To Be Or Not To Be: The Cliche
I am me, but yet when someone asks who me is, I find it difficult to reply. I constantly find myself in this conflicted state of having to choose, who do I show, who would they like? Should I begin as a creative? or should I begin as a nerd? a title I wear proudly….sometimes or should I just begin as the “regular” black girl? aka the loud one. My art, My intellect and my race wrapped up in a dilemma.So I reach this disastrous cliche again: To be or not to be? My frustration runs high whilst the interviewer awaits my answer. In the end I always choose the creative and later I become sad.
I choose creative because I'm scared people would say she's a show-off or she's just another black girl. Creative I guess becomes, my sad escape route. I begin with, I'm into mix-media, photography, film, art, poetry, any thing that pleases me aesthetically. Sad but true. I spend most of my time taking self portraits and creating stories in my mind. I hope to one day be a curator, I will proudly say, and then the next question follows, is that your chosen career part? My always surprising response is no. I want to become a clinical Neuro-psychologist. I can't see myself doing anything else in this world career wise. That's the dream. And the me puzzle unravels, she's a girl of many passions. Then I give the race lecture and I hope that it explains why I picked creative at first.
Being Smart and being Black isn't apparently the right mix according to the media, so to comfortably accept that I have some level of intellectual capability is difficult, however I have learnt to embrace it. Sometimes I struggle with it and sometimes I don't. But at the core of my acceptance is this satisfaction that I don't fit in, that I can very much and proudly say the news about black youths is bullshit. We are more than gangs and gun violence, we have brains and we can use them. We are smart. So with that single thought as motivation as cheesy as it sounds, I do try my hardest, to not just be a figure in societies long list of statistics. So yeah I guess I'm “smart”.
So I automatically at this point become me, the creative, the nerd and the loud black girl, as I enthusiastically begin to speak about the different aspects of my life and how some how I find it difficult to choose and find it also extremely difficult to understand why we need to choose. Why must be choose one and be confined to a box, that to be is my greatest dilemma till date. However to end this very lengthy conversation I always say it's your life. Yours and yours alone to live.
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