I will do my best to make sure this post doesn't sound like the motivational posters hanging in my high school teachers' classrooms. You know the ones I'm talking about right? Picture a black poster with a stock image photo of scene from nature or animals clustered together and underneath it there is a phrase that says something like "SUCCESS: The result of of continuous hard work towards your goals" or something like that. I promise, this won't be a long form version of that poster. At least not on purpose.
This time last year, I left my first "real job" to move to New York City in pursuit of my master's degree. Everything I was leaving behind was the familiarity of a place I had gotten to know over the past five years. I was physically relocating away from a group of women whose friendship was life giving. In a nutshell, I was moving to the edge of a well-curated comfort zone for a lot of unknowingness. I was so anxious for what the new environment would bring about for me. I still find this city to be pretty isolating at times, but there are ways in this place that I am freer than I could ever be, and for that I am grateful.
What I have learned in this past year is that most transplants to this city are on their own trajectories, and that comparison is often fruitless. New York City, undoubtedly as I have come to know it, is a city of doers and dreamers, and I finally feel ready to tap into that spirit within myself.
In the months leading up to the launch of girlemboldened, I have spent countless hours thinking and envisioning what this space could be for me, and I recognize it to be the first step in reconciling that writing is a strong passion of mine. I have spent considerable time thinking about my writing, what writing means to me, and why it is important to share my writing.
I write to release. I write to reconnect. I write to remember. I write to recognize my own worth.
It is so easy to get caught up in comparisons, and in the last few months I have let anxiety and fear eclipse my love for storytelling and sharing my voice. Is my writing any good? Is it sophisticated enough? Will my thoughts and experiences resonate with people? How will I be perceived?
I have realized that all of my valid concerns are simply another form of doubt serving as a restriction keeping me from moving forward. So enough of that. It is my hope that this leap forward continues to inspire and motivate those who come across it, and encourages all to let go of the restrictions that are also standing in the way.
When I originally envisioned this piece, I spent a lot of time thinking about the concept of clout. Having clout in many ways indicates that you have authority over the content you are creating or promoting. In the age of social media that we live in now, clout seems synonymous with attention, and there is a certain pressure to seem "relevant." Don't get me wrong, clout is certainly an important thing to earn, but I find that not feeling like I have clout has kept me from moving in the directions I want to move.
What I'm working on unlearning, is that clout is not synonymous as legitimacy. What I don’t want to feel, or what I am processing through, is feeling like you need to have already established clout in order to launch your dream projects or initiatives. That’s where imposter syndrome factors in and silences me.
So, with that being said, I am coming into a space intentionally designed for my own growth, and it is both an exciting and nerve-wracking feeling. I truly feel this is the season for sprouting.
For my friends who are reading this, I know there is a project or initiative that you are sitting on. There is a book you are working on, keep going! There is a script you want to flip into a film, you got this! We can and will put our dreams first. Despite whatever it is that might be holding us back, we are preparing for our development. Sprout, despite doubt.
Now, put that on a poster!