All this time I’ve been beating myself up because in my mind, I was supposed to be using this time in LA to get YouTube Famous. And as long as I’m not famous, I feel like I’ve failed. Except a year ago I couldn’t even admit that I wanted to be famous because my ex shamed me into thinking it was stupid. So how the hell was I going to become famous when I couldn’t even admit out loud that I wanted it?
All this time I’ve considered myself a failure for not being famous yet, but what if I was doing all the real work in the background? I was healing myself. I was overcoming generations of poverty and lack of opportunity. I was building a career for myself so I wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life asking someone for a paycheck. I was learning “rich white people” culture so I could finally stop feeling poor and black.
Also, I reread that sentence and instantly thought, “wow that sounds racist”, but let me be clear: It is difficult to live in a society that makes you hate being black. I’m black but I’m not poor. I’m black but I’m not aggressive. I’m not a super predator, or ghetto, or a thug (The Hate U Give). I’m black and there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I had to overcome self-hatred. I’m black and I’m beautiful.
I look at this beautiful woman I’ve turned into and I forget that I wasn’t always her. I found her. I healed me. I did the work to build the foundation for a future I was never supposed to have. What if all this time I’ve been belittling myself for something so trivial (because let’s be real, we all know I’m going to be YouTube famous at the very least), and all this time I’ve actually been doing something so amazing.
No one else has done this. At least not where I’m from. I don’t know many little girls from Newark, raised by teenage moms, that go from a single parent household in the projects to an Ivy League college and then are self-employed by 25. I don’t know many little girls that strive for happy healthy relationships when they’ve never actually even seen one in real life. I don’t know many little girls willing to stand up against everyone and lose the people they love most, because they have so much confidence in their dream and their ability to make the world a better place. Actually, I do know one little girl, ME. I DID THAT! (Also, Cardi B did that, just saying. #TeamCARDI)
It was hard because the path didn’t exist yet. And I couldn’t afford a chainsaw, so I had to knock down every tree by hand, by myself. And I’m still knocking down trees, but at least now I can afford an ax. For the first time in my life, I am able to efficiently help myself. And others when they need help too.
The thing is, I’m here now. I can see the fucking beach. And on the beach there are boats that I can afford. And all the chainsaws I could ever want! I can leave the island or I can stay and forge another path. A hundred more paths. A million more paths! I am free to make whatever decision I want and it will not be the hardest thing I’ve ever done because that phase of my life is over.
I’ve made it to the fucking beach. Do you know how easy it will be to chainsaw some trees when I’ve been knocking them down by hand my entire life? What obstacles?? Fuck it, maybe one day I’ll even have a bulldozer!
I have no idea what my future holds and I don’t even want to plan it because maybe I’ve been thinking too small. All I know is, I’m at the beach. I can feel the sand and I can smell the salt water. And I’m fucking running towards it.
Metaphor: Life is a jungle and you’ve gotta make it to the beach. Oh, and the chainsaw is privilege you get from being rich and/or white. I can’t be white, but I can be rich! #imnotblackimOJ #OJdidntgotojailformurder 🤷🏽♀️