It’s been way more than a year since I’ve published anything here, let alone read any of my old stuff. I mostly know why, but I’ve come to really miss sharing my writing (and having some accountability for writing in the first place). So I decided to come back and clean up a little: new year, new thoughts, new platform. If you’ve known me for a while, you know that this blog — and my writing style — have gone through their fair share of transformations. This time around, though, I feel much more at ease with the constancy of change, and much more comfortable with its visibility. Whatever. It’s just the human condition.
Since my last post, a lot of stuff has happened, including:
- moving into a sustainable living cooperative and learning how to make anything in a rice cooker
- cutting my hair! and then cutting it again
- making a children’s book about music and the modern black freedom struggle (digital form coming soon!)
- thinking a lot of thoughts that got buried in desk drawers (metaphorically and literally)
At some point in my first semester of college, I decided that people didn’t need to see my messy parts, to watch me stumbling over the flood of new information, ideas, and emotions that was crashing over my head. And to some extent, that’s true — there are ideas and feelings I need to grapple with on my own, or with close friends and mentors, before I go adding my voice to the towering wall of noise that is the internet (and the universe in general, sometimes).
But also, it got to the point where I was devaluing my own learning process enough that I didn’t even embrace it alone. I spent a lot of time over the past eighteen months feeling like I was halfway through a sentence that I would never know how to end, and telling myself to pipe down before I’d even really opened my mouth. And that’s a problem, y’all.
Beyond the ramifications it had within myself and the limitations it placed on my personal relationships, it kept me from creating and writing as much as I needed to. Sometimes it led me to hand in first drafts to professors I really respect because I had spent so much time worrying about producing sucky work instead of actually doing the work.
I was forgetting that the first step to creating something good is creating something at all. I was forgetting that even if there are hardly any truly new ideas out there, there are always new ways of framing and conveying ideas that hold weight for a huge range of unique individuals. I was forgetting that even though I have a drive to build a better future for everyone, my individual growth and experiences within that framework still matter.
Also, I was really afraid of what everyone thought of me.
And I realize now that those are never particularly helpful pillars to build your life and work (especially creative work) around, but god, it’s tempting, right?
I really truly believe that the only thing we can ever offer the world is ourselves. And that there is a little corner of infinity in everyone. And that we are not all interchangable little boxes, even if our identities, occupations, and interests are similar. So like, take the risk. Share yourself. Respect your brain. You’re all you’ve got.