🗣 In 2017 I failed and fell HARD, you hear me!? Like, 2K17 had me crying and laying in bed not wanting to get up. Graduate school had me questioning my intelligence💡, and my spot within my cohort 👩🏾🏫. My job had me questioning my credibility, abilities, and my qualifications 👩🏾💼 – it even made me me think twice about my “professionalism” (whatever that means 🤷🏾♀️, that’s a story for a different day though). Lastly, 2017 had me question my worth and who I am a person – a young, Black, educated, God-fearing woman (again, whatever all that means 🤷🏾♀️). Haha. This year alone, has brought me to my knees and tears to my eyes more than I would like to admit. Year 23 for me, or 2K17, has brought nothing but confusion 🤔, life lessons 📝, and a few giggles 😅 here and there; so to put it simply, it ain’t been all that great. I have wanted to chronicle more of my experiences and feelings about where I am as a Young, Black, Educated Woman, however, I have struggled to even find the words to express myself (as y’all know, the struggle can be SO real 😓).
Yet, as 2017 ends there are few things I wanted to say. Although, at certain times I feel as if 2K17 kicked my ass, I also feel as if it blessed me with a few gems 💎. Twenty seventeen taught me how to fight, and I’m not talking about traditional fighting – yelling, cussing, kicking, and screaming. The fight in which you walk away, reflect, strategize, and at times stand still. Rather, the type of fighting that confuses your opponent(s), while simultaneously reenergizing you as a person. There have been a number of battles I have had to reposition myself in (professional, academically, and personally) in order to champion them. This year also revealed one more thing to me (more so StrengthsQuest, same thing though 😂) – my feelings and experiences are valid AF ✊🏾 [see, urban dictionary], like, every single one of them! Beliefs fell into one of my “top 5” strengths this past year. I’ve always known that my values, beliefs, faith systems, and foundational principles were important to me, but at that moment they had taken on a whole new meaning.
During this past year I experienced a lot of loss (friendships, relationships, and preconceived ideologies). For awhile I was unsure why and felt empty, yet it all began to make sense and I felt at ease. I was truly coming into my own, and accepting it. I no longer needed to, feel as if things were alright, have someone around to feel a “void”, or to force my participation or visibility at events or activities to be whole — I was finally learning to just be. To be who I am in a particular moment, in that given time and space. Even more so, just being okay with who I am as a person.
As I eat 🍪, sleep 😴, or drink 🍾 my way into 2018, I am going in ready to be and committed to staying true to to myself. This doesn’t mean that I am or will be complacent, but it means that I am staying true to all of my intersecting identities and what they mean to me. I am following my desires and wants; I am capitalizing on my skills, talents, and gifts; I am holding on to, and up for my values and principles – if people and things don’t align, I am letting them go; and lastly, I am fully embracing and indulging in all of the moments that may come as result of the behaviors and actions. All in all, 2K17 kicked rocks, but 2018 will be every bit of what I make it ✨.
— Signed, a YBEW just trying to figure it out