You don’t know me, but I know you (from only what you share, of course). I’ve been following your blog since you were AndSoSheWrites with the purple and yellow blog lol! Purple is my favorite color, and that design back then was everything lol! I used to love your blog. You don’t write as much anymore, but I try and check in on you from time to time, and I love seeing you happy. It feels like I watched you write your way to happiness, and then when you got there, you didn’t need to write anymore… or maybe you no longer needed the audience and just wanted privacy?
I can’t wait to get there too. We’re around the same age, and while you managed to get your happy ending, I still haven’t found mine yet. But watching you and reading you always gave me hope.”
11 years. 11 years is how long Candace has been reading my blog.
That’s 1107 posts of me trying to adult, find my ‘happy’, lose weight, gain it back, move across four different states, conquer heartbreaks, all the while having my mental health, the good and the bad days, on full display. That’s seven hiatuses, the announced ones anyway, where I disappeared from sharing my truth because my truth was swallowing me whole. And that’s six seasons of #9DaysUncensored, something she described as “the only times we get to commune with the old Yetti like the old days.”
We went back and forth through emails for a couple of days before we eventually got on the phone to connect. Two strangers in two different countries bonding over what hope looked like for the both of us, and me assuring her that happiness is a daily project.
The conversation ended with a pact and a promise.
A pact that if I continue to share the ups and down of my mental wellness, she’ll begin the process to do the same.
A promise that if she would continue to have hope, that I’ll be brave too and come back to my first love: writing.
This isn’t something I do. Ever. I don’t get on the phone with strangers, have two-hour conversations about everything and nothing, and make promises. I don’t even get on the phone to call my real-life friends. If it’s textable, you likely won’t receive a phone call.
But Candace, from the other side of the world, brought back a feeling I hadn’t felt in a really long time. Candace reminded me that there was healing to be found in community, and that vulnerability is a cornerstone of community.
Simply put, she reminded me of why I started writing and blogging in the very first place.
I created my first blog at age 14 with my friend, Jovina. We met on a B2K forum and quickly became good friends after finally meeting at the Scream Tour 2 concert. Everyone on that forum had a blog of some sort. And for someone like me, with strict Nigerian parents who didn’t always see the need or importance for me to hang out with classmates, I found community in these forums and refuge in the blogging world.
I anonymously blogged about my cutting habit, the mean girls at school, and my struggle with embracing my Africanness in a country that seemed to hate it. I gained an audience fairly quickly when I released my second solo blog/website, but the most important thing I found was an outlet and community. Community helped me to understand that I wasn’t alone in how I felt and that there was hope that it would get better. That life would get better. Blogging was an outlet that allowed me to get whatever was brewing in my anxious mind out, and Lord, we thank God for that type of release.
But it’s been a while since I’ve entered that space. The space of writing for relief and community instead of writing to entertain or educate. I’ve shied away because it’s scary, it’s mean, and it’s heavy. Writing from this space has been nerve-wracking to do these last few years because the world is different. The community is different. Writing about feelings most won’t understand comes with more anxiety than relief nowadays because I’ve had my vulnerable posts and thoughts used against me. That alone is enough to force anyone to close up shop.
But if we’re going to heal and make things different for the generations to come, some of us have to be brave and show up. Some of us need to channel our inner Candace and be real with ourselves and strangers in order for this deep level healing to take place. Because as much as healing and unlearning is described as solo internal work… it doesn’t have to be. Honestly, for the effects to transcend time and generations, it can’t be.
So I’m returning to this space. Probably not at the same daily posting capacity as 2014 Yetti, but in a way that’s conducive to my own healing and timeline too. I’m going to pour into this space, because Candace found community and hope in my 1107 posts, and if I can help many more, who is fear of judgment to stand in my way. My purpose is rooted in this community which allows us to show up as is and feel seen and be heard.
I am ready to come home to it.
I am ready to come home to me.
This post is a part of the YettiSays yearly “9 Days Uncensored” blog post series where Yetti dedicates 9 days to writing without judgment or fear of what is being shared. Next post is scheduled for 11/4/2021!2