26 was a roller coaster type of year for me. I traveled and visited both parents, I won a national spoken word title, I began writing my first fiction and published a graphic novel. My spoken word is being broadcasted as an MTV commercial thanks to UNITY Charity. I designed and implemented youth creative leadership programs and co-founded Ink Veins – young women’s spoken word group. I produced some great events with the help of my community. I learned about city politics through my work with Toronto Women’s City Alliance. I’ve worked on projects along side some inspiring friends, teachers and youth.
I’m coming out of this crazy year with the realization of how easy it is to lose yourself in the hustle and become unbalanced spiritually and physically. I no longer choose to believe that success comes with sacrifice – that’s just an excuse for not spending time with loved ones or being true to yourself. My understanding of success goes way beyond financial stability and security to encompass artistic growth, mental and physical wellness and quality time with quality people.
I’ve been feeling a shift in my bones. My new goal for the next year of my life is to take on less so that I can do more. I want to enjoy the process more and feel like I’ve given my everything to each project without getting lost in timelines and deadlines. Most importantly, I want to spend more time being true to myself, even if that means taking a step back from the things that make up my identity.
One of the teachers I have learned from, Geneviève Letarte, once said: “I write to know the person I don’t know I am” and ancient philosopher Lao Tzu said, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” I don’t know why 27 feels so significant but it does. Feels like the unknown is taking a step towards me and for once, I’m not turning my back but walking forward with open arms.