life update | poetry, thoughts and lessons since quarantine
Amara Amaryah | travel + books + poetry, always poetry. a platform for story-telling, visuals, positive self-talk and empowerment | life update - poetry, thoughts and lessons
welcome. i have started and am starting new chapters and i wanted to open up about some of them here. also, i feel that 'life update' is probably only 15% of what this post actually will reveal itself to be. this will be a space to recharge in blog form and reflect (as always) on some of my favourite moments in this unique period of living.
something to be thankful for: i am learning so much and developing new ideas about how i want to navigate this world. quarantine has presented me with some thoughts and suggested routes and i have had almost 6 months to unravel. some of them big, some almost too simple, some unexciting (many tragically unglamorous but serious moments with self) and some keep me hopeful but haven't been said outloud. i wanted to share a few of those unravelled moments - actually revelations - because some of them have managed to do good work in me and i don't want to be guarded about the joy that has brought me. on that note, this whole platform that i've spent years building up is for communication and conversation. i'd love to hear what you think, what you've learnt and how you've transformed over this period in any similar or opposite ways to myself, drop me an email if you want to share privately rather than in comments or just talk generally about your learnings during this time.
biggest update first - i'm proud to say that my debut poetry pamphlet will be published in 2021 with the fabulous Bad Betty Press. many of you who have followed this blog will know that i have been working towards publishing my work as a collection for a while. it feels good to be taking that step with Bad Betty Press. editing is underway so wish me luck!
otherwise, i have been writing for commissions and sharing some of my new writings and thoughts here with the mix's thursday sessions and laniare's story, story - story! webinar last month. look out for a few more commissions that i have been collaborating on.
travel writing updates
more exciting news for the writer in me… i am going to be sharing some travel stories in the first ever black owned and black centred travel magazine - black explorer magazine.
i will be sharing a series of stories about my time solo travelling in jamaica. the concept of sharing my travel stories with a publication as necessary and committed as black explorer magazine is wild to me. it is a dream, without a doubt, i won't downplay it but the entire project recently reached it's kickstarter target of £7000 4 days early which means people are ready and excited for it. which makes me feel at peace knowing that our stories matter so much.
lessons and thoughts
formed during quarantine
this is where most of the tea in this post belongs. here is where my mind has been at and where (despite the pace of the world) i want it to remain at:
habits to keep
(one). i have been waking up and doing yoga everyday and it has been refreshing to afford myself this much time to ease into the morning in breath and movement. connecting with my body and feeling less awkward in it has made me feel more entitled to myself. i can't really explain it. i think i have grown up on the side of the world where it is considered a luxury to get to know yourself physically, to learn your body and speak to it, will it to go further, stretch it out and use to it to breathe. i have very much enjoyed feeling so connected in such a quiet and private way each morning.
(two). i mentioned in my lockdown wellness post about the need to create a selfcare plan. this is essentially a go-to for when you need it most. i have really allowed myself to indulge in multiple, personal and guilt-free acts of self love simply because i am worth it. i cannot see myself navigating in any other way going forward. no matter where i live in the world or what role i have. i have become incredibly protective of myself.* i will step out during the day to find a space to meditate, to deep breathe. i will live slowly, always with the understanding that it doesn't just have to be a weekend that I practice slow living.
* i have felt even more fiercely protective of myself in a country -nah, world - where i am the least likely to be protected.
(three). i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life slowly. i live life —
(four). most of my quarantine experience has been spent at home, alone. introverted or not, it has been challenging. so finding time to make the pink sanctuary (i named her) the safest, most comforting place on earth has been a beautiful journey. it has revealed that i feel safe surrounded by pink, a colour my younger self didn't feel girly enough for. it has revealed that i am reconnecting to my mother and grandmother who always have hands that tend well to plants. i have so many new rituals and routines that are all ways of me maintaining my sanctuary and self and giving thanks for it.
(five). i must read affirmations in the morning rather than later - this is a must not a nice addition. these are affirmations that reset the way i approach the day and everyone in it.
(six). stillness. i have lived quite a distracted life previously and i forgive myself for it but i cannot return to that when i have so much appreciation for simple joys that come when you stop rushing.
(seven). shopping black has become a normalised part of my life. supporting black owned businesses has always been on my agenda. i would say that as a result of quarantine, it has become a normalised part of my life that i have the time to plan into my shopping habits. i actively look for ways that i can support the black community with my money in the longterm. making simple swaps like skincare, haircare (we need to talk about the time i walked over an hour for what i thought was a black hair shop but wasn't, i genuinely nearly threw up) gifts, groceries, book stores are some of the conscious changes i have made. i also try to support local businesses, accepting that it might cost more in some cases but i guess this whole situation has helped me recognise the power of spending those extra pounds so that the community can thrive.
i think that living slowly and feeling like there is less of a rush or pressure has definitely helped. i am saving my money by not being out in the world too much, so my when i do shop i can afford to be more intentional rather than economical. i am not rushed/ exhausted from long hours at work so i can afford the time to be at home, receive my package whenever it is delivered, i am not bothered if it takes a while to reach me. i do not value convenience over supporting a black owned brand. it all connects and i love that i am going to carry this with me for life.
that feels like everything. thank you for reading what i write. wherever you are, i hope you're coming out of quarantine with confidence in yourself and awareness of the way you want to live life. feel free to share your own new or old habits below.