Dear SIBW (Strong Independent Black Women)

Sisterhood via MelaninMamis
I’m probably not qualified enough to write this post. I’m probably too young, there is a whole world out there I am yet to experience, a whole life still waiting to be lived. But I believe that I don’t have to cry the tears myself to know what will bring me pain.

There is one major problem I have observed among black women: we don’t support each other.

If we have a similar upbringing, it is more than likely that you too would have been told: “you have to work twice as hard because you’re black”. When you’re black, everytin na double double! When it’s bad, it’s twice as bad and when it’s good, it’s twice as good and because of that, everything feels twice as hard. For some, you feel as though you have to do it all alone, you have to be independent, otherwise, someone can snatch this glory away from you and you’ll lose twice as bad.

I’ve watched black women around me get so caught up in doing things well and doing them alone. So much so that I believed it was the only way things could be done. But being ‘strong’ and ‘independent’ will take its toll on you. It will suck the life out of you and leave limp on the street.

You are not a machine.

It’s okay to break down.

It’s okay to take the time out for yourself to relax.

It’s also, most importantly, okay to ask for help.

Receiving assistance doesn’t take away from your independence and taking a break doesn’t downplay your strength. Yes, life might be a little harder for you in some cases, but this isn’t a burden you should carry alone, neither is it one worth digging a grave over.

Self-care is very easily lost in the hustle and bustle of making it to the top, regardless of what your field is; but looking after yourself and prioritising your well-being is just as, if not more, important. You can’t work efficiently if your mind and body aren’t working efficiently.

Black women all over the world are doing their best to make it to the top and this isn’t something they should struggle to do alone. Black women have a right to be independent just as much as any other woman does, but this does not stop us from supporting each other along the way. Helping a sister out doesn’t cost you too much in most cases, even if all you do is remind her that she needs to take some time out for herself.

A problem some SIBWs face is being labelled career focused in a way that resembles a disease. Do not let society’s stereotypes of being smart-mouthed and angry deter you from being the resilient and indestructible black woman you are. Your strength and courage are the very reason you may be the only person in your office who walks around in a skirt and high heels. Your quick thinking and decisiveness may be why you are one of few in your company with a significant amount of melanin. Do not be discouraged.

Pursuing a successful career is not a bad thing, but letting it consume you is. I’ve noticed this amongst many people, not just black women: they become so career obsessed that they forget to live the rest of their lives. In addition to being strong, remember that you have already worked twice as hard as everyone else, every once in a while, you deserve to relax. Don’t push people away because they aren’t running the same race as you, take the time every so often to embrace the love from those around you. You don’t have to be alone to be independent.

You are allowed to love and be loved.

You are allowed to fall and get back up.

You are allowed to make it to the top as yourself- black woman included.

This constant need to prove yourself to people who will never understand or appreciate your struggle is hindering you from enjoying all that life has to bring. Stop striving for the standards of success that have been set by people who cannot relate to you. Create your own standards. Stop missing out on the life you have now, to sit at a table where you know you don’t fit in. Sit at the head of your own table. You are strong. You are independent. Most importantly, you are a black woman- stop viewing this as an obstacle and revel in the magic you possess.

Dear SIBW,

You are already more than enough.

Love, 

Tisha x

#Schmile

This week’s shoutout goes out to Zac!

  18 comments for “Dear SIBW (Strong Independent Black Women)

  1. February 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    “It’s okay to break down.

    It’s okay to take the time out for yourself to relax.

    It’s also, most importantly, okay to ask for help.”

    I really struggle to ask for help, so I struggle more and then find myself giving up. In society, it’s like if you break down or take time out for yourself to relax, you’re selfish.

    It’s definitely important to put your needs first, another thing I have been struggling with. I’m slowly learning that is okay to ask for help, and it’s not bad to take time to rejuvenate.

    Its hard but I’m getting there!

    • TishaKimiira
      February 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      I completely agree! I used to confuse taking a break for being lazy and I would be so hard on myself! And I was always so willing to be the helper but never wanted to accepting help from others. Slowly but surely we’ll get there 🙂

  2. May 23, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Love this so much! I struggle sometimes with depression and unfortunately have never seen another woman in my family be upset or broken down, so I felt like I couldn’t do that. Like I couldn’t cry. Like I always have to hold it together and hold everybody up. But now that I’m older and getting help with my depression, I’m starting to see that it’s okay to break down. It’s okay to cry. The older generation had to endure so much while keeping a strong face, I’m sure that’s why they continue to do so! But you are so right! Self care is definitely important! Awesome post, girl!

    • TishaKimiira
      May 23, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      Self care is soooo important! You are your biggest investment- don’t lose your mind trying to keep a brave face! I’m so glad you took something from it! Thank you reading 💙

  3. iheartnelle
    May 23, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    This is so inspiring. Strength is built on overcoming our weak moments. You had some really great points.

    • TishaKimiira
      May 24, 2017 at 7:00 am

      Thank you so much for reading 💙

  4. May 24, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Woman! Thank you so much for this post! I REALLY needed to see this today. I was sitting at work, sick to my stomach until I had someone come and view what I was doing because I have to give an update presentation on my project. It feels so hard because not am I the ONLY black person on my team I am the ONLY woman. So i feel like i carry so much on my shoulders. But I am still in the process of letting that go to work to my full potential.

    Korin
    Wonderland Boudoir
    http://www.WonderlandBoudoir.com

    • TishaKimiira
      May 24, 2017 at 7:01 am

      I know exactly how you feel, I’m in the exact same position! All the best to you, like I said, you are already more than enough 💙

  5. Anonymous
    May 24, 2017 at 4:15 am

    WOW this literally what I am going through now! I am so career obsessed that I forget to actually be 22! I push guys away, and I dont have a social life. I love what you said when it gets bad, it gets twice as bad! so true. when things go wrong it feel like it gets worse. I am still a work in process, but sometime too independent.

    • TishaKimiira
      May 24, 2017 at 7:02 am

      Can 100% relate, never forget that you deserve love too! Thank you so much for reading 💙

  6. May 24, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Thank you so much for this!!! I was raised for 13 years by my mother, after moving back from living with my grandmother. I was taught in her household to doing everything on my own, so I didnt need to ask for help. I have worked 2 jobs to be able to do everything on my own. I would go without sleep and a social life. At the age of 26 I am starting to live, and enjoy my hardwork. Empowering post.

    • TishaKimiira
      May 24, 2017 at 7:03 am

      Glad you are starting to live!!! Thank you for reading 💙

  7. abbawright
    May 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Great read! I am definitely one of those people who struggles to ask for help even when I really need it. Even though I know that it’s not really the case, I always get this underlying feeling like I’ve failed if I can’t figure out and execute something on my own.

    • TishaKimiira
      May 24, 2017 at 7:04 am

      A lot of people, especially black women feel like this, it’s something we have to make a conscious effort to work on. All the best! Thank you for reading 💙

  8. May 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    There comes a point where you have to simply do you! Revel in your brilliance and let your light shine despite the opinions of others. Self-love is the best love.

    • TishaKimiira
      May 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Love this! Thank you for reading 💙

  9. May 24, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    This just came to me at the perfect time.I agree 100 % What about the women who do not want a significant other and wants to focus on career but the men in her life tells her what she is doing is wrong?

    • TishaKimiira
      May 24, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      I always say that you are your biggest investment! What you want for yourself should always be your first priority (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else). There is nothing wrong with not wanting a significant other in my opinion, whatever makes you happy!💙thanks for reading x

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