Who are you when no one is looking? When society’s mask is off and it’s just you and your thoughts....
I remember when I would intensely shy away from so many aspects of myself that make me, me. Hyper-sensitive to how I might be perceived and if I were being exact enough for my world’s liking. I never wished to be someone who wasn’t obliging, or breezy (if you will). I aspired to be the girl next door when, in reality, I’m the girl two doors down with a wild heart, who listens to pop and indie tunes and swears when her elders aren’t looking.
I was so eager to please everyone. So, I hid from myself for years. I overanalyzed life, the people in it, and me personally. I became so selfish that most of my time was spent simply perfecting every fleeting aspect of my being. And not at any time did I think about how hiding from myself meant that I was also hiding my inner from those closest to me. I had no understanding of who I was. In fact, I was whatever I felt the world wanted me to be. Saying yes when I wanted nothing more than to say no; afraid of voicing my beliefs. Everything that had something to do with how I identified myself seemed to have these guidelines and restrictions added to them: I must always be politically correct, my locks must be tamed, skinny wins over curvy, my words precisely pronounced, and my attitude adjusted to suit society’s taste. I was so lost.
I also discovered that I never really knew how to love. I realized that I was fond of things and people in my world, but never had I ever appreciated the meaning of unconditional love. Completely afraid of loving anyone more than I loved all things that concerned me.
But, there comes a day when you decide that isn’t who you are going to be anymore, right? You rise to your senses and become cognizant of the fact that you refuse to remain confined to ways of this world. Gone are the days that I live arrested within walls accompanied by "rules". I prayed many prayers and asked that God would shine light on me and all of my shortcomings. Imperfections that make me the Braea he constructed remarkably. I soon learned the importance of loving others the exact way God loves me—agape love. It wasn’t until then that I truly fell in love with myself and with good reason. I began to love a woman that was created to serve others and be a light in a world drowning in darkness. I undoubtedly began to accept all of the things that I cannot change. I study often and exist in constant search of inspiration. I defend the things I’m sure of. I’m conscious and I am curious. I fearlessly embody the true essence of being black, talented, and gifted; of being a women, and being, indeed, magical.
So when I think about the most important things I learned in 2015, I think this:
Love the you that you are. In the midst of loving you, find someone to love too. Never dismiss confrontation or shy away from tough conversations. It’s ok to argue a point. Argumentation is not limited to strife. A difference in opinion makes for a healthy debate. Embrace discomfort. Discomfort is good; you learn from discomfort.
I share my story with you with hopes that you too wake up confident in who you are and where you are in life. Understand that your path doesn’t look like anyone else’s—not because you are some sort of outcast or failure, but, because you were carefully and strategically made. Walk in truth. Because the truth is, we are sinners filled with flaws and insecurities.
Find your magic and use it today and every day.
I found my magic... my Black Girl Magic. And as Solange Knowles recently put it, I’m sprinkling it everywhere I go. In every crack and corner of this universe.