For this week’s post, I want to get a bit more personal with my audience: tell a lot more about myself and what’s has gotten me on this journey with this blog ForThaMasses. The idea to start this blog has been a constant back and forth struggle. After my first post in 2014, I never really stuck with things due to lack of confidence, intimidation, and not really knowing what my clear message/voice was going to be. However, I have grown as a person, gained a better understanding of myself and the world we live in over the past 2 years. But before I get ahead of myself, let me share a little about my background.
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria in a Pentecostal household. Both of my parents are pastors so, needless to say, my faith and trust in God is something that is very important to me and was instilled in my upbringing as long as I can remember. I was involved in the church in almost all aspects: choir practice, plays, sound crew, child care; you name it, I’ve more than likely done it. Education was also a very big part of my upbringing. Since it was a luxury for the ones who could afford it, I always strived to do my best! To be honest, life in Nigeria was very easy going and carefree; I had more freedom to run around outside and barely spent time indoors. I was a happy and optimistic, easy going kid but unfortunately, that would soon change.
Upon moving to the United states at age 8, life has felt like an ongoing struggle. At school, I was different and was made to feel different by the other kids. Anything that made me unique was a focal point to be picked on. My name and my gap tooth smile were the biggest highlights for kids to get on me about. I never really understand why it made them tease me since those were features that made me feel special and unique in my culture. As a result of what others felt and said about me, I became internalized about everything; not wanting to smile and changing my name to Cynthia (my God name) when I introduced myself. But after my parents told me to stop, I became embarrassed to introduce myself due to how people would react. I eventually became someone who lacked confidence in myself and never felt beautiful.
This negative outlook of myself has stuck with me long into adulthood. I began to doubt myself and everything I did, even when my natural creative abilities were in play. No matter how often teachers and friends told me my work was good or that I had talent, I still felt the need to compare myself to everyone else, taking very little pride in what I produced. This lack of confidence and not acknowledging my self-worth is root of what has held me back in any type of creative venture in my life. I would like to say that I overcame this feeling, however it’s still a work in progress. It is quite disheartening realizing after so many years that I’ve doubted myself due to what others thought of me versus finding the strength and love from within to know better. However, it’s never too late to change your frame of mind.
One of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome was being comfortable with sharing shitty work. In this world where everything is presented to you us “perfection” whether it’s on social media or advertising, I can understand why it’s difficult to share crap! However, there is a lot to learn from your worst work. After completing the “100 days of hand lettering” challenge and seeing my growth and the great feedback I received, this became the driving force for me to rededicate time into this blog. It’s important to get away from that mindset of thinking things have to be perfect before pressing post, publish or share. The courage to share your work, no matter what skill level you’re on, might be the encouragement others might need to get out of their comfort zone and do the same.
One of the reasons why I decided to start blogging was to change the perspective which that I have of myself. I wanted a way to have creative freedom while sharing my experience along the way. This blog has provided me the ability to have a space to freely share my work, regardless of the number of people who read it. This is an opportunity for me to share with the world that everyone has a starting point and not everything has to be picture perfect before you start.
Since I have a lot of interests, from self-growth and encouraging healthy eating to my progress in hand lettering and my new found love for sustainable lifestyles, it only seemed appropriate to name the blog something that reflected all of this; a space that has something for anyone, hence: ForThaMasses.
I know this is a lot to focus on all at once but this is my overall vision of what I want this blog to grow into overtime. For the moment my primary focus will be sharing more on sustainable living (fashion, health & beauty, DIY projects and more), my practice with hand lettering, and posts like this as a voice of encouragement not only for myself, but for others who are lacking confidence within themselves to just simply start. Right now I am still a work in progress and that’s okay. It took me taking an honest look at myself to realize that nothing in my life would change if I didn’t change my mindset. I definitely don’t have all the answers or have everything figured out, but I am willing to invest in myself in order to grow.
No one will invest in you if you’re not willing to invest in yourself!