A few days ago I was assigned to create a “Self Portrait” of obviously, myself. I was thinking all weekend what could I do… perhaps a collage? or maybe a video montage? or capture a photo from one of my favorite places? writing a poem? or simply handing my teacher one of my many journals? I had so many ideas, but all of them seemed too #basic (and I try really hard not to be this so claimed hashtag). Yet, I still am #basic and I’m loving it. So I thought about what is one thing that describes my busy, fun, and time-consuming life: talkthatcurl. My blog of course! I have so much on here that means the world to me: adventure (my bucket list), traveling, social justice, and of course my huge curly lion hair.
A few words that come to me when I think of myself and the things that matter to me are love, energy, positive vibes, family, passion, devoted shower singer, and hard -working. I chose this photo because whenever I am with my family, my world stops, literally. I have smiles everywhere and a contagious laugh! I don’t always smile, but when I am with my family you can count on seeing my teeth, my cheeks flushed, and my award-winning smile that everyone loves.
This post is proving a little difficult to write not because of writer’s block or anything, but because I really dislike talking about myself and my achievements. I grew in a cultural family (aka cultural fam, aka West Indian fam, aka #growingupblack) with family, work ethic, and education being a priority. Growing up in this cultural background is not easy, no sir no ma’am. There is no time to reward someone for their accomplishments because we are too busy, studying, working hard, cooking, and spending time with family. You think I’m kidding? Occasionally, yes of course for important things like receiving an award-winning reward, changing the laws, or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s then the world stops. I would never change how I grew up because it has taught me independence, strength, love, courage, and most importantly respect.
I come from different roots: Guyanese, Chinese, Cuban, Jamaican, with descendants from Scotland and Germany. Thus, identity has played a huge role in my life especially during my sophomore year. I never quite knew how to appropriately identify myself. I knew for sure that African – American was not how I was going to identify myself because I do not have African roots and I didn’t want to conform to the “politically correct” stigma that America likes to categorize me as. And black just seems too forward, so for a while, I decided to identify as multi-cultural and then later as nothing “other” and now as Black, but still, the word is still a little funny on my tongue because I am not dark-skinned and people do not view as black. So I like the term woman of color, but if I must conform to categorizing myself and filling in a bubble I will identify as black because I love my Brown skin and yours.
So, who am I? and why am I this way? I am Taylor, a strong, independent, loving, respectful, kind, and hardworking girl. I am this way because I was raised to be three things: respectful, hard-working, and independent, but I was taught more than that, I was taught to receive the best education, never settle for less than what I am worth, fight for what I believe in, give to others, and be proud of who I am and where I come from.
My self – portrait is hard for me to talk about because it’s something that was never rewarded in my family and culture, but I know who I am and I am proud of who I’ve become. Although, there is still more I need to do because I haven’t achieved success and I should be doing a lot more, but right now with my identity, I am proud.
My self – portrait is my life in a nutshell and #talkthatcurl is just that. My life, my pride, my joy, my masterpiece, and most importantly it is my way to form a community. Join my community and subscribe to my handles!
A summary of this post if it were to be in the colalge form I would choose these words as a description of My self -portrait:
- Culture/ Roots
- Curly Hair
There is probably more, but those are the top ten I think of immediately.