It has been a while since I last wrote anything on I AM MELANIN, and even longer since I’ve written anything personal in this space. & for good reason. It’s interesting the twists, turns, and the overall journey life brings you on just to get you back on your original path.
I AM MELANIN started off as a blog where I shared my personal experiences as a young black woman, the things I experienced, and my outlook on the atrocities that were happening in this society and the community and world around me. Soon after, it turned into a place where I offered support, resources, and knowledge to other young black folks through Melanin Book Club and the array of other services that I wanted to offer to marginalized communities, particularly Chicago, completely taking myself out of the blog all together.
I’ve learned a lot in the past two years since starting this blog. By choosing to not share much of my life on social media (via I AM MELANIN, instagram, facebook, etc.) I had the space and time to reconnect and refocus. My time of introspection taught me a lot about myself and allowed me to reflect on many aspects of my life and relationships with friends and family. It allowed me to see things from an entirely different and fresh perspective that I admit I was lacking some months ago. I am someone who is always focusing on the bigger picture of society and often have to remind myself of my inner being, where love and peace must derive first in order to radiate outward and have a lasting affect on others. We have to be really conscious of how much of ourselves we give to other people, whether that be our energy, our time, our body, or material possessions. I devoted a lot of time trying to impact change, to advance a movement, or start one, that focused on helping to resolve issues in our community. I gave up nearly everything that I owned to provide service to others. Which I realized is similar to how I am in personal relationships. I’ve often found myself in situations where I was always giving time, support, resources to others leaving me completely depleted, defeated, and receiving little in return. It took me a year of struggles and deep reflection (and a lot of people dogging me out) to withdraw from many toxic relationships. The best, and maybe the only way, to remedy issues within the Black community it to start with oneself, your own heart, your own family and friends. As I’ve been learning more and more recently, there must be a duality and balance in self-care and the care we give to the public.