Not For The Lack Of Trying

Not For The Lack Of Trying
Webcam picture from 11 May 2012… Just over a year ago… Funny how things change in a year? I should go back to doing my hair like this. Anywho, let’s take a walk through my adolescence.

I’ve been in the blogging game since I was about 12 years old; I had begun my leeetle fashion blog on Blogspot, I can even vividly remember the burgundy and gold colour palette I had, and I mostly reviewed award show fashion and posted the occasional wishlist.

I didn’t know for whom I was blogging or even why, but ever since I was a child, I knew I was destined for my voice to be heard. I had wanted to be a singer since before I had even begun school, but I had been completely taken aback by the necessity of songwriting. In my childhood-naivety, I thought that every singer in the world had to write their own songs. Silly me. Had I known that it is recently more rare for a singer to write their own songs than vice versa, maybe I wouldn’t have discarded my dream of music. Maybe I would be famous now. Who knows?

Either way, I chose a new career path to stardom called acting. Ah, yes. If I cannot sing, I will act – at least I don’t have to write my own scripts, right? Well, ironically so, that’s all I did. By the age of 14 I had grown so tired of the endless reiteration of the poems and plays we had to produce during school, that at any opportunity, I volunteered to reconstruct, or better yet, write my own scripts. I enjoyed being out of the limelight yet I simply adored being in control. Seeing my friends perform work I had written, albeit not the best work I had written, gave me a sense of pride and joy. All throughout my school years, though, I enjoyed being in control. I preferred doing the whole assignment just so that I knew it was done. It gave my life a meaning. It still does.

And speaking of meaning, before I could even write, I wrote. Remember my aforementioned singing dream? I must’ve been five years old and thinking of R’n’B love songs. But of course, I could only keep the lyrics in my head for so long. I will never forget the day that my mother volunteered to help me write them down. Envision this: a five year old girl, in the living room with her mother, notebook in hand. Now, try telling your mom these love songs that you have in your head when you’re very sure you don’t even know what love is. See where it can get awkward? Apparently, so did I, because as I was about to start, I switched lanes and dictated to my mom, a sort of Heal The World/Save the planet-esque song before hurriedly ending it and leaving the room. That was the penultimate straw in my music career. But my writing one? That one set ablaze.

Between the ages of 8-13, I had attempted to write at least six different books. Attempted, being the operative word. I had always gotten to about eight or so pages and gave up, never to write again. Until I had a better idea and tried once more. But being so young, all my ideas were hopelessly the same. All about young girls and friendship and fame and all of the things I had wanted in another life, because as they say, you write what you know. And I only knew what I wanted. A fifth grade task to design your own book and write a few pages was absolute heaven for me. I switched on the computer and copied down my favourite of my failed book attempts and wrote it down in my terrible 11 year old handwriting. My book gave me such joy, even though it was unfinished. I took such pride in it. And reading it now, I realise that book symbolised the culmination of my childhood. Books. Reading. Attempted writing. Even in my young adulthood, I have the same book/story idea, just waiting to be written. And I’ll keep waiting until I can write it.

Now, at the age of around 12, that was the rise of the Disney queens; the do-it-alls: the Miley Cyrus’s, Selena Gomez’s and Demi Lovato’s. Seeing their youth and level of acclaim made me want to get myself together, and like we all have at one stage or another, my friends and I started a band. Mind you, none of us could play any instruments. (I had lessons for piano/recorder/flute/guitar, but I mastered none but the recorder at that time, but in all honesty, how useful is recorder in a band, anyway?) I had many instruments, so we figured we could just wing it. At that stage, I knew, once again, we had to write our own songs. But this time, that was bliss to me. I churned out songs at lightning speed and I had a good album’s worth after a week. But, once again, looking back, they weren’t very good and they were incredibly juvenile. So, for the last time, my legitimate music career fell to dust, but not for the lack of trying. Now, I only sing in church and when required from a friend, and that’s enough for me.

Moving on though, whilst all of this was happening, I discovered a little magical thing called the internet. By the age of 10 and a half, I was fully addicted to Polyvore (an addiction I have recently rekindled after a few years of being dormant.), by 13 I had started and deleted a Blogspot blog, I had at least 2 different Twitter accounts and shortly after that, I tried blogging again, on my beloved Tumblr. The original content blogging lasted a short while, as you can imagine, because I fell into the Reblog-hole and I don’t regret it for a second. That blog got me quite a lot of followers, but in spur of the moment decision, I deleted it and made a new one. Twice. (Indecision is my best friend and worst enemy.) At the age of 15 though, I truly and wholeheartedly wanted to be a blogger, so I started a new Blogspot blog and I really tried. I really did. But the pretense and lack of vision and direction made me stop dead in my tracks, and not shortly after I began my blog did I delete it.

That brings me to a cold winters day in June 2012 when I thought that I am ready to take this seriously, and after a brainstorming session with my sister, I started a blog called The Afrocentric Kid (the name originated from the thought that a white girl and a black girl can wear the exact same hipster outfit, but just by virtue of being black, the look becomes more ‘afrocentric’ than the common label ‘hipster’. My sister basically thought I was a hipster and that’s where the discussion originated.) And like all things, I began with such gusto and excitement… until I felt like I was feigning authenticity in my blog posts and just trying to be like every other blogger – my voice being lost in the midst of faltered excitement about new fashion shows and such and such’s new outfit range… So I stopped. And that went on for approximately six months and in that time, I changed my blog’s name and look and banner and everything. In the midst of exam preparation in 2013, I thought, “Let’s blog again,” and I did, and more so during my exams than while I’ve been on holiday (apologies). This is a true testament of my short attention span. But without IFB, I don’t think I would’ve made it this long in the blogosphere (so a million thanks, truly!).

Now I am at a similar crossroads. I wanted this to be more of a visual diary-blog than ‘just another blog’. And I’m hoping to return it to that. I wish to write more. Sorry (not sorry) that I had to give my entire life’s story in order to get to this point, but I felt like it needed a back story. I am not another blogger searching for fame and notoriety – I tried in my childhood/pubescence and I realised that maybe it’s not for me, especially in that forum. I mean, if it were to happen, then wonderful, but it is not my main goal. I blog for me. I write for me. I take pictures (of me) for me. I’m ecstatic and over the moon when people respond, but that shouldn’t be why I do this. In the words of Macklemore, “Make the money, don’t let the money make you. Change the game, don’t let the game change you.”

I needed a platform, and this is it. Hopefully, people will like what I have to say, or even if they don’t, maybe they will listen and respond anyway. Hopefully I get to write more on this blog, but probably not to this extent – sidenote: I always wondered how people could write so much in a blog post and now, I can see that it is altogether much too easy. Anywho, I hope I don’t feel compelled to ever delete this blog, but instead, keep changing it until I am happy (which if you take note of my format, I do quite often). Maybe I can return to the ecstatic 16 year old with so many ideas and such excitement with her camera and her words, instead of the dismal 17 year old she became. Thank you to the readers – I hope in my soul-searching, and thus irregular posting, I can give both Foyin and DearSolo an identity. Love, peace and light.

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