Seeking Clarity Through a Crisis

About a month ago, in the middle of the night, I had a moment that didn’t feel good. I was imprisoned by the feeling of wanting to run out of myself because of conflicting internal struggles and pressures but not being able to. I felt like I was drowning in anxious feelings that were trying to take me out, choking me and accelerating my heart’s thuds un-rhythmically.

How could I embrace other black women when I couldn’t even embrace myself?

This episode occurred during a time where I found myself ‘resting’ after an adventurous 18 months, of having a child, working creatively, taking up MA studies and more. I was 3 weeks into trying to be still in order to evaluate my next steps in life, both personal, creative and professional — what an ugly process it was! The fear of not doing anything, that I tried to avoid by throwing myself into various activities immediately after giving birth had finally caught up with me, tackling me and forcing me to reflect — taking me on an existential journey of self, ‘why’s’, ‘how’s’ and ‘what’s, desperately seeking clarity.

Feeling pressured to keep delivering the type of content I was producing when I first launched this platform at a relatively-young age, even though I had stopped doing that for a while and no longer wanted to do. But I felt trapped. Trapped by the dream of producing the type of publication that I wanted to see our diverse selves reflected in, but couldn’t afford to; doing a lot on my own, studying and working at the same time.

Though I can also admit that these feelings are as a result of not seeing my work and talent translate into desirable fruits, admittedly they were also linked to frequent moments of self-doubt, and extreme-criticism towards myself. I’d ask myself: ‘how could I embrace other black women when I couldn’t even embrace myself (identity crisis anyone?!) How could I champion and embrace, the full expression and accomplishments of others when, I had not been living expressively? I no longer felt aligned with my mission and did not want to be inauthentic in my approach to creating content. Thus begun the relatively long internal conflict to continue on with this platform that I had created, out of a subconscious need to also be embraced and supported by a community of women, as I had also grown up around.

For awhile, I had been a crossroads, struggling with which road to take, trying to trace a new path, a new life, completely away from the one I’ve known as a creative but keep finding myself coming back to it as I’m struggling to let it all go, because I do not want to let it go as I believe it is possible to have it all. Regardless of how idealistic it may sound, attempting to figure out how to have it all has brought me clarity and answers as to what my next steps should be.

So, as I embark on a new journey to self-actualise professionally and personally, I will be using this platform to explore, document and navigate life as well as share stories relating to culture and lifestyle, that positively represent black women. I’m excited, happy yet scared for what it to come. But it is time to break out and do what I stopped doing some time ago: to give myself and AFRONOIRE a chance to be.

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