“writing is dangerous b/c we are afraid of what the writing reveals: the fears, the angers, the strengths of a womon under a triple or quadruple oppression. Yet in that very act lies our survival b/c a womon who writes has power. And a womon with power is feared.” – gloria andzaldua
After months of avoiding writing, when I finally emailed my cousin-sisters about being ready to come out of my creative coma. My sister replies to the email and as usual, the above quote was included in her email signature.
It’s prefaced by some slightly delusional/wishful reimaginings of gloria anzaldua telling her this directly as though in conversation, but that’s beside the point. This time it spoke to me even more loudly than it usually does.
Writing for me means revisiting a relationship that was easy and beautiful in my revisionist retellings, and even worse it means revisiting the particularly painful breakup. It means unpacking the multitude of microaggressions that I encounter on a daily & weekly visit in a white hipster town and white hipster grad program. It means unpacking my privileges. It means work which means acknowledging that I’m not at my best and even at my mythical best that I will not be perfect. But as Ms Anzaldua ‘told’ my sister and is telling me, that means power. It also means healing. It’s a vital part of my self-care.
I’ve written about my self-care pledges in past posts. As I’ve just begun a new school year, this is a perfect time for me to once again sit down and commit to a/n (at least partial) self-care plan and to encourage you, fabulous fyah stirrers, to do the same.
1. I pledge to eat well daily. Good food is an essential part of my life. I’ve realised that often the only thing to get me through long days and boring classes is the thought that there is a tasty snack/lunch/dinner awaiting in my bag or the departmental fridge. Being prepared with food also lessens the chance of me being tempted to eat anything with gluten in it or spend money. So this commitment contributes to my emotional, academic and physical health. Nothing like actions that meet multiple objectives
2. I pledge to be creative weekly. This can be anything from writing, to making earrings, to painting. I’m not ready to commit to creative writing on a weekly basis (I’ve learned the key to successful pledges is baby steps!) but I am committed to working on re-claiming/building/discovering myself creatively.
3. I pledge to have a ‘me’ day monthly. I often underestimate the idea of being by myself. I am rarely not in conversation with someone whether in person, over gchat, on whatsapp or through text messages. I would like to practice being by myself. And unpacking. Similar to my monthly dates of the last pledge, this time allows for deeper unpacking.
Fyah stirrers, it’s good to be back as difficult as it can be sometimes. What can you promise yourself?