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Life

Filtering by Tag: BlackVogue

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

Do You

Rakiya George

Shirt by by  Nareasha Willis  #BlackVogue

Shirt by by Nareasha Willis #BlackVogue

This post is relatable to all of my readers, as I see a pattern that I am not too fond of. Society is plagued by opinions and those opinions are deterring women and as a matter of fact, people in general from being who they are/what they want to be. There have been countless articles blatantly showing disrespect or a practiced injustice and it is mentioned for a day and then forgotten. It's as if these instances happen so often that we've become so used to it; it's an ongoing cycle of being upset and then moving on. Does us not doing more and merely reading or watching make us ignorant? You can comment on a post all day, but in actuality, that is simply complying, and we are all guilty of exercising that. We are guilty of pointing the finger, but not actually doing anything to prevent the issue from occurring again or just taking any type of physical action. 

I've had friends speak to me about ideas that they've had and then quickly told me that they won't go through with it because they were worried about the opposition. They were worried because what they wanted to pursue wasn't in their "lane" and they didn't want to be judged or questioned. Make your own lane, who's stopping you? Surviving and Dreaming are two separate things, and if you want to accomplish something you are dreaming about, you have to get out of your comfort zone and do it. You want to be a poet? Start signing up for open mic sessions at your local coffee shop and let people hear you. You want to start a fashion blog? Get those fits together, and get busy. That one thing that you are hungry for can actually turn into what is allowing you to survive. I hate fear! It clouds your judgement so badly; it's so unhealthy. 

Shirt by by  Nareasha Willis  #BlackVogue

Shirt by by Nareasha Willis #BlackVogue

I've found myself more and more confident in the path I'm choosing to take. When making a decision, does standing out bother you? Do you second guess yourself? For what? For who? For the longest, I've stopped caring about opinions and this is the most confident I've ever been. I'm content with the flow of my life, and am always trying to improve; that is what you're supposed to do. As you are on your own journey, you are figuring out your calling; some people find it right away, and with others, it takes time. You've got to enjoy your life, no matter what. Money comes and goes, but you've got to eat correct? A lot of things are temporary and you will grow out of certain things, but what is supposed to remain solid, will remain as it should. 

I like to think that the process of growing or evolving gives you that "ahh" factor; it's a sense of security. For example, I woke up one day and realized that I have a lot to say about different motivational topics, and here you are on my platform, reading and commenting on what I said. These small victories, are what's going to make all of this worthwhile. I am a very patient person and I know that greatness takes time as long as you really aim for it. While I am on this journey, I think it is imperative to make statements, the impression is everlasting. Being different doesn't go unnoticed and that is a misconception a lot of people have. Being different is pretty dope; it reels people in and makes them think about you. This is cliche, but the goal really isn't for you to fit in, but its for you to stand out. You have to be confident in what you want and own what it is you're aiming for. The opposition can never hold you back, and I truly respect people that we've seen in the spotlight overcome all negativity and obstacles that life uncontrollably threw at them. Ask yourself where do you want to be in 6 months, and start planning. Make Your Statement and make Yourself Proud. 

Shirt by by  Nareasha Willis  #BlackVogue

Shirt by by Nareasha Willis #BlackVogue

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