Today will mark 12 days past 4-years since I arrived in the US for my graduate school journey, and my experience has been bittersweet. There are things I know now that reflecting, and in hindsight, I would have done differently. But this journey is one I have come to embrace fully.
When I moved to this country, I was vulnerable online sharing my challenges and progress, but that changed. I realised that my brands (fashion, academic and footwear), were suffering greatly from my publicly shared struggle.
BEING VULNERABLE ONLINE
I woke up one day and decided against it. And because I have been out of tune with my vulnerable side, I almost forgot to celebrate this 4th milestone.
Previously, I had felt that by being vulnerable online, that a lot of people would be inspired by my journey. While that may be true, I found it hard to balance out the information I was giving out (oversharing). So, I made the switch.
Life since has been lovely. I haven’t shared much of it because people like it when there is an air of mystery around what you do and how you do it.
But life is happening, and sometimes I want to tell these stories. For example, one day I want to write how being an immigrant makes you feel empty on the inside, I want to write about the loneliness, the first miracle you experience, finding joy again, etc. And I think I will.
Teju cole alludes to a similar feeling in “Known and Strange Things” …he writes… “finding solace in the idea of being in one place while desiring another, not for the sake of being in that other place…”
CELEBRATING A MILESTONE
I am thankful for my time at Georgetown, without which my current opportunities would have been impossible. Thinking of the joy that I have experienced these past months, I am open to telling my stories again. I remember that morning when things changed. I woke wanting control of the ideas of me which people had formed from the stories I told.
Now that I have practiced balance with how to share my stories, I want to write about them again. However, my intention to be vulnerable again is now a way to document my progress and not so much about inspiring people. Having the understanding that my writing can be both is still a skill I am practicing.
When I stopped being vulnerable online, my decision was costly! I had lost my relation with empathy, and also my skill to write for an audience. But by looking at old stories, me being vulnerable online then, was as much for me as they were for my audience.
As I celebrate this milestone, I open the floodgates again to myself and the people who care to read. Also, a big shoutout to my readers and online community. Y’all showed up for me while I was in the trenches and I am a big fan of your kindness.
I look forward to writing to you soon.
Top: Saks Fifth Avenue