Have you ever been in a room filled with beautiful women and none of you were throwing shade? How about a room filled with strangers, who are able to open up and be vulnerable about some of the same insecurities and issues you have? How about an inspirational space where you could learn about upcoming girl bosses in the arts and media industry? Last Saturday, I kicked off the new year with positivity and inspiration as I finally got a chance to go attend the Black Girl Magik Meet Up.
Created by Shydeia Caldwell, Black Girl Magik is “a discussion space for women of color to promote sisterhood through energizing conversation and community bonding.” The meet up helped me to learn a lot about myself and negative things I need to work on. Here are some lessons I’d like to share!
Breaking through my social anxiety and awkwardness: Whenever I’m in a new place by myself (or with friends who bring friends that I don’t know), I tend to clam up. As a natural wallflower, I use my phone as a security blanket and essentially just try to “tweet through the awarkwardness”. Though this has been my go-to for a while, I’ve noticed that my goal to meet new people when I go out gets lost when my instant bitch face and phone appear. I seem anti-social because that’s what I’m putting out.
The meet up and its icebreakers forced us to meet new people. Though it was awkward at first, I became more comfortable when I realized that I was in a judgement free zone. We all shared the same struggles, insecurities, and boy problems that most girls in their 20s do. I was able to walk out of the meet up with new friends!
Affirmations are important: Self-love was the theme of the meet up but writer, Brittany Josephina, taught us about the importance of affirmations. Affirmations and self-love go hand in hand. Essentially, affirmations are the positive words that you need to hear about yourself from yourself.
Brittany suggested putting a post it affirmation on your ceiling that focuses on your future so you can wake up to that positivity everyday. When you tell yourself something is going to happen, then work towards it, it brings it into reality. If you need some daily inspiration or tips on affirmations, you can follow Brittany Josephina here.
How important listening actually is: The key to success is to shut up and listen. No seriously, listen. The meet up gave many of the women an opportunity to get everything that they’ve been keeping in, off of their chest. Sometimes we forget how supportive and soothing just listening is.
How to stay motivated as a Girl Boss:
The Girl Boss panel featured creative women in the mixed media arts, journalism, and cinematography field. When asked about how they stay motivated, filmmaker Chelsea Odufu said she simply reflects on her growth.
“I watch my own videos all the time, even after editing. I don’t know if that makes me conceited. [laughs] But, because of that I am here now.”
NYU Grad, journalist, and curator, Ivie Ani, took a different approach to motivation.
” Don’t stop going so you don’t need motivation.”
Mental Health is important: Mental health is something rarely talked about in the black community, especially between black women. While dealing with my own mental demons in 2015 and trying to find constructive and not harmful ways to work through them, I felt alone. I felt as if I was going crazy because I’ve always been under the impression that black women aren’t supposed to have moments of weakness. Black women don’t have anxiety attacks. Black women don’t contemplate suicide and Black women definitely don’t self-mutilate. So I was surprised and relieved when so many of the women began to share their bouts with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Some even shared ways to work through their problems!
The Black Girl Magik Meet-up gave a much needed safe space for women of color to be themselves, meet new sisters and simply have fun. If you ever get an opportunity to attend a meet-up in your city, definitely attend!
You can follow Black Girl Magik on twitter here for updates on upcoming events and good conversation. If you need an online community for mental health, please checkout BetterHelp.