About 2 months ago my wonderful home girl and writer Joshunda gifted to me her registration for Blogher conference in Chicago. The gift blew me away. I’m still trying to put together a thank you gift to express how grateful I am. At the time I confessed to J that I was searching for a new job. She wrote in an email “Maybe this is the universe conspiring to make a new job happen.” When I signed up for the conference, I registered with my current title and job. “I blog for work, “ I thought to myself as I typed my title and work URL into the website database…….
I created ONYX while in graduate school as I was transforming my life –mentally, spiritually and physically. I was on a path to what I call a whole me.
I graduated with my MS degree and set out to change careers and enter a new journalism landscape. Over 30 and with real bills, I was not able to take the internship route to landing a great job in a major city or with a national news or media agency. After a few stints at a community newspaper and freelancing, I reached back and started working in a libraries—my first career began at a reference desk. I also started blogging….but stopped.
I stop working on ONYX for various reasons. Reasons I convinced myself were legitimate: I’m not really a writer (I’ll explain this later), I don’t have a readership, can’t find contributors, I have real bills need to work no time to blog, no one is interested in this content…..
Truth is I gave up on my journalism career goals and ONYX, because I gave up on my dreams.
The last year of my life has been the most painful. No I didn’t lose a parent, or experience a sexual trauma or tragedy.
I finally confronted traumas from my past. Wounds so deep that the memories are buried deep in my psyche yet affected my everyday living. Wounds that kept me living in fear. Living in fear is a walking death. Wounds that made me give up on ONYX.
Although I had been to therapy many times throughout my life, last year after a breakup with a man I loved, the pain sent me back to the chair. At that time, I thought I’d have a few sessions, get over him and move on. It turned into so much more.
As I released emotions, I began to change. Subtle changes that many folks would not witness, but are profound. Some days it was hard to get out of bed other days I felt like a zombie– I was up and sleepwalking through the day. Healing is a process, and more importantly a process that requires an eagerness to heal. The more I prayed and went to therapy the more I began to live!
Last week I met up with a friend at a bar.
A warm Friday evening, traffic was bad and so was parking. After searching for a space for 20 minutes only to find a spot I thought was too far from the bar, especially after a few cocktails, I hopped out and saw what I call street art.
I snapped a picture.
Got to the bar and needed to use the ladies room.
Walked inside and in huge letters on the wall was this!
I took a picture!
And as I washed my hands to leave on the door is this.
I took a picture.
Messages from the Universe.
Welcome back to ONYX.
God speaks to us in various ways we must be open to listen. Joshunda’s gift, street art, and graffiti—all messages that it’s time to revitalize ONYX.
And now is the perfect time.
In high school I was a 17 year old know-it-all activist running around NYC attending rallies and then writing about my opinions in English class. My frustrated teacher (because I never followed the rules) told me “you will become a better writer after you’ve lived and experienced some pain” Huh? My 17 year all self brushed him off with the typical “whatever”
He was right. Pain made me grow up and seek true healing. I can say it’s a true journey. In 2001 when I conceived ONYX was the start of healing, but I stopped. Maybe because it “just go to hard” but life pushed me back to heal and to ONYX
The goal of ONYX is to provide a forum a for black women to learn how to balance their lives –mentally, physically, spiritually. As Queen Afua said once in a lecture, black women must heal with each other!
ONYX is your digital companion. I’m still learning how to figure it–meaning life…. The first step–Forgive whatever hurts, anger, pain etc.
I don’t have all the answers, but I promise, like the graffiti on that bathroom wall and the street art, and girlfriends who show up for you just when you need them, the universe is conspiring to help you heal! Stay awake and listen.
I’m heading to Las Vegas in a few hours to Love Life. I’m planning to enjoy 3 days of eating good food, drinking cocktails and laughing with friends. When I return I will attend Blogher. I’m so excited to learn and meet other women with big dreams! Thank you again J.
With you on your journey,