“Choose yourself. Choose yourself. Always bet on yourself.”
-Billy Porter, Tony Award Winning Actor
This week was my final week of my undergrad. It was bittersweet. It was amazing. It was a reminder there is more to be done. I found a job, I start the week of finals week, and I think I already hate it…
It’s not what I want to do, but it’s a ‘right now’ job. There are still bills to pay, children to feed and gas to put in my car to get back and forth. Yet, my heart is not there–and already planning for grad school. My next meetings with my professional next works. The books yet to write.
The brand I am building…
I have decided to pursue writing, to give my all to it–to do what will feed that need to create. There are a myriad of things before me to choose from, to develop. I have decided graduate school is what I want to pursue. I want to teach college courses. I want to hold space. I want to be a gatekeeper.
I will be a gatekeeper.
As my time at UM-St. Louis is ending, I am 1 final and 1 group activity from graduation. I am indeed almost there! My professional network is forming, expanding already. I am looking at Low-Res options for my MFA, or MA’s. I even have my thesis! I have waited so long to get to this point where I can say ‘almost’. Where I can say ‘I am almost there.’
‘I am almost there.’
There is no longer nebulous and foreign. It is no longer this place of mourning or regret or complete fury at its lack. I had to remind myself the job is not a career, not my trail or path anymore. I am no longer a nurse, nor do I have a desire to be one. I am a different type of caretaker.
This week when doing my review for Dr. Welch’s class, we played Are You Smarter Than A 15th Grader?–or take on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? I wore my BLACK AUTHORS MATTER shirt I got from a Writing Coach called the LiteraryRevolutionary on Instagram. I said this before the review started:
“Okay, before we get started. I want to take a station break and remind you in the words of my girl Morgan Jenkins, the author of This Will Be My Undoing, and Medium editor who said, ‘If you only read White authors you are not well-read.’ So I want to remind you Black Authors Matter.”
I don’t think I would have had the boldness to do that had I not had this semester and personal writing experience to draw from. That act, amidst a sea of non-melaninated faces, was revolutionary. It was a reminder to be and remain visible–as both writer and teacher. The fear of not being successful at this–this writing, teaching, speaking–is over.
I know that which I want to do, and the opinions of others are not a factor. Nor are they, will there be a problem. This semester has allowed me to radically believe in myself. In every gift. Every dream. Every talent.
This new space feels amazing…it is amazing.
The journey to get here is nothing short of miraculous. But, it is the miraculous things which require the most magic. Other things are handled, will be handled with this Black Girl Magic.
Oh! The world about to get all this Black Girl Magic–ready or not.
Ready or not–Here She Come.