“Do you struggle with being your true self?” I parted my lips with a glass of wine while inquiring.
We were all laid in bed wearing pajamas and making small talk really long. We talk in depth, we talk shallowly, we scrutinize, we laugh, we reminisce, and we go in and out of each other’s mental arena so deeply without feeling invaded. We never stop talking; we open up our souls so vastly and pour into each other so freely that we never catch the wind of time. Its therapy but better because nobody is parting with any cash and you don’t get to go out of your way. Charmed perhaps?
‘Not that you are trying to be someone else but more in the lines of not being brutally honest about who you are?’ I adjusted myself well enough to look at them as they rested on the headboard with their glasses of wine half full.
‘Yes all the time’ went Amarie.
I feel like I can’t be myself creatively as it might deviate from my brand’s image. Every time I want to post a picture I have to pull myself back and I can’t count the number of times I have not put up a picture I like because it will not represent me in a certain light’
‘ I have scrolls of articles sitting on my desktop that are awfully honest and so vivid but I can’t publish them on my site because I might end up rubbing people wrongly, mostly people I care about and love. My biggest scare is opening up a channel of raw unwarranted feelings from my audience more so my family and friends. With you guys, I can be who I am unapologetically without fearing that I’ll be taken advantage of or discredited because of my past’ I said passionately.
‘But you guys should be yourselves at all times, don’t care what other people think’ Claire advised.
‘It’s really not that simple!’ I interjected politely.
I wish I could show the world who I really am creatively. Why I have certain ideas; why I carry myself the way I do; narrate the mistakes I made in draft; bare my soul open so I can be free; completely mentally liberated. I want people to know my experiences how they have shaped me into the person I am today. I want my readers to know that I am not perfect that I am just like them in every sense of the way. I have failed, I have succeeded, I have wronged, I have white my wrongs, I have struggles, I spoil myself, I work hard, I love sleep too much, I cry and breakdown and dust myself off. I want them to resonate with me, get closure that we are just human. I would love my audience to see the good, the bad and the ugly. I want for them to avoid certain paths that I took, to learn from my mistakes, I want them to know that they are not alone. That we are all connected and we are all stuck her together; there is no one better than the other. It’s just simply about being better than you used to be, to grow with me and me with them’ I remarked as I found my way to the fridge for more wine and food.
Amerie and I were facing the same dilemma when it came to being creatively fluid and liberated. She had almost a similar struggle with being who she is; trying to separate the professional from personal. She darted into the conversation as I opened the door to the fridge.
‘I would love to be me, the real me, in my own raw form but there are so many skeptics that I’m somehow hindered to be fluid in my ways. My last post was so vivid in showcasing who I am and where I come from; it’s not that these other posts are fake or illegitimate; they are just another version of me. They represent me in a certain light, the light that people are used to and for me to be indifferent and expose a side of me that is foreign to them is usually met with negativity. People will take advantage of that to make themselves feel better or some psycho extravaganza will ensue’ Amerie explained.
As women we are forced to be spectacles of some sort. Completely immersed in societal dogma that we drown in a bid to maintain a good social nature and still rake in the profits. We are compressed to be a version of ourselves as it may not favor us if we show who we are on the large scale. We are living in a society that is so detrimental, we would rather display the surface and neglect the core of it all; simply because it may not be ‘good enough’. We are so inclined to look good as a people and not really feel good as per say for the fear of being rejected, taunted, ridiculed or unappreciated.
Every time I turn on my laptop I see the folder on the top left corner just staring at me where; long dark sentences of my experiences lie, unending full stops of pain, destruction and deception, paragraphs made of fear, betrayal and longing, the intensity of the titles that represent my torments and lessons thus far. A folder full of twenty three years of being lost, happy, damaged, healed, abandoned, violated, gossiped about, put down, neglected, uplifted, found, sacrificed, tenacity, scared, ashamed, intoxicated, affluently possessed and morphing into this beautiful soul that I am. Would I rather give it to my daughter when she gets here? Or simply publish them ( the art of not giving a F***)
But what are the chances that these truths won’t be used against me? That people will refuse to take off their masks and break down with me, laugh with me, feel my shame in between the lines and get angered by the situations that I’ve been put in. How do I trust that my opening up won’t come with invites from social platforms taking me apart?
That other women will choose to bear themselves and be freed from this stupid culture and belief system that paints us as flawless creatures (we low-key are). I would love nothing more than seeing a damaged soul seek solace in my words, for me to make my readers understand that it’s okay to fail yourself, that shame shouldn’t hold you back and you are allowed to be who you are no matter what. But what do I tell my nieces when they become of age and piece out these brutally honest articles. How do I face my mother who knows only what I choose to show? Plus the family members both nuclear and extended that may look down upon me for being so ‘selfish’.
‘All I know, Diaz and Amerie is that you should strive to be yourself at all times despite what people will think or say’ said Claire with a certain aura of completion.
We all nod and cheers to the sentiments, it’s already five in the morning and we are still giggling and venting like it’s a hot boring afternoon. Being highly nocturnal, I asked a good friend of mine to send Paul Coelho’s books for a reread. Amerie was the first to sleep and soon after Claire called it a morning, I flipped channels and watched Fanaka Tv trying to see if their content is on the level, before I got the books.