It's that time of year again. Januarys are a generally reflexive and reflective period for most of us. You've maybe got a New Year's Resolution. I do, but it changes every day depending on how well I'm doing with my diet and mindfulness. How's yours going? This year I promised myself that my new year will be decorated with positivity and honesty - though I've found it's often difficult to find a happy pairing of both. But I think I've found it. I'm confessing. This is a Burn Book... written by me - about me. The most salacious details of my average millennial life are to be electronically sprawled onto this canvas. Once I put it out into the big, wide world for all seven people I know to read (hi mum)- it's over.
My first confession is that I don't actually like everyone even though I really want to. I mean, come on, who does? I'm only human.
My second confession is the purer sister of my first confession. And it's one that I'll challenge anyone to say they don't feel. I like everyone who likes me. Because I am selfish. I am so damn selfish but that's okay. I like everyone who likes me because of this annoyingly human need to be liked by everyone. I'd love that.
My third confession is that I am awfully misunderstood - which is something again I think we all can confess to. My thing is that I need to be strong, sassy, and aggressive because for many people, it's the only box I can exist in. It's a tough box to live in so I have to give thanks to those of you who actually allow me the privilege of being vulnerable. Because black women never are... are we?
My fourth confession is that I absolutely am sexist. I passionately care about men's issues and the rights of less privileged men, of course. I know and love a handful of them. But I am just one of those everyday sexists, know what I mean? Instead of wolf-whistling or looking at his arse at the gym though, I will judge him by the weight of his massive biceps on his skinny untrained and abandoned chicken legs. Or I will speak louder over him because my voice is obviously more important, damnit. And I will actively choose to not smile at him when he calls me "love," but if Shabnam, Olufunmilola, Aaminah or Linda calls me "love," I'm totally down with that. It's really unfair but that, my friend, is my privilege.
My fifth confession is that I've never actually liked Kate Bush's music and this was made so much easier to deal with after she praised Theresa May. Really, Kate? In this climate? Come off it. Wuthering Heights is a great tune though, even if I don't actually know what she's singing.
My sixth confession is of my undying gratitude for my partner's love and company. I used to wonder what this love meant for my place on the feminist throne. But then I had that moment when I realised my place is exactly the same whoever I do or not lay beside because our value is not measured by our romantic relationships - or lack thereof. And to be fair, we need men to bring about equality in this world... but only the ones we want.
My seventh confession is a public pledge to myself that my gym going, occasional leg shaving, hair styling and eyeliner wearing will one day be completely about what is on the inside and not the out. It's fine that I haven't quite gotten there yet. It is okay to still be worried about 'superficial' things. I am only human. My worrying is always acceptable as long as I remember my inner strength. I am a warrior goddess. With soft skin. And kinky hair. And great legs.
My eight confession is that I'm not a great runner and I'm really jealous of those who are better than me. I sometimes blame it on my asthma, or on my old knee injury, or more recently, my two sprained ankles. Really I think it's just because I don't love it like I wanted to. Sometimes I see a beautiful person running in the street and I wanna push them over but then apologise and help them up because that's not nice. So I've discovered I love gymnastic training and hula hooping and fruit cider. I've got to keep doing more of those things this year.
My ninth confession is a story I'm going to tell you.
I was recently asked by a blasphemous heretic to decide who I love more between Beyonce and Rihanna. So... I came down to this infidel's level and told him: "... [dramatic pause] ... You know how you love your local team Barnsley (he is a football fan), but you also love your national football team, the glorious, all-powerful England? How do you decide between the two? Rihanna is my Barnsley... and Beyonce is my England."
He, without any distress, told me he would pick Barnsley if he really had to.
I secretly and brokenheartedly agreed. I, too, would pick Barnsley. This doesn't mean I don't love England. England is perfection. Barnsley's imperfections are just the kind of thing I need right now to get me through this cold, 2017 winter. I'll be sipping on Lemonade through the summer. I know it.
But please, don't tell Queen Bey.
My tenth confession is a complete embracing of all my imperfections: I'm an idealistic yet pessimistic romantic. I'm a health conscious periodic binge eater. I think I'm so good but I'm super self critical. I'm sweet but I'm angry. I am a bundle of contradictions but again, I challenge anyone to say they are anything other.