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let me preface this by saying, the actual Cardi B did not tell or teach me anything about success IRL, I learned from her experience. Just so we are clear.
It’s crazy because I’m 8 months away from my 30th birthday, and I am struggling with my identity. Ya’ll would be like, “damn girl! Almost 30 and still don’t know who you are?”
In fact, I think this is precisely the issue.
I know exactly who I am and whenever I’m doing fraudulent shit, or taking action in a way that feels unnatural I become inconsistent, unproductive, and even more stagnant than before.
I had a photo of mine go viral. Because of said viral photo I gained a ton of new followers. Okay, I gained over 5k followers within a few days. I think it went to straight to my fucking head.
I’m a writer, b. Nothing else. I have a professional camera but I’m not photographer. I’m not a photographer yet watching all the “Viral” photos in my “niche” encouraged me to believe that this who I needed to be to get where I want to go.
That’s the craziest part though. Back then–I don’t think I knew exactly where I wanted to go, in the back of my mind I kind of knew but I allowed myself to become overly distracted with shit that had nothing to do with my ultimate goal–writing–writer shit.
For example–I’m not a fashion blogger, but I spent money in places I had no business spending money like FashionNova in hopes that I could “go viral” again and attract more followers or readers or viewers. But, again, I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl–how the fuck was I supposed to coordinate an outfit? I’m no Gabi Fresh but for whatever reason I convinced myself that THIS was what I Needed to do to get where i wanted to go.
I enjoy writing, that’s it. All i ever wanted to do was write–more specifically–all I ever wanted to do was create content.
But I cannot do no fraudulent shit.
You see the shit on my website? I don’t write like that. That is forced writing and I don’t like it, it feels unnatural. I can’t do “technical” writing. Yet again, I convinced myself that if I was to become a serious blogger that I needed to write like Mattie James from MattieJames.com or Demetria Lucus from abelleinbrooklyn.com. That may have worked for them but it’s not natural for me. Truth is, I had more viewers when I was writing freely, expressing myself rather than silencing my real voice–the one that thinks deeply and openly accepts her flaws and flaunts them for those that can relate– for those people to relate.
I enjoy working out.
But I ain’t really doing anything revolutionary with my regimen. I eat okay on most days and walk around my local park couple times a week–that it. I don’t want to host a course, or create a class a how to lose weight class.
I enjoy weight loss. I enjoy inspiring women like myself who struggle with emotional eating to push beyond their limits and go for what they want but I can’t be Za from fbfitness.com or any of the others who are passionate about weight loss. Women like ZA have incredible products, I keep thinking that I have to come out with my own line of fitness attire to get to where I want to go but that’d be fraudulent, because I’m a fitness enthusiast but writing is my passion.
For the first quarter of 2018 I spent unnecessary time acquiring things, turning into someone I’ve never been in an mad dash to secure a seat at the 10k, 20k, 1m table. I wanted 2018 to be my Cardi B year but Cardi B got to where she is by being her unapologetic self–and I completely disregarded this part of the process.
The money I spent putting on 4 inch nails that I could barely wipe my ass with, buying tons of clothes that I have yet to wear, and lace fronts that collect dust in my closet but cost me a fortune I could have invested into my writing.
Fear lived at the root of all the shit I distracted myself with. I was afraid to do what I knew I needed to—or had to do to see the kind of success that I desire.
You can buy all the cute clothes on IG, you can buy the cute fixtures, you can buy a few nights out at a hotel to stage your photos like them but you cannot buy authenticity.
Aint no Cardi B year without authenticity.
There will always be an outline, something you can look up to or draw inspiration from but no two paths will ever be the same. What works for them, may not work for you. When it don’t feel right, it usually means it’s not right for you–don’t stick with it.