She'll Get It With Or Without You
Life@GWN with Natalie Henry
Without even having graduated high school yet, she is fierce. Natalie Henry is an African-American poet, writer and author of the award-winning memoir, “It Was Me and You.” A self-described passionate advocate “for community wellness by connecting people through various mediums of art,” Girls Write Now is thrilled to have a front-row seat at the greatness she does and will achieve. Click on over to Stories to read her work. But first, we’ll let her tell you a little bit about herself.
If I Came With A Warning Label…
It would say,
“she’ll get it with or without you.”
Now, I was always a little spoiled, but I think it developed into great resilience and ambition for the things I want and deserve. I am terribly afraid of bugs, but my biggest fear is holding the burden of regret. If there is an opportunity that I see and want, I always aim to go for it without doubting myself because I’d rather do it wrong than not do it at all.
When I’m not actively working towards my goals, I’m focusing on my mental health. This quote speaks near and dear to the way life goes, which is why I love it so much. Kurt Vonnegut said,
“Some days life is about your dreams, hopes, and visions for the future. But there are some days when life is just about putting one foot in front of the other.”
Every time I read it, it reminds me that it’s okay not to always be enthusiastic, or productive, or able to give 110%. Over time, I’ve gotten better with acknowledging my ‘off days’ allowing myself to be there. To remedy those days, I find peace in surrounding myself with beautiful things– whether I’m going on an evening walk watching the sunset, or going out with friends to a musical event; it’s all beautiful to me.
Aside From Necessities,
I can’t go a day without peeking at social media; it inspires me and jumpstarts my creative flow everyday. My biggest inspirations include Yara Shahidi, Marsai Martin, and Zendaya. Role models to whom I can relate, they have greatly influenced my aspirations for a non-traditional career. I love that they advocate for community wellness and connection by doing the things that bring them joy. I’ve always had a love for writing, and my sole drive focuses on unpacking the memories of my life, the standards of society and my imagination of what this world could be. So much of that was informed by my experience as a Girls Write Now mentee. I completed Writing 360 in 2021. During that time, I wrote a letter to myself about self-worth…
I have demons that they’ll spend a lifetime fighting. Grades will slip, friends will come and go, self-worth will even leave you in the darkness. Your demons will forever be, but it’s time you stopped fighting. It’s not your fight, nor is it mine either. It’s about our spirit shining light on the parts of us that’ve been dark for years.
Don’t be afraid to take up space! It took a while for me to understand the simple things in life because I was afraid to show up as I am. During quarantine, being behind the screen helped me find myself without any perceived judgment from others. Find your solo space where you can exercise self-expression, that way your light isn’t dimmed when you show up anywhere else. : D
Final Thoughts from Girls Write Now…
Watch out, world! This is only Natalie’s beginning.
If you belong to the Girls Write Now community and have a story to share, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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