And Still, I Rise

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

[Excerpt from Still I Rise by Maya Angelou]

This was the poem I had used for my now former Always Rise Blog. It formed one of the important foundations for that blog, in the sense that Still I Rise embodied exactly the kind of woman I want to be one day – a woman who continues to rise no matter what life may throw at her.

But 2018 was a year where I had to do just that – rise above the many trials and challenges that life kept throwing me. Some of them I won; others… well, let’s just say I took my ‘L’ gracefully.

I remember buying the September 2018 issue of the brand new Glamour magazine. Not only was it the first issue for (at that time) newly appointed editor-in-chief Asanda Sizani, but it was an iconic celebration of 3 black women on the cover who were “Reshaping The Industry, Rewriting The Rules”.

“NEW. NOW. NEXT” was the theme of that issue, and as I read through the pages, a wave of inspiration washed over me. My Honours year was slowly coming to an end, and it was time for me to start thinking about the next phase of my life. And I found it in the pages of that Glamour magazine.

There’s a particular kind of woman I envision myself becoming, and I began to think “What NEW thing can I do NOW that will take me to the NEXT level?” Reinventing myself was the answer.

Now reinvention looks different for a lot of people. Change your look. Go away to Bali for a month for some inspiration. Switch up your apartment with fresh plants. I think what’s important is that reinvention, no matter how it looks for others, will bring you a sense of peace and personal fulfillment. This is what I was looking for. A sense of personal fulfillment with the reinvention of the woman I was envisioning for myself and my future.

So, I got rid of old clothes (and got new ones), cut my hair short (then got a new wig), and started taking an extra online course (which I finished, then started another one in Strategic Brand Management).

But I also wanted a reinvention with my blog. I love what I have built with it; the foundations have been laid and the walls are up. Now it was time to basically redecorate. I looked back at my past posts on my Always Rise Blog and came across my post about daring to embody my name more and becoming brave. Again, there was my answer! I’m proud of my name; I believe it holds strength and power, and if I was going to embody my name the way I wanted to, then I’d have to do so with every fibre of my being. If I was going to rise then every part of me had to rise too.

And so here I am, with my self titled blog. I didn’t want to continue behind a different alias-like name. The essence of my Always Rise Blog still remains but I wanted that to exist within who I am, because that’s still what I’m trying to do – to rise up and be this incredible woman that aims to inspire, motivate and educate.

What will this blog focus on now? Well, I’m still all about being authentic and my love for the Lifestyle and Beauty industries haven’t changed, but I’ve added some Travel content since going to Bali earlier this year, and there are plans to continue to travel in the near future. I have, however, realised that outside the growth of the content you’ll see in this blog, I’ve done my own bit of growing up; refining my sense of self whilst redefining my aesthetic. I’m still me – I promise – and I hope you’ll always sense that throughout my blog. There’s so much love, hope, and aspiration here, so as I continue to rise, I hope you will rise up with me and enjoy the new ride!

Love & Light,

khalipha ntloko