The term 'bubble' has become so familiar to us! We all live in a bubble, don't we? Work bubbles, family bubbles, friendship bubbles, social media bubbles and in those bubbles, we create stories about ourselves and the world around us.
An old story I would often tell myself in our social media bubble was that if our followers knew the face behind the account, it might change whatever perceived ideas they held about myself and Nai. We all create stories of what we believe others think and feel about us. But what we often don't realise, is that those thoughts and feelings are generally reflections of our own beliefs about ourselves.
These stories take shape based on our cultural values, and societal ideologies of what is acceptable and what isn't. In turn, we absorb these ideas into the self - producing a complete story, with a start, middle and an end of how others think and feel about us. Whether we have evidence of this or not, the story then becomes polarised, fixing us in a place controlled by fear and anxiety.
However, this year, the story changed for many of us because truthfully the pandemic forced us and everyone else to step outside of our bubbles. We were forced to, directly and indirectly, experience the pain, the loss, the fear and the reality we have all found ourselves living simultaneously in. Job losses, loss of life, mental health challenges, divorces and the list sadly and painfully gets longer.
A wake-up call to all of us. A chance to think about ourselves and ask a simple question, am I a good enough human being?
What does it mean to be good enough? When are we good enough, and who decides if we are good enough or not?
We are all facing the most extreme existential crisis of all time. So heavily dependent on likes, comments often creating a false sense of selfhood. How does having approval or lack of approval from others add value to who we are as human beings? The truth is, sometimes the stories we tell ourselves need to be rewritten. It's ok to change our minds, and when necessary, it's also ok to start afresh. We now accept that the stories we told ourselves about showing up on social media, came from a place of fear of judgement.
Fear of being judged as queer women! Both from a Caribbean background with profound religious influence, where homosexuality is shunned, demonised and outcast. Something to be ashamed of and certainly something to hide, so you 'don't embarrass the family'.
Fear of being brown-skinned and beautifully curvy women of colour, who are often seen as aggressive. How can carving out a little piece of the internet to express our creative selves become so thought-provokingly political, riddled with fear?
Are our stories absolute? Do we prescribe the changes needed to rewrite our stories or do we allow the stories written by others to inform our sense of being?
This year has taught us that we will miss out on so much if we act in fear. There is so much to learn from each other, and so much we still don't know. Having an awareness of this and allowing our fears to dictate our lives, is like purposely covering your eyes but still expecting to see.
So, are we good enough? Being good enough isn't determined by external factors; it starts within oneself. To be a good enough human being is to offer love inwardly and outwardly. It is to act from a place of fearlessness, courage, humility and most of all love.
The new story is to act from love and kindness - show our faces, tell our stories and if we lose friends and family along the way, it's ok. We will continue to be open and honest, exercise self-examination and continue to act with love, compassion and acceptance.
With Love always
Mon & Nai