It’s a few days before the Sisterhood Summit — a daylong series of workshops, panels, discussions, and performances geared to young women and girls — and I am out of it. It’s not the “Oh Lawd I’m So Tired!” out of it that many of us (particularly women) face, but more of an existential out of it that can only be somewhat explained.
I’m excited about the work that The Black Girl Project has done for the last couple years. Hell, most of my friends feel that I don’t big myself up enough. From having decided that I wanted to make a movie, actually do it, then build a movement around it? Yeah, that’s awesome and I want to keep on building that movement, but there’s more for me — lots more. See, I had a plan, a plan that begin way back in 2007. I kept having the desire to make a documentary, leave my then-job to go teach at the college level, then allow that to serve as a springboard for me doing more of my own stuff. It started off well and I have three good years of teaching college students under my belt, but somewhere in there I gave into the fear.
My plans were going well. I felt empowered. I was making conscious choices instead of being lead by the wind. I had lots more clarity, but then…I backslid. I got freaked out by the “not knowingness.” I began to doubt my abilities. I became frustrated and instead of allowing the goodness to come in, I resisted. Yup, I through up resistance like gang signs and easily slid back into a life that I pretty much didn’t care for. The only thing that I found any real joy in was homeschooling my daughter. How I do that with a full time job? It takes a village.
So there I was. I’ve spent the last year and a half pretty much jumping out of my skin — subconsciously knowing what to do, but allowing anxiety and fear beat on me like this. All that fear I embraced lead my back to square one. I wound up going back to work full time at the same institution I left initially, however, I found it to be a much different place. In the three years I had been away, I’d found ways and time to be creative, but that devolved into me stewing in my own juices and not being able to taste the soup. Shame on me.
Something else began happening in that year and a half. I began listening to myself a little more; spending time with myself early in the morning reading and writing; basically, I made a concerted effort to get right on the inside. This is not to say that I’ve figured it all out, because I haven’t. But I’m OK (at least, for now) without having it figured out, which is a huge step for me. Huge. I’ve also gone back to making conscious choices and not letting life lead me around and I’ve seen a remarkable difference.
So here I am. I’ve embraced my whole self and come out as an “educator, artist and mama.” Luckily, this pretty much encompasses all the work I’m doing and even interested in entertaining. I’ve stepped outside of every comfort zone I’ve had and am reaping wonderful rewards. And in a couple of weeks, my status at my job will be part-time so that I can stop using the job as a crutch and just go ahead with my bad self and be the awesome me that I’m ‘sposed to be.
In the past when I have leapt, the net has appeared. Why would this time be any different? In the true meaning of YOLO, I am only here for a finite time and I might as well really, really do what it is that I’m called to do, right?
At the end frantic texting session with my coach the morning that I wrote this, she sent me this message “Use what you have. You have tools. Use them and release the ‘I don’t know’ story.” Yeah, she got me got y’all. So that’s what I’m doing. One of my biggest tools is writing and this blog post has helped me gain some clarity along with added an extra layer of accountability — not to anyone else but myself.
I’ve set some pretty ambitious goals for myself and instead of backsliding once again, I’m going to have faith. I am standing firm and most importantly, I’m trusting myself.