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© Copyright 2018 by Rabih Ahmed

Post- Grad: Almost a Year Later

Thursday, April 20, 2017

 

 

Sharing yourself with the world isn’t easy. I consider myself to be an “emotional” being that is trying to find a balance between keeping poetry, an entity that helps me feel, helps me understand my location in this world, private yet share it publicly at the same time. I want my work to be medicinal. Yet, in the process of healing and sharing my medicine feels counterproductive at times. I’m giving you all my seeds, but in return who will water me?

 

I’m just trying to respect and trust my process.

 

I have no idea where I will end up with this work. But poetry is so emotional for me. Emotional, in the sense that if I don't take my time in my journey with poetry, I’m afraid that I may not want to write anymore.  Or return to a period that occurred after graduating where I was unable to write PERIOD. This was due to the confusion and disarray I felt coming back home without a plan or a full-time job. The infamous post-graduate pressure and self-deprecation no one talks about.

 

Lately, I’ve been performing a lot throughout the city. I recognize how exciting it is to have people reach out to you via social media to honor your work by having you perform at their events. It literally is a blessing! However, how it’s a toss-up out here. You have no idea of the spaces you will bring your sacred work into. I’ve become accustomed to spaces that will not tolerate hate or exclusion. But then there is the moment when you are sitting at an event and someone will blatantly not address ism's in the room. Listen just because a white person didn't some fucked up shit on the mic doesn't mean we should sit idle. We have to hold one another accountable for the ism's present in our communities. This lack of accountability and respect for women especially is what I can’t do! We need to be just as critical of our own community members as we are with others!

 

However, being that I am still building a network of listeners I'm conflicted on how to determine what shows are an opportunity to give and gain love, or are ones that will simply take from my sacred energy. For example, having this blog is super dope. I recognize that after taking the time to produce a blog post, I must also create a flyer and advertise. This PR is life is no joke! Shout-outs to all the people who do this forreal. I respect ya'll so muchhhh more. What is also conflicting is when I attempt to cleanse from social media during the week, I remember that I have to PR for an event. Nothing in life is easy, even doing what you love most.

 

On a plus shout-outs to all the people that support me at these events whether it be uplifting or disappointing. Its amazing to have you all to vent, snap and to laugh with!

 

Nonetheless...

 

It’s almost a year since I graduated. It’s almost unreal how time has flown. All I think about is New Paltz and the beautiful greenery, the mountains, the fresh air, the space. I've discovered that the root of the issues in NYC are due to the lack of space. 

 

Upon this realization, I wrote a whole piece and its impacts on first generation graduates.

 

I saw a twitter post that said "Post-Grad Depression is real" - Its crazy out here. Hows "First Generation Post-Grad Blues is real even a year later." Especially coming back home into a family, a borough that is right where you left it 5 years ago. I'm still in the process of learning myself yet there is no room for me to re-introduce myself. Theres not enough room to breathe, to be free, enough room in my purse to pocket the anxiety that comes with living in the city. 

 

Regretfully, I know I took college and specifically the town of New Paltz for granted. I never went hiking or swam in high falls. I never deeply explored the town passed Main St. I wonder, was all I did in college was stress about trying to get an A in every class. It’s so sad. I won’t say all I have are my A’s, but  I could have taken advantage of way more opportunities. I should have reminded myself that you can’t go snow tubbing in the Bronx. 

 

All in all, I'm happy that I'm not bitter. I'm filled with emotions each time I visit New Paltz. It’s crazy how the stages in our lives move so fast. I miss campus so much and will represent my alma mater to the fullest!!

 

5 years ago I didn’t get into UPenn but New Paltz was where I was meant to be. Anyone who has graduated from college will concur that it is NOT for everyone. Not everyone makes it through. College does not make you better than the next person.  But it is an accomplishment and one should be PROUD. You should look at yourself in the mirror and say “I did that.” Interestingly, even though my 3.6 means nothing now, it reminds me of my determination of when I put my mind to something, I will get it done by any means necessary.

 

Now, I'm learning to manifest my dreams into a reality. No grade nor societal standard of how I should write my poetry and perform. I have agency over my artistry and that is what matters to me.

 

There is no guidebook. I learn as I go. I’m excited to continue to uncover all the opportunities out there for artists, both here in the U.S and abroad. If this is my destiny, then it shall manifest.

 

Axe.  

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