Every post I will include the song that inspired me to build a post around it's title
What I'm Wearing: Jacket - Forever 21, Tee - H&M, Flannel - Gap, Jeans - Adam Levine Collection, Boots - Apt 9
"I Won't Back Down"
January. January has many different meanings to a lot of people in this world. For me it was always the first month of the year and a sense of readjustment. Then I got diagnosed with Glaucoma in 2014. It took on a whole new meaning once 2015 came around. January is national Glaucoma awareness month. It is a time where people like me are raising awareness to the disease that is stealing our eye site. I have been very open and vocal about my experience with my battle these past 4 years. I can't believe it will be 4 years as of next month. It is important for me to tell the details of my long journey, in hopes that one day someone will pick up these stories or hear my words within my music, and get the strength they need to fight their battles. I wish I had someone like me when I first got sick. I didn't, I had to become my own guide and my own inner strength with the help of god. It took me a while to accept this disease. I explained in my last "book" on mrdombaza that it's not that easy being green. Green is the color that represents my disease. Over the past 4 years it has become my favorite color. It not only represents the illness I have, but it represents who I have become. It is reminder that I always have that part of my heart on my sleeves. It has been a dark 4 years. Really dark. There have been good moments, and then some of the most painful moments in my life. I fell to the ground really hard. I'm just trying to get back up and stand my ground. I'm taking my story back and will not let any downfalls of an illness or people with higher power try to knock me down further. I can't back down and I won't.
Writing about this part of my life is very therapeutic. I get really emotional thinking about everything that has happened. I always had this thing for leather jackets. I felt they gave me a bad boy edge when I moved to LA. It made me feel like I had more depth to my life. When I see a leather jacket, I feel like each of them have some sort of backstory. I wanted a look that would be rough around the edges, but still show through the hints of green, that no matter what, I'm still a fighter and i'm proud of the faults that make me who I am. I feel like this outfit I'm wearing is a little bit of every part of me. I'm reminded of my stage persona, my blogger persona, and my disease persona. Every part of me meets in the middle, right where my heart is. Since I got sick my heart has not been whole. If I were to take an x-ray of the inside of my chest, it would show the many different cracks from all the various heartbreak I have faced these last 4 years. I remember when I first got diagnosed, I took it very hard. I was terrified. It wasn't fair, I didn't find it fair. I was mad, I was mad at myself for honestly no reason. I hated going to the hospital every week. I felt like I was some broken test subject getting poked in the eye with needles bigger than my fingers. It was traumatizing for me. I was getting to the top of my game in the music industry but this disease decided to take over my life. I didn't really get freedom from the hospital until 2017. That year was not good, but at least I wasn't living in that building 24/7. Since I got sick i've had 5 major surgeries, 100's of doctors appointments, countless medications inserted into my eye, and more nightmares than dreams brought to life. I have to say I got comfortable with the life I was living prior to getting sick. I loved the idea of the life I was about to live. God had other plans though. They say when you get too comfortable living the life you think you are meant to live, a greater force pushes you off the cliff , so you can find a way to rise up to the life you are meant to thrive in. I wear my heart on my sleeve now. The shades of green are the shards from my heart. I don't think my heart will ever be whole again. I'm actually okay with that. The cracks within my heart make me shine, and the amount of love each piece of my heart holds, creates something beautiful. For awhile I despised this disease. Then I realized, I can make something beautiful from the broken inside of me.
My goals in life remain the same but further expanded. I still want a Grammy, I still crave love, I still need my voice to be heard, but I also want to take the journey I have been on, the journey I am on, and make an impact on this small world. It doesn't matter if the person has glaucoma or not. Every one of us is fighting some sort of battle. It can be another illness, family drama, personal regrets, the list can go on and on. I want to be someone who a little girl or boy, who's going through something, can look up to and say, Dom Baza made it. Look at all he has gone through, he found a way to rise up from the fall. Its 2018 now and I'm still trying to figure out "Who Am I"? There are many different pieces to my brokenness and I'm trying to find out what they all look like together, cracks and all the damage. It has taken me longer than I expected to stand back up and keep walking. I have been knocked down more times than I would like, especially in 2017. But i'm still here. I know I was put on this earth for a purpose greater than this life. We all are here for a purpose, we just have to keep living to find out what that purpose is. To any woman, man, girl or boy who has been burdened with this disease, my heart goes out to you. I know what it is like. I know you feel these unexplainable emotions. You'll be sad, mad, and happy, yes I said happy. Sometimes someone will make you smile along the way, cherish those moments and think of them in your darker moments. There will be moments when you are tested, don't be afraid to let your guard down. The doctors may give you a timeline on how long you have left to see. Don't let that discourage you. Believe that you will see the next day you wake up. Don't ever talk yourself out of the fight, once you do that you loose hope. A beautiful franchise called Star Wars once said "we are built on hope". Never loose it. Tomorrow is a new day, I won't back down, and you shouldn't too.
Photographer: Joanna Wheeler
Book 2: Chapter 5