Hello loves and welcome back to The Freed Sparrow! I hope all is well with you and your life, and I pray that you enjoy this post! Today’s post is going to be a little different, if you’ve been hanging around my blog for a while I’m sure you’ve read Madness, an open letter to all the insanity that had ensued in my life that lead me to write something honest. My overall goal with this whole blog is self honesty and hopefully inspiring others to venture into the depths of allowing the ability of being honest with yourself help your life. We all grow and change with every changing mood and if you blink you’ll miss it. I’ve been sure to put honesty first in all my posts, regardless if I was going through a massive change in my spirit. But there is something I haven’t been totally honest with you guys about: My identity. Somethings you all will never know about me simple because they are sewn into the folds of my tissue, so deep and rich only a very few people will ever really know those parts of me. But, what I’ll give you today is my identity that people first see when I walk down the street, my skin color. I am a black woman who was afraid and didn’t want to accept the fact that I was black. It’s a lot to unpack so buckle up! Enjoy.
I refuse to shy away from the uncomfortable now, so these words come from nowhere else but my beating heart and I hope you accept them and that maybe find healing as well.
I must acknowledge what holds me back before I can grow. Period. Butterflies don’t hold onto the past, it’s not like they sit and dwell on the idea that once they were a helpless little caterpillar! Yes, there were challenges, lessons learned as they should be, but at the end of the day instead of allowing something bigger than it swallow it whole that caterpillar still became a butterfly, and so will I. There is nothing more growth blocking then giving whatever is holding you down the permission to do so. All these years, I’ve been stuck in the same hamster wheel spinning endlessly toward a dream far outside the cage just hoping that one day I’d reach it. I run and run and run to wind-up stuck in the same place every time. It’s a phrase we are all familiar with but too embarrassed to admit.
This was yet again brought to my attention in my life because I essentially have become what I hate the most. I’ve become the ultimate pretender, thinking that I could kid people into thinking I had myself together when I don’t. To think that all this time I thought, “I’ve moved on.” only turned out to damage me further. I thought it would prove that in fact I was moving on if I faked it. But instead, I ran away so I didn’t have to deal it. I ran from friendship, people that care about me, and my dreams all out of fear. And in this crazed dash not confronting the root of this fear is the real monster. So, in order to understand why after all these years I’m still running in that damn wheel, I need to address the why without giving it life and power. This is not the hardest part, but it’s certainly not the easiest.
For too many years of my life I let people dictate how I went about living my life. What I liked, what I wore, and how I lived in my skin. And yet at the same time I blamed other people for being the cause of this affliction when all along I could have been the one to put a stop to it. I could’ve done an ample number of things to make myself heard, to let those people know that not only am I always going to be myself, but that there isn’t a thing they could change about that. Yes, I could’ve done something but then I wouldn’t be writing this blog post had I stood up for myself. The only one to blame for any of this is myself. I can’t control how someone may see me, how they may perceive the way I dress or how I look, but what I can do is be the version of myself that knows I am enough. And if people can’t see the beauty of who I am without the mask, then they don’t truly see me.
I am enough not because someone says that I am, but because I know that I am. This constant struggle of feeling good enough is exhausting on a daily basis, and to a fault it’s been so tiresome I’ve realized that I’ve just stopped trying at doing anything. There is a difference between dressing for a chill day at home and wearing pjs all day because you feel gross in anything else. But to ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way in the first place?” That should be your first question, and the more honest you answer, the more growth you receive! There are days when being good enough for other people is less hard than being good enough for myself. Days where I truly believe I am making a change and I tell myself, “I’m proud of you.” And yet, nothing is ever enough. It doesn’t take a genius to realize how dangerous that is and what a toxic mental environment it can cause you to have. While accepting other people’s toxicity I went ahead and injected myself with my own poison like it was nothing. Now, I’m paying the price for it and the worst part is coming to grips with how long I’ve been unconsciously doing it.
My confidence has been shot and left to die alone in field, but today I chose to take the leap and just take it to the hospital to be treated. How do I do that? First, figure out the symptoms: lack of confidence, hatred for oneself, and a constantly self demeaning mindset. Second, find the root of yourself to find where the poison was injected first. The root lay in my passion, writing! If there was only one thing I could do for the rest of life, it would be to create stories for other people to see themselves in. I write stories centered heavily on minority characters, the people I grew up with and who look like me. Each character is crafted with different good parts and bad parts, and somehow, they still stand tall on the page. My writing was the first to be punctured without me even noticing, because instead of a healthy want to improve there was never the perfect amount of words that could make me proud of what I wrote. My characters face their obstacles and stand tall, but the one person who doesn’t is the writer of these dreams turned reality. She on the other hand needs to take a step back to receive a key message given to her by someone close to her.
“How can you write strong black characters when you aren’t proud of who you are?” So, what are you afraid of young black woman? If I’m being truly honest, what I’m most afraid of is being judged for what I look like instead of being judged by the quality of my words. That’s what I am afraid of most. I am a writer, but I am a black woman first before any of that. And if I’m not a proud black woman, then how can I write characters who are strong, power, and empathetic BLACK woman?
I can’t tell you that there won’t be days of doubting my abilities and not feeling good enough, but what I can control is how I react to those feelings when they arise. Letting them consume my life has taken so many opportunities from me, how many more chances am I willing to give up because I got in my own way? The only obstacle that can truly harm me at the end of the day is my own head, and that fear ends with this chapter. It’s ends now, because I am deciding to be proud of who I am regardless who may be watching or not. From now on The Freed Sparrow will be a representation of who I am rather than a blog lacking the substance that I thrive on. Gone are the days of writing words that can’t be traced back to the root. From now on my heart will do the talking.
That’s all I got. Peace and love my friends. I hope you gained some inspiration from this post! Now, go out and support your local badass black woman!