Living in between the two worlds of politics and the arts is very difficult. It’s like walking along a delicate tightrope where I might end up on either end, but right now, I’m dead in the middle. Sometimes, I work completely in politics, sometimes, I only do my freelance creative work. For those of you who don’t know, back in 2019, I received my BA in International Relations from Emory University. Additionally, I’m going to grad school in the fall to get a Masters in International Conflict Studies.
You might not know that I applied to multiple fashion design and business programs when I was in high school. Somehow, I did get into a couple. This balancing act is nothing new. In fact, it defined all of my choices for the last 5 years, most of which trying to figure out how to keep these two parts of my life as far away as possible.
For the longest time, it was hard for me to accept that I am allowed to be happy, while simultaneously having a varied set of interests. As a child, I was told I constantly had to make choices. Choose dance or soccer. Band over dance. Art School over Emory. I’ve never been good at making those choices, to the point where I just would switch back and forth incessantly. Then again, I didn’t even make my college choice myself.
My parents made the decision for me. In a moment of extreme stubbornness, I held out and didn’t want to go to Emory, so I decided not to commit. They then went in the portal one night and decided for me. At the time, I was livid. Long term, it was the best decision for me. There’s always been pressure to do the right thing. In reality, what is the right thing?
College is the moment when I can truly see how I really separated these parts of my life. I secluded myself in my room for a few days before running to London Fashion Week. I secluded partially to finish the remaining schoolwork. Also, because my brain only allowed me to focus on one aspect at a time. I was either fully invested in politics or fully invested in the creative aspects.
In college, I went so far as to get a double major in International Relations and in Art History. Then, I balanced between the two worlds, trying to decide if I was worthy of either endeavor, but also creating separate parts of my personality to match what I was doing. I limited myself and how people interacted with me in my life. At school, the political junkie obsessed with working on campaigns prevailed. In my private life, I was constantly making new content and jet-setting. It truly was one or the other, and eventually, I became tired.
This constant separation of my personality is a major cause of my pause on blogging and working in politics. It led to burning out from constantly trying to be perfect and be someone I’m not. From trying to toe the line between being public enough for my followers to get to know me, but private enough where I could get a job in politics without being a threat. Maintaining this balance made true honesty difficult. I never felt like I could truly be either part of me.
This tiredness raised a lot of self-doubts. Can I do this, but if I ever wanted to run, would I be crucified? Who am I even trying to reach with this blog or my socials? Will the blog be an imposition during a job search? Why do I feel the need to separate it? Everything is inherently political, especially with my life as a black woman, so why?
At the end of the day, I think it took me reaching rock bottom to realize that doing both might not be the craziest thing. Plus, why not both? There’s nothing keeping me from doing both but me. So I decided to get the hell out of my own way. One of the beautiful things about doing this blog and the adjoining socials is that I can do what I want. I can also set the boundaries where I want them. That’s what I plan on doing and I plan on using this platform the way I want to. If you’re interested in staying up to date, sign up for my newsletter here for more! You’ll find up-to-date resources on how you can get involved, but also what’s the latest I’m doing.