So, anyway. For the past couple of years– well honestly, maybe my entire life?? — I’ve been looking for a safe space to fully express myself as a black girl.
I was born into a generationally wealthy space, but it was NOT a safe space emotionally or spiritually.
You all may know, but in the black community, abuse was normalized. So in my childhood, much like many other little black kids across this land, I was bullied, ridiculed, mistreated, and often times hurt by my close family members. As a result, I never felt completely safe at home.
I wasn’t in any real “danger” or anything, but I was the youngest daughter of three girls and let’s just say, the results of the broken black family unit, can be a very dark, place if there is no order. Not only was there not much order, there was no law, so frankly it always felt like the wild, wild west at home. It’s giving the play from HBO’s Euphoria Season 2 Finale — art is an imitation of life! I’m just being honest. This is what can happen where there’s no balance of masculine and feminine energy in the home, shit gets real chaotic and disorderly.
I legit always felt like Cinderella at home and just as the story goes, it was the two older sisters bullying little Miss Cinderella. Cinderella (a.k.a. Giselle in this context) would clean up, pick up after her sisters, and do whatever they told her without question. I know you’re probably thinking, why did Cinderella (a.k.a. Giselle in this context) — take their shit? Why didn’t she just stand up for herself and stop letting her sisters pick on her? Well, because Cinderella (a.k.a. Giselle in this context) didn’t have anywhere else to go— outside of her Grandparent’s house. I didn’t know how to fight– physically or spiritually, I mean where was I supposed to learn? It was just a dark and lonely place, so I turned to art.
I was raised by both of my Grandparents, but everyone knows Grandparents are really parents without the harsh discipline and rules. It is like parenting on vacation, if you will, so no one really got in trouble for doing the wrong things. But honestly, no one got any rewards for doing the right thing either so it was just chaotic, in general. I was an A+ student from K-5th grade, but when all I got was that blue ribbon, and no one cared at home, it made me feel silly. It’s like, why am I going so hard and no one else is? What’s the point really? Scholarship was something that came to me naturally, (I’m Nigerian) — so I never questioned it, I just continued on my own personal journey.
By the Power of God, I survived and lived to tell my story lol. I will say the one thing that my childhood taught me was a thing or two about survival and finding your tribe. Outside of the home, I was a complete superstar! I found my tribe by way of creating art. I would write, draw, dance in the front yard — by myself, and play outside with children in the neighborhood. I was in plays, wrote plays, joined the theatre, surrounded myself with books and knowledge. I would even write raps for voicemails (90s babies get it,) — and low key became really popular for writing raps in middle school. I would sell my rhymes to the local kids and I had the voicemail rap lane on LOCK, ya hear me? I played the clarinet, which most little black girls did in my hometown, and I would pull it out and perform for my loyal audience and Top 2 viewers: My late- Grandmother, and my Aunt Cheryl. They would just sit there and give me all this attention and just let me go at it and be full out “Gigi” mode. That attention was so personal and was all I needed to know that I could keep going and really be a Superstar one day!
This was my story as a childhood artist. Until this day, I am eternally grateful for my Top 2 viewers of all-time.
Above all, art was a safe space for me. I’ll never forget this one year, I won an art contest for our local arts festival, called Panoply, and I got a huge billboard of my drawing displayed in our city! It was so cool. I was in the 4th or 5th grade at the time, and I found comfort in realizing how my art was a space where I fully expressed myself (without other people watching) — and when I did that, I felt safe. I received a lot of recognition for my genius level creativity outside of the house, but at home, no one really cared. No one even really noticed, so I never valued how amazing my self-expression really was.
Story Time: Leaving Your Safe Space? Prepare to Be Attacked!
So what happens when you leave your safe space, especially as a black woman? Girl you gone get attacked, especially during spiritual wartime! Y’all know how much I love social media and the science of social in general. I sometimes passively listen in on rooms on Clubhouse, to perform social scans and to see what the black consciousness is up to.
This week, I got G-checked for crossing enemy lines, and rightfully so! I used to follow this content creator and I really enjoyed his angle on the app. He curates rooms with ease, and really knows how to keep the girlies in check. I thought it was all good and light-hearted, until one day, I came across this user in a different room and realized he was a monster! Okay not an actual monster, but I saw a side of him that scared me, frankly. I’m a true empath so I can legit feel and connect with all energies at once. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, but I am working on managing this gift of mine.
His take reminded me so much of how I was treated as a child and I was triggered by this dark, demonic energy that I witnessed him tap into. Nothing wrong with demon time, I mean we all have demons! But, I don’t want to hang out with and support them, I want to fight them and stay in my Higher Self, my Angelic self. Demons can be very useful and are nothing to fear, but they are sneaky and can catch you off guard if you let your guard down! And that’s exactly what I did. My marriage has taught me so much about discernment and I’m getting better everyday, but sometimes, you have to take a L (L stands for lesson) so you can bounce back better than ever.
So, when I met his demon, I decided to block him and a few of his affiliates on other social platforms to protect my vortex of creation. I know demons because I have my own! I confront them in myself and put in the work to rise above this low vibrational version of myself. I used to tussle with this demon personally, and I don’t want to go back to that space.
Then I went onto one of his affiliates’ stages on Clubhouse. He wasn’t there at first, and it wasn’t his room, right? Wrong! I got called right TF out! He said “I’m the reason she is even on this app. And I know damn well you didn’t come up here and talk on this stage, where I’m a moderator and you have me blocked.” #Embarrassing I went on to explain why I chose to block him — since I walked right into that trap — and it was so awkward! But listen, it was supposed to happen.
It was a spiritual tug from my ancestors and the message was clear: This is not YOUR safe space, we told you where you belong and it is on Giselle Avenue, and in your own, real life period. You are not welcome in another’s Creator’s space, so why would you play yourself like that?
Y’all, I def got the lesson: the only safe space that exists is the one you create for yourself. So don’t get lost in someone else’s sauce, or you will be G-checked!
This wisdom is especially For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Isn’t Enough, also a poem written and created by a black woman, and distorted and reframed by a black man by the name of Tyler Perry. (Meh.)
We have to go within and bring our own expressions forward. We’ve been silenced our entire lives. It’s hard, but it’s necessary for us to find our own voices, and be heard.
Stay In Your Safe Space and Float On
Sometimes I need a reminder that this is my safe space and what feels like home. Feminine energy is floaty, it is the way the deep sea waters and rivers flow. Of course, I’m writing this in the middle of Pisces Season, so fitting. I am one with the Universe, and as natural as the seasons change. It is natural for me to float, but I am learning how to float in my own safe space. It reminds me of one of my fave songs as a teenager, Float On by Modest Mouse.
When I’m creating my own art, and channeling my own voice, this is where it’s at. This same self-expression of art has carried me all the way to living and creating the life of my dreams. From moving to my dream city, landing my dream occupation, falling in love and marrying my dream guy, co-creating our dream life, learning how to receive and give proper love — I am completely blessed and favored. This is my idea of a safe space, and I love it here!
I stayed loyal to my own art, which is my safety net and safe space.
I’m writing this post to encourage you to create your own safe space, so that you can fully express the essence of who you are. Stay loyal to your own art. When you do this, you’re able to find out who you are, and you can learn ways to change the world simply by being yourself.