A few weeks ago I wrote a post on tips to accomplish your "it"-- the goal that you're currently working towards. Since then, I've been thinking about the one thing that is even more important than that-- finding your "why", aka your purpose, your reason for being, the thing that drives your decisions, the thing that makes you excited to get up every morning and keep pushing.
After reading several articles about JAY-Z's 4:44 and revisiting my blog post on Lemonade, I want to talk about the idea of vulnerability as an art form. As a listener, I could definitely feel a difference between Beyoncé and Lemonade, Magna Carta and 4:44. The subject matter can be felt in a way that makes you feel as though you experienced it yourself. I am confident that that's what makes good art good and good artists great-- their ability to get an audience to truly empathize with their work. I respect Beyoncé and JAY because of their concerted effort to keep us out of their marriage and give us a glimpse of their lives only with concert visuals, music videos, or Instagram posts that show only Beyoncé can make Flipigrams artistic.
However, even when it seemed like they began to lose their grasp over their concealed public image, they undoubtedly proved us wrong by releasing two of what critics, respectively, are calling their best projects to date. Both 4:44 and Lemonade exemplify the power and poetry that results from owning your truth and making the effort to heal.
If there is one thing that has marked the difference between the height of my teen years and is something that will carry me through my adult life is my willingness to embrace independence. I recently discovered a song called "Holy" by Chicago artist and activist Jamila Woods, that perfectly illustrates what I'm talking about.
Besides the fact that the song and video are amazing, the lines "I don't need no one" and "woke up this morning with my mind set on loving me" definitely spoke to me. This song adds to a list of others that teach little Black girls about being independent and self-sufficient. Songs like "Independent Women (Part 1)" had me waiting to be grown paying my own bills and not needing a man. These sentiments were reiterated by the women I grew up around. Seeing my mom, aunts, and grandmothers who are strong, career-driven, and truly independent women inspired and pushed me to be the person I am today.
Recently, I've been trying to find more Black-owned business, Black artists, writers, etc. and seeing the dope things my people have created is inspiring to say the least. I've found so many great things created by Black women specifically and I want to take the time to highlight some brands created for and by Black women that I've recently discovered, as well as some that I've loved for a minute, and discuss how they're at the front-line in changing how Black women are and will be perceived in mainstream media (If you want to experience this aesthetic entirely, listen to Solange's "F.U.B.U." while you read this post).
I was originally going to write a post about all the things I did for my 19th birthday (which y'all probably saw all over my social media anyways), but would it really be my birthday or a real blog post of mine without some introspection or reflection? Click "Read More" to read more about how my life has changed in the past year.
As I mentioned in the first episode of my podcast, I want to dedicate my 19th year of life to accomplishing more of my goals. I tend to unnecessarily psych myself out when it comes to stepping outside of my comfort zone (which only delays my process in getting things done) but then 99% of the time it eventually works out in my favor in some way, shape, or form. The most transformative thing that I realized is that, when it comes to my goals, I don't get anxious because I feel like I can't do it, it's that I can't fathom the idea of things working out in my favor all the time. I think that society has conditioned us to view success as something a specific type of person can obtain through a specific series of steps. We have also been conditioned to think that we're cocky or arrogant if we actually have confidence in ourselves and our abilities. There was a point in my life when I decided that I was going to dream big and try my best to accomplish each of my goals. Click "Read More" to see what changes I made to my life to do that: