By now I think it is clear that I am for the empowerment of women, specifically my fellow black women. Yet, I still have not been in a space where this empowerment touches on the parts of me that are soft, gentle, and fragile…the essence of my womanhood. No, my feminine and what it means to me is not the same as the next woman’s. I am not here to be the voice of all women or give some universal definition as to what that means. What I will always be here for is to use my voice and sense of expression to humanize issues that have seemed to be uncoupled from the people suffering. I will always be here as a supporter of those using their voices to bring more awareness and change for any people, group, issue, disadvantage and the like.
Being multifaceted encompasses so much that I’m not sure people have the capacity to understand the many layers of human existence. Too many times we are forced to be defined and subscribe to certain guidelines. We force ourselves to fit into the confines of abstract ideas, when we were gifted the ability to choose and define ourselves. Can you remember how easy it was to walk in your truth when you were younger and filled with innocence? It was like the blueprint was already written in our hearts and we naturally gravitated to things that would allow us to exercise our gifts and talents. There was a passion and zest for life that has disappeared; I don’t recognize it in the upcoming generations. I remember in high school making my own clothes, discovering veganism in middle school and trying to implement the lifestyle, in elementary school I used to be so eager to be picked to read my story to class (complete with illustrations too). Now as an adult, I have rediscovered what used to be natural for me and cultivated each layer. From the beginning and throughout life we are stripped of almost every aspect of who we are until we are so far disconnected from self-thought we die never living our life.What will happen when you can’t fulfill every expectation?
As a woman, there is a pre-defined role and from birth. You are pushed to be a “good girl” what that looks like and feels like depends largely on a variety of factors: culture, social groups, family, friends, religion, region etc. After so much correction and criticism, I started to realize I wasn’t a “good girl” I was a real human. I am authentically and uniquely my own version of womanhood. I have real feelings and emotions I refuse to suppress. I cannot find my purpose and meaning for life in only being a mother and wife. There is so much more to me than that. I cannot live life anymore based on fears, fears that are not even my own. Fear has been instilled in me as means of control. What happens when you let go of all the ideas of you have been forced, manipulated, guilt tripped, and conditioned to apply to your life whether it be the way you behave, raise your children, or treat fellow humans? What will you uncover about you?
I wanted so desperately to find my space and sense of community that I lacked the clarity to understand that I could create the space I want to live in for myself and others like me. I wanted to be free to think and to change at will. I wanted to explore my wild ideas and demonstrate my inner spirit however I felt when I woke up that morning. There is so much weight lifted and a better happier life ahead of you when you live as the free being you were created to be. Let’s not get confused when I mention freedom: hate and intolerance are not an excuse for not understanding or identifying with another way to live life. No one has the power to determine what is wrong with wanting or living any particular lifestyle…what is wrong is this notion that to live a “good” life has to cost you everything that is you.
Whether my ideas or esthetic are mainstream or off the beaten path, the response from others I no longer adopt as my personal interpretation. I take every moment to learn, realize more about myself and life, and grow. You are allowed to change. With all the trendy things to do, conscious living can seem like a wave to ride for the time. As someone who has always been connected to myself, I am glad so many others are taking the step of faith to begin living for the first time. I believe we each have a gift to share with the world and only that specific individual can do so. How much more effective if we all contributed by focusing on improving what we have to give rather than trying to create boxes and boundaries for others to live in.