As we get close to the end of 2019, I look back on whats’s happened this year. Sure, I’ve written work many have found to be impressive. Yet, I’ve spent more time doubting my efforts and mentally as a result I became uninspired. I’m a victim of needing to create meaningful work for myself.
I kept assuming that I didn’t have topics worth writing about. Then, I spent all year to discover that is a damn good lie constantly sold to us.
Eventually, I got myself in a better headspace but that didn’t come without a lot of work. When I think of what pulled me out of this lull, I owe a lot of that to the people whom inspire me.
A few days ago a tweet on Twitter asked “what Black womxn have inspired you and how”. I listed three (there’s more) individuals whom in my opinion are doing great work. When I think about it further, I owe a lot of my support from Black women and femmes. Most of my mentors and individuals whom I admire, which span age, profession, insight, and etc. have been Black women for most of my life — This isn’t shade at anyone else.
Maybe it’s an extension of the fact my mom was a single parent. Or just the fact, that they’ve have spoken the truth about society for ages? I can’t quite pinpoint it. However, the fact that I write, and even have the day job that I do is because of their influence and guidance. So, I certainly thanked them for this.
I find it quite odd when people feel it’s something of a weakness to say someone encourages you. It’s true all our lives are different and there’s a myriad of factors to consider. I don’t think it’s weak when we are a bit stuck. To have admiration for someone, I think its very human and humbling. Of course, I’m not speaking of idolizing, that in and of itself is dangerous.
So, throughout the year my inspiration revolved around expanding the space for marginalized work. Let me say, it’s quite difficult to hold your head high when most ignore what you specialize in. And yet claim how important it is? — I have enough unanswered article pitches to remind me
I found myself speaking to my mentors briefly about 3 particular matters on my mind.
In terms of visibility, that feeling of being invisible is tough. So one day I had to ask someone: How did you manage to be the only Black woman covering this field of work? The answer I was given is that you have to dare to persist. The work speaks for itself when there is a void. You work as you hopefully energize others to do the same.
When the space and community supposedly isn’t there what do you do? The answer I received: You have to put in the time and work. No one is going to give you space you deserve, you make it. We have our best interests at heart and not the majority.
Why does this work seen so unimportant when it shouldn’t it? My mentor answered: Minority matters are often sold to placate to the majority. To regularly criticize/analyze aspects of society, that is given lower attention by function and purpose. They want you to speak and agree like them. This is seen as the right way.
Now, what’s really important is that they didn’t just share these words with me. Throughout the year the put these truths to work. They got themselves in spaces where they haven’t been or have been welcome before. They too were inspired by others, including me. Like all of us they too got frustrated and tired of the gates we all have to jump.
I saw that they were also thankfully for those that helped them along their respective accomplishments. — As well as keeping them on track when society keep pushing back. Someone maybe reading this assuming; why are they the people I look to? The answer I would give you is why would that be problem to begin with?
How can I except to approach societal shortcomings without understanding its range outside of the privileges I’m awarded as a cishet Black man.
To keep this short, thanks again Black womxn. I again don’t now where I would be without you. Also, everyone please take the time to reflect on what gets you out of bed. Please give thanks and flowers to the people that help you reach whatever life goals you have for yourself. No matter how small or large. And remember there’s nothing wrong to look to others and get unstuck in life.