"Imma put us all on the map. I'm gone and I ain't looking back." -J.Cole
So since I'm out of commission for at least the next 6 days, I figure that I'd use this period to do some reflecting on the growth of Black Girl Navigates. First, if you don't already follow me on Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, do it - I'm slightly entertaining! But I mention this, because I utilize my social media accounts to express my thoughts, act up, and to keep you all informed as to the happenings in my life, and more importantly, the happenings of Black Girl Navigates. Recently, as Black Girl Navigates surged in it's internet presence following our induction to the Google sphere (finally!) and following my New Year's resolution post based on, She's Gotta Have It, I've realized that the growth of Black Girl Navigates has now exceeded my technological capabilities. My 4 year-old MacBook has decided that it has had enough of my excessive file downloads and inability to throw things away. As a result, the disk space on my drive has completely filled up and I have been unable to utilize my laptop for anything. While I am frustrated by the timing of my laptop's decline, I recognize that it is because of the rapid growth of Black Girl Navigates, that I even have this problem.
As the 1 year anniversary of Black Girl Navigates approaches, I get a little emotional. Black Girl Navigates has not gone viral and to be quite frank I don't think it will, nor do I need for that to happen. Black Girl Navigates is very much founded on individual support. I know my tribe and I'd like to think that my tribe knows me. Although it takes a lot of work, I love having this type of relationship. When I first started Black Girl Navigates, I was sitting in a coffeeshop (with the best carrot cake in the world) in Madrid. I begun creating the what is now the bright yellow, location sign logo that my blog has become known by. I remember how, after the logo was finished, I immediately discouraged myself from continuing with the process. I had just spent hours deciding on a name for my blog, hours on creating the perfect logo with the perfect colors, hours thinking about the concept for this blog, about my audience, about how I would mold this blog to perfectly represent my most authentic self. Then, in an instant, I was ready to just trash the whole thing and go home.
To be quite honest, I'm not sure why I didn't throw the whole thing away. I can only guess that I probably realized that I owed it to myself to, at least, try. So that's what I did - try. One of my favorite quotes is by Basil King and it goes, "Go at it boldly, and you'll find unexpected forces closing around you and coming to your aid." I've found that with Black Girl Navigates, the more that I am unapologetic in the way that I express my love for my people through my blog, the more that love is reciprocated. Moreover, that love is multiplied.
Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and when I think about his life and his legacy, I think about the way that he, though everything seemed to be going against him, was able to maintain his vision of perfect peace. This unwavering belief that world peace was possible, despite the constant presence of destruction and hatred. If we applied this method of thought and positive affirmation in our daily lives, we might might see the birth of more creatives who are unafraid to tell their truth. I am grateful that I am able to tell my truth and I am even more grateful for those of you who read, share, comment, like and give cristicism on whatever portion of my truth that I choose to share. I appreciate you all!
Last year, I traveled to more countries than I ever could have imagined my 21 year-old self traveling to. I also missed more flights than my 21 year-old self could've have imagined. I failed more times than I can count, but as soon as I started reframing my failures, as foundational steps to future successes, everything changed. I questioned myself. I probably took too many risks, too. I found new avenues to express my love for social justice, and was surrounded by a powerful group of people who shared the same drive for evoking change. I realized that my friend group has diminished immensely, and for the first time (ever), I embraced that. All the while, I refortified true friendships, and gained a group of chicas that still hold me down! Still, I am most proud of Black Girl Navigates. BGN is my baby! Last year, I grew in unimaginable ways and as a result, I've found that growth comes in many forms.
Black Girl Navigates is far from finished. It is a blog, but its also something more. Black Girl Navigates is a feeling that comes from the multitude of experiences that come with Black womanhood. Know that.
I am expanding. Black Girl Navigates is expanding - always.
*Disclaimer: God's good grace brought this blog to life