It’s 5:37am here in California. I awoke to the feeling of that I may be dying of thirst. I always keep a water bottle near my bed. I took a sip of water and cringed realizing I had fallen asleep mid text, having not read my bible before bed and my freshly done hair left unwrapped. I was in a panic that my life was in shambles momentarily due to my Friday night carelessness. I sat and thought for a moment. I laughed at myself realizing that the pressure I put on me never really ends. I am in in dire need of perfection 24/7. I am constantly working my ass off to prove something to me. I am learning as I live each day that my life is my story and if I want to continue to live to tell it I need to lay off the stress. Having yet brushed my teeth (LOL) I picked up my laptop because I felt something on my heart and my fingers were tingling. I felt a sense of inspiration having spent the last hour or so reading The NY Times Magazine latest article on how a group of black social-media activists built the first 21st– century civil rights movement. Kind of eerie that twenty plus years in this country I am still reading about civil rights movements, but I digress.
Anyways, I was inspired by the article because there are so many young, talented individuals just like me who are living in this world who want nothing more to make a change. I sat having coffee in Starbucks a few weeks back. My freshly manicured nails were clicking away at my laptop as they are now. I had been working on chapter two of my next book which at the time I was title “Transparency.” A woman stood eyeing me as she waited for her name to be called. I guess she was wondering what had my fingers clicking so rapidly. As I suspected, that was the case. She proceeded to walk out after getting her coffee and stopped by where I was sitting. “Hi, I was watching you and admired how focused you are. You seem so young and ambitious. I assume you’re working on an assignment.” She says. I replied, “Actually, I am working on my next book.” “A book? Wow, that is awesome. Do you mind me asking what your book is about?” “It focuses on my life. My every day challenges and struggles as I grow older. How I work to overcome life adversities and the power in letting the universe do it’s work. In lamest terms it’s a self-help book.” “Wow that is amazing. I just couldn’t imagine someone your age having so much to document, there’s still so much more living to do.”
I could go on and tell you the rest of the story and how the conversation played out, but it would be pointless. The only thing that I remember is her under handedly telling me that documenting my pain and suffering is invalid because I am not old enough. There was something I discovered years ago when publishing my first body of non-fiction work. What I discovered was the power in my words. The fact that people set limitations on how and when something is creditable is beyond me. Since when do I have to be a certain age to document my truth? I am a young twenty something woman. I take pride in the fact that my voice has become the voice of many around the world. Not all of us have the capability to vocalize our pain and sufferings, hence why depression has been a staple in my life for so many years. What if a young woman woke up one day and decided that her life is worth living? What if she decided that all that she had been through over the years served a purpose and that purpose was to help others? What if she knew in her heart that there were other young women all over the world exactly like her that needed to hear her story?
That young woman is me.
There are tons of women in the world who I admire and look up to, but you know who fuels me? The woman I look at and see myself. The one who knows firsthand the root to my emotions and my everyday life sufferings. The millennial woman who knows and truly understands how I wake up feeling. The woman I relate to it the one that fucking gets it and by it I mean me. So while it uplifts me and inspires me to read novels by women who are a bit more seasoned in life, I am more motivated by the ones who are on this walk with me. I am influenced and encouraged by the Morgan’s, Erica’s, Tyece’s, Noesha’s, Jasmine’s, Candice’s, Tamara’s and Tamika’s in the world. I am uplifted each day by them. These are the women and the faces that encourage me to keep going because despite how hard it is to be chasing a dream at 20 something, it’s worth it.
So for that alone I feel like my published work is necessary. Each year of my life that I choose to document is worth it. And every time I see a headline how another woman my age has lost her battle with depression by committing suicide I feel more compelled to keep sharing my truth. We need to know that there are women like us who believe in getting it done. We need to know that that there are more than a handful of us who aspire to be more than an ass model on Instagram. And while I may not have lived enough years to experience all that life has to teach me, I’ve lived enough to go through some shit. I’ve lived enough to document the right now. I find solace in the fact that someone out there is struggling through the same things. Some young girl out there needs to know that she is more than her thoughts and suicide isn’t the answer. So when people question my gifts, setting limitations on the bodies of work I put out into the world I pity them.
My friend Brittiny told me “You are growing and will continue to grow. There is never a time when you can say, okay now I can write that self-help book. Every stage in life is a story. You are helping women that are of your age. Wisdom has no age. You can be old and dumb. There are no rule or limits. As long as your shit is quality and is not poor you’re good.” And that is exhibit A. of why you need solid friends in your life.(Love you, girl) A simple reminder, is all I needed. What if I had waited? What if someone picked up A Woman’s Quest to Self-Love and it completely transformed her life? Better yet, what if it saved her life? You never know who you’re impacting. Don’t be silenced by the limitations of this world. Don’t let people put you in a box. Don’t keep your gifts hostage because you feel you’re not old enough to act upon them yet.
I am doing what I love. If it was meant for me to wait until I was old enough and lived a bit longer than God would have designed it that way. But, for now I am in celebratory state of mind due to my accomplishments. I will never be made to feel that my books are not making a difference. I will never be made to think that my words hold no clout or weight because I am “too young” and have yet to experience all of life. We need us. We need to have others who are like us telling us it is all possible to overcome. We need to hear it and see it achieved from a perspective that we not only understand, but a face we look at and say she is me, I can do that too. So when you question my craft, all I can say is that “I am an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.” To hell with your limitations….