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I’ve been on hiatus since QWOC Week, with the intention of getting some much-needed rest and personal time to reflect and plan my upcoming year. I’ve always approached yearly planning from an astrological perspective, starting in August as we enter into the realm of Virgo and scoping my plans till just before my birthday in September the following year.
This year has been a little different in terms of timing and strategy. I find that I’ve consciously shifted gears to accommodate for my current position and temperament – emotionally, professionally, spiritually; I’ve been calling on my inner melancholy a lot more lately to help me tackle the year ahead. My saggitarius fire is still driving me forward, but Virgo has definitely taken the lead with getting myself organized.
I remember a few years back, when I was just coming into my own post-college, and trying to figure out my place in this city. For a long time, the over-analytical, ultra-sensitive girl from Nigeria, who was afraid of losing family connections due to a growing bi-cultural gap and strenuous family structure, had held herself back from accomplishing any personal goals for far too long. Whether it was more out of fear, dedication, duty, innate selflessness, or an overwhelmingly discouraging clairvoyant view into milestone challenges – I may never know what really held me back – one thing is for certain: I completely neglected myself. But, I also vowed to never do it again.
I know for a fact that the minute I tapped into the latter, after keeping this side of my personality locked up for years, QWOC+ appeared, along with many invaluable opportunities, and I’ve been forging ahead ever since, unstoppable whenever I put my mind to something. I wasn’t going to let anyone hold me back. Not negative people. Not jealous people. Not well-meaning, but distracting people. No one. And it’s worked. I am really proud of all the things I have accomplished these past few years. Yet, I am also aware on the toll exerting myself in the name of social justice took on my mental health. I stayed the course. I’ve laid the foundation, and I’ll be working with new enthusiastic organizers and volunteers to keep the momentum. But, I’m going to be fierce about taking better care of myself this year.
There is much to be done in terms of carefully planning out these next really crucial years. Being out in the world as a professional adult and not confined within the walls of an institution has helped me figure out what I want to do. Unfortunately, it’s also been revealed to me that the nature of the undertaking I’m embarked on, requires much rigorous planning, careful timing, my resourcefulness, and persistence. However, I must admit, that in spite of these feelings, it seems that I’ve changed overnight to re-invoke my virgo-an/melancholy qualities. My desktop has gone from a cluttered mind-field to a bare, folder-viewing portal into my future.
In the past few weeks I’ve created more charts, task lists, word research documents, goal-oriented excel spreadsheets, and a very cool formula that I use to assign”points” to my priority labels: Important-Urgent, Important-Not Urgent, Not Important-Urgent, and Not-Imprortant-Not Urgent. I have organized my life into 6 distinct categories, which I track progress against linearly and daily. I have resorted to staying home more evenings out of the week than I have in the past three years, working towards life plans, reading my professional, management, and self-help books, and playing SIMS for fun (judge me if you dare, but not before you checkout: http://www.thesims3.com). I couldn’t be happier and more amused at myself.
Luckily for me, and for the first time ever in my life, I am surrounded by fellow virgos who GET my charts, task lists, obsession with syncing my blackberry calendar, and share my general enthusiasm for all task-organizing tools. It used to be just me and my sister that suffered from detailitis. But no more :o) Today I had to stop in the middle of a conversation I was having with one of my favorite bois and take a minute to acknowledge our virgo-ness. We were in the midst of a serious discussion about our failure to incorporate national holidays into our outlooks calendars – it’d caused us to schedule an event on a holiday weekend, which was unacceptable. In true virgo fashion, we of course resolved to each do some research into the matter and report back later. This was of paramount importance. Obviously, life would be so much simpler if we were properly armed with national holidays that we could schedule social justice events around. Oh, and this was just after he’d told me that he’d put together an agenda for our conference call at 8 in the morning tomorrow regarding our upcoming fundraiser for Obama! This conversation was truly the highlight of my day.
I started to wonder… How could so much of my personality shift in just one month? Last year, my sister gave me a reading that really helped me stay true and strong to my goals this year. I imagine that if I hadn’t gotten the reading, I would’ve been thrown all over the place and lost focus very quickly. There was so much going on career- and passion-wise that I needed to withstand the energy of my own chart, she said. This year, I am eagerly awaiting what the stars have lined up for me, and in the meantime, diligently preparing for it the good old Virgo way; being overly-detailed, analytical, and introspective about everything.
Meet Spectra: Queer Nigerian Afrofeminist Writer and Media Activist. Social Entrepreneur Nurturing Principled Diaspora and Women's Philanthropy in Media and Tech. Self-Care and Self-Love Evangelist. Idealist Warrior Woman. Big Dreamer. Big Thinker. Big Doer, Too.
Do you believe in the connection between love and social justice? Do you believe that LGBTQ rights is a transnational issue? Do you believe that gender and trans struggles are integral to the racial justice movement? If so, check out Spectra. She’s awesome, fierce, and most importantly, speaks from the heart.
I love not only your thoughts, but also how you express them… Your love-centered, hopeful, positive and proactive voice is incredibly refreshing and exactly what I’ve been looking for recently in the feminist blogosphere.Sara
Spectra has allowed myself, and many I know, access safer spaces to have much needed, challenging and powerful conversations that would otherwise not occur in our communities.ShakiraThe Network/La Red
… a flexible and effective communicator with youth across various social, class and cultural strata.AyariGirl Scouts Program Coordinator
Spectra is a talented speaker and facilitator and is especially adept at working with groups of students in ways that both challenge and support individual viewpoints.http://Eva, Harvard Women's Center
… a force to be reckoned with–in a very positive way. Spectra has the “gift” of envisioning the greatness we can achieve and uniting the folks who will make that happen. I adore her.TimFenway Health
… [an] articulate weaving of personal experience and analysis.Becky
By sharing your story, you allow people like me to relate, to experience, to learn and to share with others as well. thank you, thank you, thank you.JT
Thank you so much for sharing your story and for being an inspiration to so many people.WayoftheLiz
We love it when Spectra Speaks!The Theater Offensive
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- No events. Self-care break.