Dear sister, 

I have been meaning to write you this letter. You are constantly in my thoughts. I think of us, and how this world would look different if white cishetero homophobic and transphobic patriarchy wasn’t our reality? I think about our shared and connected struggles to break free. I think of the pain, trauma we carry every day among our sisterhood spaces. But I also have been thinking of the joy, the validation I have found in feminisms as you have. 

As I am writing you this, I am seated at my balcony. I am drinking my rooibos tea I bought in South Africa. I am reminiscing the moments I shared with different sisters, the joy and warm hugs. For a moment, the revolution feels there. I am loving it for different realities I have encountered. The late flights, road trips, the exhausting yet heartwarming travels are always worth it…but the revolution is now demanding me more.

It is now here, right under my nose as I watch the stars peacefully move. It’s pushing itself in my realities and ways I cannot explain. Maybe it’s always been here but I willingly chose to not clean my own closet. However it’s unfolding, it’s unreal. It’s the uncertain, the current emotional demanding of these times. And just like you, things are happening to me and pushing me to sit with myself. 

Sitting with yourself is uncomfortable but very radical. It defies our existence in a world that constantly pushes us to care for everybody but ourselves. It reminds us that we matter to ourselves first and that is easier said than done. Our realities demand us to always give from our households, to our workplaces, schools. We rarely recognize when we haven’t received from ourselves. Patriarchy calls it womanhood, the magic of women, their ability to care for everyone but themselves. How grand of us? 

I have been contemplating how much is being demanded from myself lately. The many yeses I am pushing to grant to myself. The renewal of commitment to myself and how it looks in terms of solidarity and collectivity. The news ways I am pushing to meet myself so I can create spaces for women who are already there while also validating the necessity of those who aren’t in that space and won’t even be there soon.

I am breathing patience towards myself and finding loopholes where it was hard to grant such grace to many around me especially the sisters whose walk I can’t grasp. This may sound easy but sitting with myself, has not been as smooth as I may make it sound. The revolution was there, and I was busy catching it there now it’s right in my life, in these tea moments I am sharing with my different personalities and I was terrified at first. I am still very much terrified but the practice of freedom is also the commitment to self. 

The revolution being here, is also an affirmation of me and you. Our existence together is very much tied that we continuously commit to accommodating each other in pushing ourselves to live the hardest truths first from our homes to other realities we are part of. So sister, dare to clean your closet. Make peace with the skeletons you rarely confront or willingly share. You owe yourself a total surrender of self-shaming. Dare to breathe without respectability politics. Drink with yourself and proud of every part of your gender, sexuality, or reality, the world rejects. Maybe today, it’s the day you choose to be you fully entirely for yourself first, without any negotiation or justification. I am rooting for all of us and how far we are meeting with ourselves. 

With love and Care

 

Feature photo from Shutterstock

judicaelleirakoze
judicaelleirakoze

Judicaelle Irakoze is a Burundian radical feminist. She is a storyteller, passionate with articulating the experiences of African women.

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