Archuleta A. Chisolm
Writing Is The Freedom I Didn't Know I Needed
It’s a Sunday morning. I’m drinking coffee from one of my infamous mugs, enjoying the sun beaming through the window, and waiting for church service to start – on Facebook Live. It’s been the same routine for over a year now, thanks to a global pandemic. I've grown to not complain.
The couch has become the place I go to for commune with myself about writing, self-reflection, being a Black woman, and what I am offering to the world.
I’ve always wanted to inspire people to find the best in all parts of their life. In order to achieve this, I’ve had to do the same work. I believe that learning to honor myself with patience and kindness has given me the courage to be my true self. Now I can truly walk in the purpose God has given me.
Growing up, writing was always a form of release and therapy for me. My shyness didn’t allow me to feel worthy or accepted. I always felt trapped inside of my own feelings. Writing helped me to express myself, as well as learn that I was okay. It helped me develop a voice when I thought I didn’t have one.
There have been events that have affected me throughout my life. If I couldn’t do anything else, I could always put my words on paper. I could see them. I could read them to myself and feel them. I love the feeling of taking the pen and being able to fly without limits or boundaries. No one has control over my words but me. My thoughts are mine and can flow freely. Writing compliments me over everything else that I do.
If I want to be a superwoman, I can do that with my pen and paper. I don’t necessarily want to be one in real life. If I want to protest, I can fight with my words. Black women fight from spaces of sexuality, colorism, racism, and sexism. From little girls, we’re taught to be the pillars of the community. That we raise and protect the whole village, to uphold our men no matter what, and do whatever it takes to "hold things down." We’re held to an impossible standard, usually without recognition. As much as we’re seen as resilient, fierce, and magic, we aren’t afforded the opportunity to be vulnerable.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare” --Audre Lorde
When I first started writing, I did not lead with my identity as a Black woman and how that influenced my writing. I thought I was just a woman who went through some things and suffered from anxiety. Once I gave myself the gift of unpacking who I really was, I came to the conclusion that being a Black woman is my super power. We are built different – mentally, spiritually, emotionally. That realization changed my writing voice and solidified my purpose.
Writing is my self-care, along with being a source of income. It allows me to liberate myself and re-engage in a way that embraces and values my self-worth. As a Black woman writer, I have the opportunity to live out my purpose and honor myself at the same time.
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