So, life the last couple of months has been…a lot, to say the least. So much change has been happening in my life–a lot of it has been great while other parts have been equally very bad. In one of my last posts, I wrote about wanting to get my life back and living for me, however, I have done the complete opposite of that. I haven’t been living for other people, but self-care and self-love plummeted to the bottom of the totem pole. I stopped working out, maintaining a skincare regimen, keeping up with my book club, and let anxiety take over my life. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was getting stomach cramps from stress, I was drinking more, and every inconvenience would reduce me to tears. I needed help. It really wouldn’t be until a little over a week ago where I decided I now feel in a position to get back to my goals, no matter what that looks like or how long it takes.
The older I get, the more and more significant my identity becomes to me. During the resurgence of the BLM movement last year, I wrote about how important it was to keep pushing for change. While a very obvious change occurred politically in the U.S. (read: the election), it does not mean the work is done and the problems have vanished, as evidenced by the recent shooting of Daunte Wright. I can (and will) talk until I’m blue in the face about systemic racism against black people, but today, I want to talk about strenghtening allyship.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I joined a book club last summer that has truly become one of the primary highlights of my week. Each Sunday, I meet with other people of color to discuss books that directly address racism and race-related topics. It is the much-needed safe space that I didn’t realize was missing from my life. Every book helps me reshape my perspective and I think to myself, “This is it. This is the best book I’ve ever read” until we tackle another amazing read. A few books in particular, however, have really solidified how important allyship is. We started our club with primarily autobiographies and we started incorporating more fiction; still, the fictional and blended fact-and-fiction reads have detailed very real and historical events in communities of color across the globe. If you have been seeking new books by authors of color that give firsthand accounts of generational linkages, these are three you cannot miss:
Happy Spring, everyone! Have you seen the movie, “Soul?” I watched it around Christmas primarily to see beautifully designed, black animated characters. But, as Disney and Pixar would have it, I walked away with so much more.
At the end of 2020, I made a video about 20 lessons I learned from the year. Several of those lessons revolved around the appreciation I gained for time and daily life. Yet even as I write this, I am focused on what I am going to do with the days off I took next month, and stressing over finances, and trying to plan out my next series of hairstyles so I am prepared for the warm weather. At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with that–we are stuck in the house with our thoughts, so we occupy that thinking space with ideas that bring us joy, excitement, anything outside of the mundanity we have been experiencing for the last year. I sometimes feel the way I did when I was unemployed in 2016 and part of 2017 just thinking the next day would be “the day,” and then looking up to see it’d been months of me doing the same thing every day. But what have I really learned if I continue to chase the future? I continue to operate as though time is guaranteed to me.
Let me just say, this is the longest amount of time I ever spent on a blog post. It is a wide open door into a hidden part of me that I never thought I would put on a public platform. But this is my blog and this blog is about my life, regardless of where I am in the world. This post is a very long one, so grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine; I hope you stay along for the ride!
I should start by saying my story is no different than any other black girl or woman’s story out there. This is simply just my story. Over the span of my life, I feel I have been exposed to an incredible amount of positive representation for black women in media and in my life. I feel so empowered to be black and every day I am reminded how amazing black people are. But I didn’t always appreciate it this way. Like many other black girls, I grew up wanting my hair to be different, to avoid getting ‘too dark’, and to be less curvy. It may seem silly to some people reading this, but it may not to others. This is the story of how my hair journey led me on an identity journey. Continue reading “A Love Letter to My Hair (Updated 2021)”→