So here I am, sitting in this café, listening to Lemonade for the 378564th time and drinking coffee. It’s a warm, sunshiny day, I’m sitting opposite a black Republican smiling sweetly at him while wearing my Fuck Trump cap and there’s a soft breeze fluttering in through the open windows wafting along the scent of spring.
It’s a beautiful day.
Inspired by the good vibes, I open up my computer to do some work… and it’s not happening. It’s just not. Like… my brain is unable to can. It’s tapped out, staring at me with its pink spongy arms crossed like ‘nope’. The Sophomore Slump (aka Early Senioritis aka The Hump Day Of Your College Career aka Why Do I Need This Degree Anyway I Just Want To Live In A Cottage And Make Jam) is REAL.
Naturally, I give in to my brain’s inability to get in formation, and do what any millennial would do in this situation – the Innanets. In the midst of my ensuing lazy trawl through social media, while wailing internally about burn out and needing a long holiday or an extra strong mojito, I see a tweet from the founder of Blavity, Morgan DeBaun: “No one cares. Work harder”.
And it’s like God’s woken up from Her nap to slap me upside the head.
It’s so easy to lose your drive in the messiness of this school and in the madness that is this country. It’s easy to give into the urge to curl up in foetal position with Ben and Jerry’s and watch Grey’s Anatomy all day because what’s the point of pouring so much energy into an institution that’s like an intellectual Azkaban for people like me? And sometimes, checking out like that is necessary. Sometimes you need a break to be able to get through the next few weeks. And that’s okay. It’s also a slippery slope… because that bed gets all too comfortable and soon enough you realise if you just stay there for another hour… or if you lie there all day… or what the heck, let me just stay here forever, you won’t have to deal with all the bullshit. And that’s just as dangerous as not taking care of yourself.
You (and I’m speaking in particular here to the black women that break their backs just to keep breathing) are extraordinary. When did you forget that? To quote one of the magical black women I’ve had the privilege of getting to know here, “mediocrity walks through these doors every day and it’s NEVER black”. You are the reason why these institutions have anything to boast about in the first place. All of the hard work you’ve done to get here – I see you. I’m affirming you. I recognise you. You DESERVE to be here. Granted, there are probably oodles of places you’d rather be (**cue Home by Michael Bublé**) but hang in there. Your success, your happiness, your goals are worth it. Entirely worth it.
Before I get back to work (…sigh…) here’s my list of powerful women whose essences I’d like to distill, throw into a blender (along with the pure, unadulterated shade of the late, great Prince for some flavour) and chug. Read through, make your own… do what you need to get yourself back. Just in case you, like me, needed a little extra push today.
- My mama
- Michelle Obama
- Angélique Kidjo
- Serena Williams
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Mae Jemison
- Laverne Cox
- Miranda Bailey
- Hermione Granger
- Toni Morrison