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Life

Filtering by Tag: BlackGirlJoy

Evolving

Rakiya George

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”

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I’ve completely clocked out this year and have been trying to put myself back together. My energy hasn’t been the same, and I’ve had writer’s block for almost half of the year. I’m not myself - I haven’t been myself; there have been times where I’ve laid down for hours trying to remember who I am. At the beginning of this year, I was in such a positive place and was on this healthy high of eagerness. I was ready to dabble into my craft and expand as a writer. I’d planned stories and ideas out for months, announced my change in focus and when it was time to get busy, nothing that I wanted to do went according to plan. No photographer, no videographer, false promises and shaky hands. I felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously by anyone and it discouraged me completely. I sounded like a broken record trying to explain my ideas to people only to have them forgotten by them the following morning. I’m not sure if I was angry with myself or with them; it was definitely a mixture of both. I’d like to think that I’m an extremely supportive person; when I can show up, I do. When I can contribute, I do. When I can spend a dollar, I do. So when I am in need of assistance, why has it been so hard to feel that same love? I’m a creator, I am sensitive about my shit, and if things are not going according to plan, or if I can’t create things that I want to, I shut down. So no, I haven’t written a single piece since January; my heart just felt broken and empty. I didn’t understand who my friends/associates were and I didn’t want to explain myself to them because I was tired, so I just drifted away.

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I received my physical college degree in the mail in the midst of all of this, and another wave of emotions took over. I graduated in 2014… I don’t have a job in my field and I’ve been struggling to make ends meet with the job that I do have. I stared at my degree for a while at my parent’s house and left it there. I didn’t want to hang it up, because I‘m not proud; I haven’t benefited at all from this piece of paper that so many people die to receive. So here I am again, questioning so many things; questioning myself. That is what has taken place during this 5 month period, I have been assessing myself constantly. I have been trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong, what am I supposed to do to make things better, and I’ve gone back into that hole of stressing about things that I do not have control over. I’m adamant about letting go and moving forward, but I have been mentally stuck in the past, while dealing with overwhelming factors of the present and can barely paint a picture for my future. I’m fairly disheveled and there isn’t any other way to put it. I’ve become bitter with myself because I’m not happy with my situation and when I’ve taken steps to change things without a productive result, I fall right back to where I was without any progress.

Evolving + Resilience

Evolving + Resilience

I’ve turned into that person that will clean the entire house at 2 or 3 in the morning in silence. I will take a cold shower for an hour and daze out, not remembering a single thing that I was thinking about. I will cry all morning, wash my face and be in a public setting or meet up with someone and act like nothing happened before. I’ve become that person that doesn’t have any answers, changes subjects and just avoids topics related to me. I’ll go out here and there, I’m comedic on social media, but those are just distractions from my issues. When someone new is trying to get to know me, I will overthink and second guess my every move; my insecurity is at an all time high and it ruins things from ever working out and I stress about it only for a moment thinking “it’s probably better off this way anyways, I should be alone”. It’s like even if I genuinely wanted to like someone or feel deeply for them, my mind won’t let me; I don’t want to be someone’s burden or have someone take pity on me, so I don’t emotionally invest myself. I purchased a light kit for photo shoots and to record things in my apartment, that I had set up in my dining area for months and since I didn’t care to write, I decided to take everything down and put it away. While doing that, one of the light fixtures fell and shattered all over my floor. I wasn’t upset, I just stared at all of the broken pieces and felt like that was me. I feel like I’m all over the place and I’m taking my time putting the pieces back together.

All of these events just fueled a funk that occurs ever so often; a period of depression. At the beginning of the year, I thought I was too happy, so I was actually waiting for something bad to happen that either caused anxiety, or some type of episode and I would make a note of it. “First cry due to anxiety - 1/22/19” was in my notes and I kept up with it until there were too many to make note of. Trying to describe how I felt to just about anyone has been such a hard task, because at that moment, I struggle to articulate how I feel and actually say it. I’m a descriptive and wordsy writer, so this act of not knowing how to put the words together was a first; it happened frequently. Going into this second half of the year I got hit with more personal issues that took me to a very low and dark place. I stayed off of social media, stayed away from friends and just took a mental break. I needed to think long and hard for the sake of my sanity. I needed to understand that what I was currently going through is only temporary and grasp the term that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. The right people reached out to me at the right moments; I’m forever grateful. After being told “You have a great outlook on life. Good things happen to good people like you”, it sort of woke me up and I know I have a lot of to get done for the rest of the year.

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I know what my purpose is and I’m working on tackling my emotions and re-building the creative I am destined to be. I love writing; we all know that and I’m ready to be done with this hiatus because my lane is ready to be paved and there’s so much work to do. I’m only human and I go through things just like anyone else. I’m constantly Evolving and bettering myself everyday. Time to Focus. #LetsRelate

Find Your Purpose

Rakiya George

Captured by  Jesse Williams

Captured by Jesse Williams

Within the last couple of month’s I’ve decided to take a small break from creating to properly plan this year efficiently. I knew that I wanted to do more/add a specific type of content to my platform, but couldn’t wrap my head around what it was going to be. I’ve always been a culturally driven person, and I’ve always voiced my opinions strongly on daily issues that are affecting the communities of people of color between my family, friends as well as social media followers.

I’ve decided to take a leap of faith and start this transition of becoming a social journalist and I will write pieces related not only to Black culture, but the cultures of minorities overall. I want to dive deep and have intimate conversations with fellow creatives to discuss things that we all relate to or want to shed light on. I’m planning for this year to be ground-breaking; I want to be more opinionated than ever, and get these conversations flowing.

Captured by  Jesse Williams

Captured by Jesse Williams

My love for being Black is the forefront of this shift in my platform, and although these topics and discussions will be posted more often, I will still dedicate to lifestyle pieces, because a positive word is always needed. I cannot thank my readers enough for giving me the confidence to keep creating and to keep creating pieces of enlightenment. Every step I take signifies growth and I want to keep growing through speaking about various topics.

We are in disturbingly trying times and based on the current state of our country, I want to spearhead deep fact-filled topics about OUR reality. I’m seeing a close friend deal with a lawsuit because she’s made a successful campaign that defies the white norm in the fashion industry. I’ve seen a mutual activist arrested via social media, because of what he believes in, and standing up for another Black man being killed in police custody. When we talk about our experiences compared to a white experience, it will never been the same, and I want to explain exactly why. Being Black in this age is still difficult compared to being black in the 1960’s; what has honestly changed besides minor legislation? We are still disrespected, we are still killed, we still struggle.

Talking about these issues amongst ourselves isn’t going to be heard by anyone and this is why I want my platform to be the focal point. These race issues will be highlighted, along with a plethora of other series I am determined to focus on. The beauty of Black Love, the importance of Self Love, the dire need of mental health awareness in minority communities, just to name a few. Positivity is going to shine throughout my platform, regardless of the grim realities within some of these topics.

Captured by  Jesse Williams

Captured by Jesse Williams

I’ve been excited about this for quite some time, but had that small feeling of fear/doubt similar to how I felt before launching my platform. I’m so confident in my vision and I won’t allow any minuscule obstacles come in between my purpose and I. Let’s start talking! Be on the lookout for content soon and all throughout the year.

Shine Bright. ✊

Captured by  Jesse Williams

Captured by Jesse Williams

You Got This

Rakiya George

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
— MLK
Shirt by by  Nareasha Willis  #BlackVogue taken at  #CurlFest

Shirt by by Nareasha Willis #BlackVogue taken at #CurlFest

Often times, when you've been wronged, the natural reaction is to think or be "dark". Dark is mostly associated with being negative, or pessimistic. I can honestly say that when something has been done to me, and it actually affects me, that is what my mind preps me to do; to become anti-social and angry. It takes a lot for me to be affected by anything, so when I am affected, it takes a toll on me. Being hurt or disappointed is a part of life, but the way in which you cope with your battles, is how you strive past it. I've gotten rid of negative or toxic situations for the sake of my sanity; having a healthy mind can change your perspective on how you think daily.

When I was younger, all of my reactions were based on impulse with minimal to no thinking whatsoever. I could be wrong and still have to react; that's completely changed now. At this age, the amount of energy it takes to argue or prove a pointless point is a lot, and I'd rather not do so. I think about my reaction and say exactly how I feel and then move on; not every situation deserves a reaction though; again why waste your energy? I also don't believe in burning bridges; just always resolve the issue on a positive note; there's no need for bad blood because that allows a dark presence to resound within you no matter how hard you try to not let it in. 

Shirt by by  Nareasha Willis  #BlackVogue taken at  #CurlFest

Shirt by by Nareasha Willis #BlackVogue taken at #CurlFest

Hating anyone takes a lot of your energy and no matter what a person has done to me, I cannot bring myself to actually hate the person; I just remove myself entirely and focus on the positives that life has to offer. I used to always want to get the last word out, or prove my point, but now I couldn't care less. Kill everyone with kindness and know that karma is real and it works. In the crappiest of situations, I think finding the light within a terrible situation is what makes you whole. Think of anyone that you know personally that has been through a lot, but still manages to smile and find joy in the smallest of things. That is where my mentality is at. I'm human. I get mad and upset, but I move on. I get all of my frustrations out in my head or I vent to a select few and realize why I am better than the situation I am stressing over. I realize why I don't need this instance/person anymore. It's refreshing. I wake up the next day with a better attitude and a clear mind-set. 

Overcoming any wrongdoing takes a lot of strength, because people tend to dwell on what is out of their control. Dwelling is what keeps your mental down and discourages you from accomplishing your goals. My father recently told me that no matter what you're going through, it is imperative to remain focused on your dreams, your passion, and to see the light in every situation. You're better than that. 

Every experience is a lesson. Just learn how to Shine through it. 

Shirt by by  Nareasha Willis  #BlackVogue taken at  #CurlFest

Shirt by by Nareasha Willis #BlackVogue taken at #CurlFest

Sisters

Rakiya George

I cannot stress the importance of a stable support team. Everyone needs that one particular shoulder, or shoulders to lean on during those times where you feel as though the world is against you. When you feel like you have nothing left to give, and you need to let it all out. I'm a very independent person, and even I understand that I need a person or two to vent to, and express my feelings to. Besides your parents, or your significant other, there are your sisters.

Women's March LA '18 - Captured by  Kenny Stadelmann  in Downtown Los Angeles, CA | Shirt by  Nareasha Willis

Women's March LA '18 - Captured by Kenny Stadelmann in Downtown Los Angeles, CA | Shirt by Nareasha Willis

For women, actually let me go into detail, for Black Women, there is a forced stereotype that we are either angry and black, or we are cold, successful and black. Either way, there is a negative connotation that is attached to us. I don't quite understand where this perception came from, nor do I take any offense to it anymore, but I do put people in their place when it is absolutely necessary. We are always perceived as angry, or bitter, and it's mind boggling, because I personally believe that Black Women are powerful, magical, effortless beings that are not solely angry. 

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I cherish the women that I call my sister's, because they have been there for me during excruciatingly tough times, and I have been present in return. These women that I have found sisterhood in, are my back-bone. It's deeper than a friendship; I consider them family. Biologically, I have a baby sister, who I cherish dearly, but from elementary school, high school, and going away to college, I've obtained unforgettable bonds with strong women. Gaining these friendships have molded me into the woman that I am today because each personality rubs off onto you in a way. You think smarter when you have a fully equipped clique of strong-willed creative women.  

I'm currently in Los Angeles, and it just happened to be the weekend of the Women's March. (I am so clueless when it comes to these things.) I wasn't extremely inspired to go, because although I adore the purpose of the march, I still believe that there is a divide race-wise for women, so every fight is not my fight. I was more inspired to go to the Million Man March back in 2015, because I felt its purpose automatically; hence why I was there and wrote a story on it for a publication I used to work for.

Women's March LA '18 - Captured by  Kenny Stadelmann  in Downtown Los Angeles, CA |  Crew-neck and shirt by  Nareasha Willis

Women's March LA '18 - Captured by Kenny Stadelmann in Downtown Los Angeles, CA |  Crew-neck and shirt by Nareasha Willis

The Women's March this year was directed towards voting because we have an idiot for our president, and obviously there was a lot of unity and "sisterhood" on the outside. But as I walked past these women of all colors, I couldn't help but wonder if this same warm/kind attitude would be reflected tomorrow if we were to cross paths. I hate to be that person (actually I don't), but I couldn't help but think about race, and think about how Black Women had to fight 10 times harder for rights; we were never originally incorporated into any of the women's rights we read about in our history books. Still exiled, still had to put up a fight, still had to prove our worth. 

So it's the moments like these that I appreciate the most, because I went with one of my sister's Nareasha Willis, founder of Black Vogue and we slayed those LA streets. We wore Black Vogue pieces, turned heads, and created a small buzz of comments. I felt the eyes scolding the term "Black Vogue", and it made me even more proud to be a part of the movement. The racial divide hasn't really left, and we see that day in and day out. Even at the Women's March, I still sensed the divide, so I didn't attend for women as a whole, but for the women that I could relate to. I attended for those women that I call my sister's who have supported me and continue to support me. I attended to show the world that Black Women are fearless and will hold their heads high no matter the opposition. There can be movements within a movement, and that is what I felt marching in LA. 

"Another black woman is my sister, not my competition. The plan is that we both make it."

Women's March LA '18 - Captured by  Kenny Stadelmann  in Downtown Los Angeles, CA |  Crew-neck and shirt by  Nareasha Willis

Women's March LA '18 - Captured by Kenny Stadelmann in Downtown Los Angeles, CA |  Crew-neck and shirt by Nareasha Willis

20 Something...

Rakiya George

It's my 25th birthday. I'm content and I'm here.

Captured in Bayonne, NJ | Shot by  Joel Serrano

Captured in Bayonne, NJ | Shot by Joel Serrano

This has been a pretty liberating and eye-opening year. When your'e younger, and your'e imagining what being a "grown up" is like, you never think about how real life can get. I thought life would be perfect, I thought that I would have my shit together, I thought I'd have it all. I can't name five people off the top of my head who has their shit together at my age; it's almost nonexistent. For the most part, I don't think anyone really ever has their shit together, regardless of the age, you just take whatever life throws at you and adapt.

Captured in Bayonne, NJ | Shot by  Joel Serrano

Captured in Bayonne, NJ | Shot by Joel Serrano

This time last year, I was pretty miserable, my job sucked, my social life had holes in it, and I was still out here getting played by people's ugly ass immature ass sons'. When I look back at all of the foolishness that I've been through, I cringe at the mindset that I had back then. I've grown, a lot. For year twenty-five; I only want to keep growing and keep progressing. I can say for a fact, I am not the same person I was a year ago, or ever for that matter. I'm more confident in myself, I'm assertive when I need to be, and I've learned how to forgive. I don't ever want to be a perfect person, but I'm definitely aspiring to be great in all aspects of my life, and to be as stable as possible. 

The woman that I am today is a product of two insanely smart and thoughtful parents. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be able to share any of my stories with any of you. I wouldn't want to inspire or want to shed light on other people; I wouldn't have a purpose. So, I'd like to thank Esther and Anthony George for being the gems that they are. I'm not the most affectionate person, but I love the shit out of my parents. I want this platform to take off so that they don't have to work anymore. I want to be able to say that I got this, and mean it. When I turned 21, it was for the sake of the number, and all it entailed. Fast forward to 25, and now the goal is to stay grounded, as well as provide. This year coming is all about securing the bag. 

I planned a lot of things within this year, and I got most of them done. This platform has given me so much joy just from the feedback that I've gotten from all of my readers. People that I didn't even think would read reached out to me saying how much they confided with my words, and that's all that I wanted! Year twenty-five will be planned diligently as I make more and more goals to achieve for myself as well as this platform. I said I wanted to launch in April, and I did in September, I said I was going to travel and take a much needed break, and I did all of that on the West Coast in August. I spoke these things into existence, and I will continue to do this for the next year coming. Please remember that everything takes time, and it is essential not to rush the process. Within this last year, patience has been a deciding factor for many of my choices, and I don't have a single complaint yet; I'm living. 

That fear of not succeeding hits me from time to time, but I'm already here, I'm already putting myself out there, so I have no choice but to keep moving. I get excited by how much I want to accomplish this forthcoming year because I can taste the success. The purpose for twenty-five is to Get Shit Done. Life is a learning process and I take notes every step of the way. I'm about to own twenty-five and do whatever I please, as long as it makes me happy. 

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

I plan to create so much this year, just wait on it! I appreciate you all!

Captured in Bayonne, NJ | Shot by  Joel Serrano

Captured in Bayonne, NJ | Shot by Joel Serrano

Pilot

Rakiya George

Captured in Los Angeles, CA - Shot by  Nareasha Willis  

Captured in Los Angeles, CA - Shot by Nareasha Willis 

I’m going to keep this essay as real and as honest as possible. I realized coming into my 24th year of life that I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t truly living how I wanted to; I made excuses for why I’m not where I want to be in life. Don’t let me misconstrue you, but 2016 had to be one of the crappiest years I think anyone has had to endure. I lost a car, I lost myself (mentally), I held onto things I had no control over and my heart was heavy the entire year. I was completely numb; a lost soul latching onto any ounce of possible life or happiness or fulfillment.

By November 15, 2017, my 25th birthday, I am going to be doing something that is fulfilling in regards to my plans as well as my happiness. I want to spend the rest of my life creating and being a part of things that I love. I want to inspire others during that process. “I” is my favorite word this year, because for once I am choosing to put ME first.

Captured in Los Angeles, CA - Shot by  Nareasha Willis

Captured in Los Angeles, CA - Shot by Nareasha Willis

 

Everyday people are finding their calling and enjoying their lives, and I’m far too young to limit myself from living. In 2016, I held myself back from a lot of things for several reasons. I held myself back because of fear; fear that I wouldn’t have enough money to pay for a bill or a car; fear that I wouldn’t be successful. I held myself back due to judgement; “what if no one likes what I’m creating?” “what if my message isn’t getting delivered?” I held myself back because I was shy; “I mean I’m okay, I’m not the prettiest”. All of these factors were cop-outs; miniscule reasons that have deterred me from getting shit done.

I don’t know if this year has been a wake-up call in disguise, but from the moment I was fired this past January from a crappy full-time franchise job, the wheels have been turning in my head. I’ve laughed more, I’ve lived more, and I’ve become more social, all in the first month of not having this job. I’ve taken myself out to dinner, intrigued myself through the arts all on my own and I’ve become pretty damn fearless.

First of all, this job had nothing to do with my degree or the long amount of experiences that are included in my resume. I just needed money to be stable, but at this point in my life if I’m not incorporating my talents through the job, I don’t want it. I’ll always find a way to make some cash, but I refuse to get lost in a career that wasn’t made for me.

Captured in Los Angeles, CA - Shot by  Nareasha Willis

Captured in Los Angeles, CA - Shot by Nareasha Willis

When you can’t sleep at night because there is a recurring idea in your head, you have to take that and run with it. Put it on paper, and make it happen. Don’t question it, Trust Your Path. The purpose of my platform is to show the world just how hard people my age are working. The men and women that will be featured throughout this platform are all self-starters that don’t thrive on hand-outs; they get things done on their own.

Everyone has a set path; it’s just a matter of figuring out your purpose and sticking to it. I have an immense love for people who are not only on their grind, but stay true to their-selves. This entire experience is to be a humbling one because I don’t expect much out of this besides the joy of knowing what I created shed light on a fellow entrepreneur.

My education cost me around $80,000, and I’d be a fool if I didn’t put that to use. Sometimes doing things by the book doesn’t necessarily work, you have to create your own full-fleged novel and share it with the world, page by page. This year has been all about growth, stability, and happiness. These are things that I plan to achieve abundantly throughout RakiyaG.com; enjoy!

Captured in Los Angeles, CA - Shot by  Nareasha Willis

Captured in Los Angeles, CA - Shot by Nareasha Willis