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ZORA
Unapologetic. Ours. A publication from Medium for Black women.

Im Learning

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I’m Learning

Idk if it’s possible to achieve perfection, I think we should strive for self-acceptance🦋

A portrait of a black woman outside in the sunlight, smiling
A portrait of a black woman outside in the sunlight, smiling

“I should be better than this by now.”

This is a thought that I said out loud during a recent therapy session. I felt like I was talking about the same problems and anxieties that I always talk about. I felt like I’d done so much work over the years to unlearn past trauma and learn new coping mechanisms that I should have evolved past my regular struggles. And I felt really down about myself. Like I must not be doing things right, like I must not be right. …


I’m Learning

If it’s not about me and my peace of mind, it can wait

Black woman holding a cup in her hands with eyes closed, enjoying a calm moment at home.
Black woman holding a cup in her hands with eyes closed, enjoying a calm moment at home.

My morning routine is the same almost every day. I typically wake every morning between 6 and 7 a.m. I don’t use an alarm clock, preferring to let myself rise naturally with the sun. I stretch. Sit up. Take a sip of water. Say a little prayer of gratitude. Get out of bed and open the curtains to let the sunshine in.

And then… I panic. The countdown has begun.

Starting from the moment I open my eyes, I have T-minus 2.5 hours before I need to start work. That’s 2.5 hours to become fully awake, do some yoga, walk…


I’m Learning

Losing something important to me gave me the strength to move past my trauma

Black woman looking out the window with a forlorn expression.
Black woman looking out the window with a forlorn expression.

So I think I have a ghost in my apartment.

I started noticing it almost immediately upon moving in. I would hear noises coming from the ceiling as though someone was walking around up there. (I live on the top floor. No one is above me.) Doors in my apartment would open and close on their own (I live alone). None of the clocks in my apartment ever read the same time no matter how many times I reset them (including the digital clocks on the oven and microwave!).

But the scariest and most annoying phenomenon is that items in…


I’m Learning

I come from a rich lineage of Black excellence

“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave/I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”

— Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”

In 2017 BC (before Covid-19), I had the opportunity to visit the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The former motel is now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum where visitors can see decades of activism and achievements of Black Americans on display.

I walked through exhibits showing the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Southern lynchings, the diner sit-ins, the freedom rides, and the exact place where Dr. King lost his life…


I’m Learning

I spent my journalism career trying to be perfect. Now I’m just trying to be myself.

Even at the risk of burning, the mouth always seeks the light. —Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X

I just finished Elizabeth Acevedo’s YA novel The Poet X, and that line really stood out to me. The main character, a burgeoning slam poet named Xiomara, writes a poem for her class about her struggle to communicate with her strict, religious mother and how she finds herself unable to truly express herself. But Xiomara concludes in her writing that being herself is more important than the fear of falling short of her mother’s expectations.

This is what she writes, but it’s not…

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