Once upon a time, I was enormously self conscious. Like, hyper-aware of every move I made because I didn’t want to make a fool of myself, or bring in the wrong kind of attention. I hid behind academics, activities and eventually I hid behind boys. I was a walking billboard of teen angst, and on the surface I did mold myself into the perfect portrait of who I wanted to be perceived as. I was the cheerleader, had the long-time boyfriend, all A’s, and was even nominated for prom queen. Still, something wasn’t quite right.
I have vivid memories as a child of different experiences where I learned that being a woman, and a black woman at that, meant I was less than; that my word meant nothing (I would stay silent during many times when I should have been yelling from the top of my lungs) and my only priority would be to prevent pregnancy and go to college. I won’t be specific here, but it took a life-altering decision at the age of 21 to realize I was on the wrong path with people who didn’t have my best interests at heart. With the encouragement of my moms (my Mom and my mother figure) I packed up, and headed to NYC. Its cliché, but something about those bright lights married with my newfound freedom that set my creativity into flight. August of 2013: that’s when I started the long process of unpacking all the memories long buried deep in the back of my mind (I finally understand Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady”) and I began to see that being a black woman doesn’t mean I am any less; not any less worthy, beautiful, or important. I can be sexual, I can speak my mind, I can say no, and I can do whatever the hell I please with or without regard for the sensitivity of others. And I don’t have to be sorry for none of it! (That’s a reference to Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” if you didn’t know)
Who am I now? I am beautiful and powerful. I’m the one does her best to say what she means without assumptions or taking it personally (That’s a reference to “The Four Agreements”- read it if you haven’t already!). I’m “That girl with the hair”. I’m the one who always puts a lot on my own plate. My life is full of action words; I’m fixated on the now as opposed to past or future tense. I am very cognizant of doing instead of trying, and omitting the word “sorry” from my vernacular. I’m going against the grain as I make my way through this world, and my purpose is to show other girls and guys that they can do the same if they really want to.
I’m not certain of what’s to come for the most part; the universe will control that. All I can say is that I will see this world, and I will have the means to do it on my own terms. This site is here for those that are diminished down to a sex object or a race, when you really just want to fly and be. Feel free to subscribe and let’s be and fly together. And I’ll write what I’ve learned and observed along the way. Where is Shannon? Well, I could be anywhere at any given time because my soul is now free to roam. Where are you and where do you want to be?