This is my first Spring Break that I didn’t go home to Los Angeles, and it feels relieving and strange at the same time. It feels relieving because I’m in a new place far, far away from my hometown. I’m away from the bustle and hustle of speeding cars (and accidents just waiting to happen), the smell of barbeque (because I live close to barbeque shack) and my family. I think that’s what makes this strange — being away from my mom. I’m 23, and this is the longest time I’ve been away from her, aside from Winter Break. I miss her greatly, but I feel that this Spring Break away from her and my home could be the best thing for me. It’s something different, something I could explore and figure out for myself… IF I HAD THE TIME. DAMN HOMEWORK.
All that I’ve been doing for the past few days is interviewing candidates and applicants for Sommet Dame — a starting online magazine for women, homework, writing articles and op eds for The Campanil, working on posts for My Color of Beauty (an online beauty platform for women of color), and thinking about everything. When I say “everything,” I mean all of the things that are in my life, from homework to my relationships with family and friends; all of this has been running in my mind whenever I actually have free time.
With homework and grad school, I’m balancing a lot. Adding jobs and internships makes this juggling act a bit more difficult. “Maybe I took on too much this semester” has been a recurring thought in my head these past few days. This is pretty sad because I’m used to doing a lot of projects at once, and now it seems like I cannot handle it this time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m over the Impostor Syndrome of being at grad school, but….I still wonder if I can work on everything and finish it, and wonder what that says about me if I either finish or stop at something.
I feel as if I’m changing more and more as I’m here at Mills. What I wanted at 20 years old (my degree in English, a stable relationship, me being in the works of becoming a well-known spoken word poet, and to finish my novel) is slowly changing or improving: my master’s, more than enough experience in journalism, freedom and acceptance. Typing “freedom” and “acceptance” in this post feels funny to my fingers and my mind because…it’s a lot. I’ve been trapped into what people have wanted for me since I was a kid and who I should be now. This Spring Break has made me realize that I’ve changed while being at Mills: gradually for me, drastically for others. I’m more open and free about my sexuality and identity: a queer Black woman, something that I’ve been afraid to express for almost my whole life. *cues Jamal Lyon’s “You’re So Beautiful” performance on “Empire”* I’m more assertive about what I want from others and myself, which brings on my next thought….
I’m scared that who I’m becoming and who I’ve always known myself to be will jeopardize my relationships with my family, my friends and my partner. While I do have some support from my mother and younger sister, I’m worried that who I’m becoming will be too radical for every one else. As I’ve stated in my “Confessions” installment, I’ve always been known to do anything, no matter what. I’m also known to be straightlaced, conservative and quiet, always planning my next step in my education.
All of this is making me wonder: Can I be the same person that everyone has known, yet show who I’m becoming? Can there be a balance between the past and present me?
Yeah, I have too much time to be thinking about all of this during spring break. Damn it.