I think everyone is way too pressured to live this successful and fabulous life. We are asked to write down our goals and dreams at a very young age, teachers ask us who or what we want to be when we grow up and the word success is constantly talked about or used as decor on classroom walls. Success is defined as this grand thing we should only aim to experience. And anything outside of success is failure. It’s a harsh and unrealistic ideal to teach kids.
There‘s hardly room for feeling sadness, loneliness or overwhelmed because it’s outside of success or usually an indicator for struggling with success. Therefore, no one talks about these normal experiences because it’s deemed as unsuccessful. But to be honest, I think it’s un-fucking-fair because it makes people feel like they’re not doing well if they feel confused or lost on some days. I feel confused and lost almost every day but I don’t believe that makes me unsuccessful. It also doesn’t mean I’m living a bad life. I think it actually confirms that I’m indeed living LIFE. I don’t think success is meant to pretty or ought to be this fabulous thing all the time, because it just won’t. Sometimes when you talk about these experiences of sadness, everyone assumes something needs to be fixed. Sadness doesn’t need to be fixed. Sadness doesn’t need immediate relief. It’s totally okay to just feel things and communicate those feelings without needing someone to offer you advice, tips or corny takes of wisdom. Success to me is being yourself and accepting who that is — emotions, feelings, experiences and all. Success to me is honesty. Living an honest life, with the mess and struggles included. Success to me is any kind of progress. Slow progress is still progress. I’m trying to unlearn ideas of success that are unhealthy for my growth. Because my success is not what people tell me it is, success is what I define it to be. Even when I’m going through it, I am still a mf’ing success.
Learning How to Fly is a visual and written diary series dedicated to all things women and wellness. Through digital storytelling, Keosha shares her personal life experiences and how she navigates her own world and the people around her through the lens of a Black woman. Learning How to Fly reflects on identity, hardships, emotions, love and the lessons they unfold.