1. I write poems. I mean a lot of them. I think I have 4 notebooks worth. Plus, I have a blog full of them under a pseudonym, and I participate in online poetry workshops.
2. As a little girl I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer. I would tell people a teacher, but that’s only because I thought it sounded more reasonable. Now, I don’t trust my swimming abilities and want to take adult swim classes one day.
3. My second biggest fear is being trapped. It used to be bad. I would have panic attacks at work when the kids tried to crowd around me. One summer I went spelunking with a friend and conquered the worst parts of my phobia. Now instead of being at a level 8, it’s more like a level 3.
Each of these secrets teaches me a different life lesson.
Secret 1 teaches me about self-care. I’ve written poetry since I was in 6th grade. It has always been my private passion that allows me to make concrete what is often intangible. Poetry is a release for me that has never failed. Often I write when I’m sad, frustrated, or hurt, but I have upbeat poems too. Keep a little of you to yourself. Make sure you know what She needs for peace.
Secret 2 teaches me than representation and expectations matter. At 4 or 5 years old I’d already learned that “Black girls don’t swim” because we don’t “mess up our hair”. Also, I understood that my dream seemed farfetched and felt that I should say something more practical when asked what I’d like to be in the future. Encourage others’ dreams. Oxygenate their fires, don’t snuff them out.
Secret 3 teaches me to face my challenges big and small. I may fail trying but they will be a bit less daunting the next time they come around. Fear is an opportunity to face impossible and make it plausible.
What are some of your secrets? Comment below.
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