I am a black woman,
2020 has been emotionally and mentally tiring. During lockdown I have been quiet as I have had a lot going on personally and I have been trying to juggle helping people and work at the same time but yet again we are now dealing with a constant global issue- racism. During this time it’s not in my nature to keep quiet.
The impact of covid-19 and now the protests, news, murders, to say we are in a crisis is an understatement. The current events haven’t just impacted my current opinions and life but they have also brought back memories of racism in the past that I have handled and moved on from. From that I am a stronger person but I can’t help but think about others in the black community suffering with past and current circumstances. Not everyone can take to the streets and protest and not everyone feels comfortable speaking out but there’s also something that could be done.
- Reach out- ask questions such as: how are you feeling? How’s your mental health? Do you want to talk about it? What state of mind are you in today? What impact does this have on you? Engage in this conversation; it’s important to listen but also acknowledge there is a problem and it’s time for conversations about race to no longer be considered as uncomfortable or awkward or aggression.
- Petitions- sign petitions but also gain understanding on why petitions are create and why they’re necessary. Understand why donations are necessary and what they’re going towards. This week I have not only seen petitions to get justice for the victims but I have also seen and signed petitions linked to education. From my own experiences I can say the things I learnt about my culture and black history, it didn’t come from school. It came from family, resource, books, documentaries. That’s just me, I don’t know if other children/teens purposely seek out this information and it’s not up to children to make this decision. The education system especially in the UK has failed the black community. We briefly learnt about black history in terms what happened in the US but we don’t talk about the overall history; we don’t even talk about UK black history.
- Educate- Linked to the point above but education doesn’t just stop when you turn 18. An element of racism stems from ignorance. You are never too old to pick up a book, to seek out resources. You are never too old to genuinely speak to a black person and ask them about their history and ask questions to educate yourself. Don’t be afraid to challenge what you thought you knew or what older generations in your family once told you about black people. I cannot stress education enough.
Amongst my friends & I, we are always in discussion about the struggles of being a black British female. We as a close group have exceeded OUR OWN expectations by going to University, doing a degree or two, gaining further qualifications, seeing the world and proving ourselves in work, but still, we fail to find love.
Are men threatened by our achievements? By our independence? As black females are we stereotypically portrayed as ‘too much’?
The real question is, why are we questioning the above in the first place? If men are threatened by growth and a woman exceeding them, then they’re not for us and it’s their loss. 🤷
I personally tend to fill all voids with going overboard on ASOS and spending my payslip on bodysuits and dresses I don’t need; reminding myself I’d be more broke if I had a man. However, this is a force of habit I’ve managed to kick and I would not advise meaningless spending or thinking “well if I was out on a date I’d probably be spending £30 so I might as well spend £30 on myself and this cute shift dress”. My friends and I have half truth banter “when will you marry?!”, “if I don’t laugh, I’d cry lol” but on a serious note, being black and single in London is tough. We can feel pushed aside as if we are being stereotyped and sometimes as if we are not good enough. Our achievements and beauty don’t seem to be recognised in the mainstream. I believe this is due to social media’s such as Twitter and Instagram selling body images of Kardashian wannabes and cute relationship stories, however, in truth we are enough and we do better personally and professionally each day. When we stop focusing on other people and social media it means we have time to focus on ourselves build on our own confidence.
Here are some ways to deal with this:
- Spend time alone: Don’t jump into any relationships just because. If you have spent most of your time focusing on your career, education or other aspects of your life you probably haven’t had much time to focus on relationships. Get to know what you like, what you want from a partner and what you want for yourself. Do you want a family person? Someone that supports your money moves? Someone who accepts your Netflix binge? And what do you want from them personally? Ambitious? Cultured? Educated? Once you ask yourself these questions you will know to not settle for less or settle just because. In addition from being alone, you will gain confidence and a ‘bad bitch’ mentality (I know from my friends’ experiences…including my own).
- Confidence: If you are at the confidence stage, what is stopping you from putting yourself out there? Maybe you don’t want to physically go out and meet someone alone or like me, you don’t want to waste time and money dating the wrong one or maybe hearing too many Tinder nightmares has become off-putting; if you don’t put yourself out there you will not find what you are looking for. Personally, I am not a fan of Tinder, Bumble, Plenty Of Fish etc as they don’t seem to work for me, however, you don’t know until you try it. If you are not ready to date, use online dating as a platform just to start talking to people and boost that confidence. If online dating really isn’t your thing, grab a friend and go to a dating/social event or trying joining an activity group.
- Stop Planning: Five years ago if you asked me where would I be I’d say at 23 I’d be with the love of my life, expecting baby number 1. I’m near 25…man-less and child-less. We as women need to stop putting pressure on ourselves to get married, have kids, have a mortgage. Continue to live your best life and go with the flow!
- Most Importantly STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF: Nowadays woman being too ambitious and well educated is still seen as a flaw, however, embrace it! You work hard for a reason; when you meet the person of your dreams they will love and appreciate your drive just as much as you appreciate yourself.
The right person will come along when you least expect it.
If you would like to discuss this further or need advice, feel free to go to my “Let’s Talk” and schedule in a session.