Sister Sunday: Seeking Sanctuary In The Words of Black Womxn

This morning I came across a relatable post by a womxn that I have been deliberately following on social media this past year.

It read, “Can I share something? It’s been a really rough few weeks. Lots of tears and anxiety, and I think it has a lot to do with this upcoming chapter in my life. I realize that my friends and many of the women I look up to are living lives that are a product of their parents’ hard work. They are the generation experiencing the benefits of education and consistency and quality foundation, and financial security that their parents worked for…..

I am not the same. I am the striver, the worker, the innovator, the one defining possibility, and it’s hard and terrifying, and I constantly feel a teetering between hopelessness and possibility.

I feel oftentimes stranded between where I came from and what is possible. Floating between feeling like I belong here and wondering who the hell I think I am.

This fear and frustration go beyond just thoughts. It puts my stomach in knots and makes my legs weak.

I’m a strong girl. I always have been. I take risks. I let my curiosity and self-confidence guide me through many, many things. It won’t be any different this time.

But I want all other girls like me, the first generation, to embark on new and glorious things. Who doesn’t have a safety net of parents who can float their rent or pay for a plane ticket. Who had to self learn the world of personal finance and of education and of networking or business building and of emotional health and self care. I want those girls to know that I cry too, and I am trembling with EVERY STEP I TAKE, and I promise you that I will teach you everything I know, I will hand you the map, and help you build your toolbox once I figure it out.

I promise you.”

These are the words of Public Academic, Philanthropic Innovator, and Social Entrepreneur Rachel Cargle.

In the midst of what has been a chaotic and emotional rollercoaster of a year, 2020 has opened my eyes to one thing I now know for certain. I AM NOT ALONE.

I am not alone in my feelings. I am not alone in my emotions. I am not alone in my journey to self-actualization and the daily struggles that I face while navigating life. And while I encounter unique experiences tailored individually for me, I realize there is no need to feel as though it is solely me against the systems that have been put in place for me to fail. Feeling desolate invites thoughts unconducive to my mental health and overall well-being. To carry such a burden deters me from preserving self and ultimately fulfilling my purpose.

Just like Rachel, I am too the striver, the worker, and the innovator, the one defining what possibility looks like for myself. And whereas I am an Ambitious Black Girl at heart, my aspirations, faith, and inner strength pushing me through — God protecting and directing me. I know what it’s like to share space with anxiety, fear, and frustration. To feel like I am literally going around in circles, mentally be in a place where I am doing my best to continue to dream big while feeling hopeless. I often struggle with my past, where I come from, where I am going, faith, hope, and tomorrow’s possibility. So much that I question who I am at times and if I am indeed worthy of all that I see and believe is imaginable.

It brought me to tears reading the December 20, 2017, post that Ms. Cargle shared. Tears because I felt her heart, pain, hurt, strength and resilience, vulnerability, honesty, conviction, determination, and ambition. I felt it so deeply that her words instantly brought me home, the connection and sanctuary that we all long for. To be heard, to be seen, to be represented, and stood up for.

I may not have the safeguard of parents and family that can support me in times of emotional and financial need. I may be the first to embark on new marvelous adventures, but I definitely won’t be the last. I affirm to continue to stand in my purpose and live unapologetically.

When Rachel Cargle so passionately wrote, “I promise you that I will teach you everything I know, I will hand you the map, I will help you build your toolbox once I figure it out,” she was speaking to you and me.

So I leave you with a thought in mind: When you feel like the darkness is overpowering the light, when you feel helpless and hopeless, when you feel like giving up, and you’re feeling off-balance, breath, read this story, and let these words sink in:

Keep Going. Keep Growing. Keep Knowing.

You are not alone.

Tatiana Donaldson is a writer, educator, and host of Ambitious Black Girl: The Podcast. Visit Ambitious Black Girl for podcast episodes, stories, and more!

Tatiana is an educator, writer, and Editor of 𝙀𝙣 𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙤𝙧 — a progressive publication illuminating Black voices, Black art, and Black culture.

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