has to happen in someone’s life in order for them to really understand what is under-appreciated. What is taken for granted can surely be taken away. I feel more aware of my thoughts which ultimately helps me with my life decisions. Before my accident, I didn’t really possess selflessness nor did I really care for negative consequences of my actions or did I really think about how my thoughts and decisions can affect those around me. This accident has provided that of which I’ve been lacking. Now I see that everything has its own purpose.
Do you see it as a blessing in disguise?
It’s terrible that this had to happen to me but I don’t think I would’ve ever reached this level if it weren’t for something like this to happen. I believe that God has to take drastic measures for someone to listen. It just shows that I’m loved by someone that created me even through all of my messed up ways in my past. I was supposed to die that night. There’s no way someone who was injured that severely should have survived and be where I am now.
What lessons have you learned since the accident?
I learned how to manage my thoughts, control my thoughts and choose wisely. I’ve learned to be more open-minded of other people’s perspectives. And I learned to slow down like really practice patience and understand that what’s meant for you will happen.
What made you want to write your book?
I don’t want to be known for being a popular girl who played basketball at Miami Killian High School and now a quadriplegic. I don’t want people to think that I’m all smiles even though physically I look like I’m crying out for sympathy or help. I wrote this book to let people how I really feel. I went through so much and by bottling that hurt in, I channeled my anger and frustration on the wrong people. I was honestly enslaved by negative thoughts that was pushing me to really give up and kill myself. It’s amazing what a couple words on a blank paper could do for the soul, for someone who is battling with depression, anger or any other mental illness. I wrote that book because I was lost, tired, and angry. I wanted to let everyone know that if I am making the change to accept my demons, face them and let them go, you can too.
What sparked your interest in painting? How has it taken off for you?
I just wanted to challenge myself. I grew to love it when I realized my strength and my gift to turn something that looks impossible, possible. It helped me to really feel more and be more confident in myself as a disabled person. I know a lot of other disabled individuals do some amazing things but for someone like me it’s different. Ever since I started to show off my first terrible pieces to now, it’s been amazing to see strangers find inspiration in my work.I never pain in my life let alone draw figures of people so for people to be as receptive as they are to it, it makes me feel like a living it’s really not in vain.
What is the impact you hope to have on people?
I just hope to contribute to someone’s growth as a person when faced with adversity. There are many other positive people in the world that are in my position that has been way more impactful and inspirational but I guess it coming from my background and what I’ve been known for, people never see how I face what I am going through. Anyone who has know me from childhood, I hope I could help them see the other part of me that they’ve never saw.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Alive. I hope to be that mentor to someone who has been put in impossible situations that think that it’s not possible to prevail against. I do hope that I’ll be able to move something other than my mouth though. I don’t want to put too much emphasis or put a timeframe on me walking again because I know it will happen— just not when I want it to happen. I’m still motivated to achieve this goal, however, I feel like I have another assignment to do for my Lord and Savior.
If you’re interested in purchasing Glenneisha’s book, Freedom Chair: An Open Diary of A Quadriplegic, you can get it here!