* Written by Erica Nichole for YettiSays Self-Love Month | “For Black Girls” post series
You will try everything. You will contort your body, folding and minimizing yourself to fit into a box that isn’t meant for a girl like you. You do this in search of answers to your own questions when information is withheld and Google searches can’t produce definitive results. Church introduced you to something higher than yourself and then, the bigger questions came.
You will take ancestry tests and tap into astrology. Numerology and natal charts tell you what you already know: that you require security and structure; that you have a hidden side you protect in the shadows from the outside world; that Mars runs rampant in your cosmic makeup. So much of what you learn will make sense and you catch yourself delving further into the unknown. Other voices and stories confirm the free reports you’ve pulled and what the readers you paid have said. Still, it isn’t enough. You want for more, a thirst still unquenched.
You will go on trips and opt into therapy. Your sessions are full of stories about the past and concerns about how it’ll all unfold in the future. You have a hard time staying present, so you journal profusely to document the now. Entry upon entry expose a woman whose journey is both scattered and makes sense. Eventually, you see that this indicative of who you are, who you’re meant to be, and how this is all supposed to unravel. Your story isn’t linear and as much as you prefer the straight and narrow, the Creator knew a more fulfilling life for you would require unexpected pit stops to places most could not travel, places not seen on maps. You were meant to divert. Do not be ashamed of the varying processes you must play around with in order to unearth your essence. It makes the experience of examining this world and the one within you worthwhile. You are more than just a dreamer, but an explorer.
You realize in all of these avenues that you are not a one-size-fits-you-kinda-gal. You require different excursions to accurately reflect the sum of who you are, no one path more or less important than the other. Each has its own lesson to provide you; each journey, another necessary piece to who you are as a puzzle. Simplicity does not fit you and your complexities are your attraction. You are a little bit of every religion and spiritual journey, a compilation of trial and error, risk and reward.
You have yet to reach the destination, but you are well on your way. Continue to drift into all of the sciences, tackling isms and uncomfortably unlocking doors that lead into another and again, into another. Do not be ashamed that your search for identity isn’t easily digestible, but instead a reflection of what it is to try to discover who you are. Who you were born to be.
Erica Nichole is the creator of the award-winning personal blog, edotnichole.com. She is a former Contributing Writer for VIBE and Teen Vogue, and former editor at XONecole. She was also highlighted in Cosmopolitan for Latinas as one of 10 Afro-Latina bloggers you should follow. She is currently penning her memoir somewhere in Maryland with a family that saved her life. You can find her across all platforms at @edotnichole.3