Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now you should have at least heard of Beyoncé’s latest documentary released this week on Netflix. If you have no intentions of watching it, keep reading, this post’s for you!
Before we continue I must admit that despite growing up on Destiny’s Child and still refusing to feel the Christmas spirit until I have a three-peat of the DC Christmas album – no slander will be tolerated – Beyoncé’s solo career never did much for me outside of the occasional acknowledgement of a bop here or there (Single Ladies is that you?).
Then came Lemonade. A visual and musical masterpiece released on HBO which I obviously missed because there goes Beyoncé again being Beyoncé with her surprise albums and what not…. *dramatic eye roll*.
I remember seeing the video for “Formation” and thinking almost immediately, “I stan a QUEEN!”. Why the sudden change of heart? It had so much to do with the fact that she actually, for the first time in a long time, looked like a black woman to me. Here she was picking a side in a time when so many celebrities like her would remain silent. Beyond that, in the only way that Beyoncé could, she was presenting herself as being a mere mortal. Her vulnerability on that album about something that she really didn’t even have to acknowledge to her fans left me intrigued and in humble awe at her greatness.
We’re two days shy of the three year anniversary of Lemonade’s release and here comes Beyoncé ONE MORE TIME to snatch my edges. I was spared at the Barcelona leg of her OTRII tour with Jay-Z because she proudly watched on as he destroyed that show and I lapped up every second of it because I’ve actually been a HOV fan far longer than a solo Beyoncé fan. Still, being in her presence less than a year ago left the ends of my wig fried … and I am still recovering.
I remember watching that iconic Coachella performance over a FaceTime call as my friend Jorge and I did the absolute most as if we were actually there in the California desert valley. Watching this documentary this week re-cemented in my mind that this woman deserves to be called a legend because she is – PERIODT … but it might not be for the reasons you’re thinking.
My 5 Takeaways from H𝚯MEC𝚯MING
5. Creating a masterpiece requires time!
How many of us have dreamt of doing something B I G then thought of the time it’d take for us to reach there and achieve that goal and almost immediately gave up on the idea?
We have a habit of thinking that the likes of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter don’t have to put in the time to put out a final product that blows our minds. It has rarely ever occurred to me that Beyoncé rehearses. Tirelessly. Until it’s perfect and worthy enough to be performed in front of a paying audience. Even if it has, I never thought about the four months spent creating the blueprint for a performance like this nor the four months spent sweating day after day, sleeping in a trailer (however lavish it might be), giving up spending precious post-partum time with new born twins etc. etc. that it took for this performance to be as flawless as it was.
All the things we dream of doing, especially the big dreams that scare us, are worth going after despite the time we have to invest in achieving them. Because if the final outcome has even 1/16th of a drop of the impact that Bey’s celebration of black HBCUs in an arena dominated by mostly white performerd has had on her fans then it will be well worth that sacrifice of your time … and then some!
4. … and dedication.
“In order for me to meet my goals, I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol – and I’m hungry.”Beyoncé
Whew chile! Imagine my surprise when I realised that she did NOT in fact wake up like that! As much as I believe that Flawless is a state of being it also requires hard work and dedication to get there.
How dedicated are you to your dreams? I know what you’re thinking, “I’m no Beyoncé”. That’s where you’re wrong. We constantly limit ourselves. Tell ourselves that we can’t do something because of who we are and where we are in our lives. Trust me you’re doing yourself a huge disservice by limiting yourself to your “lack” of resources. Use what you have where you are to create something you and others will be proud of for years to come. And just like Beyoncé points out in the documentary, don’t push yourself too far.
3. “Every tiny detail has an intention.” — Beyoncé
If you’ve read my very first post on this blog and you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know that I was recently launched onto this path of self discovery and as a result I’ve been trying to practice being intentional and really struggling with incorporating this attitude into every aspect of my life.
Why does this matter? If you’re not being intentional about your achieving your dreams, then why even bother? This is where so many of us lose that motivation and passion where our dreams are concerned. We’re not intentional about it.
If you wake up in the morning and find yourself spending valuable time doing things that aren’t taking you to your end goal, why are you bothering? Every tiny detail comes together and gives the whole an even more special meaning, especially when you can recognise those tiny details yourself as the creator.
2. “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See” — Marian Wright Edelman
I’m honestly tired of getting on social media and seeing one hundred people post the same picture. I don’t know about you but I’m just so over seeing everybody try so hard to be a cookie cutter version of whatever society deems acceptable for whatever season we’re in.
Where are the real people? Who look like me? With a passport like mine? Living the kind of life I’m living? Why do these people try so hard to assimilate and force themselves to fit into a mould that wasn’t created for them? Do you want to be another flower crown wearing performer at Coachella? Or do you want to be the first black woman in history to HEADLINE Coachella?
We can’t inspire others like us to be great and live their most authentic lives if we’re faking it. Try again. We have a responsibility to represent ourselves as Caribbean Millennials in as an authentic way as possible and make the conscious decision to be proud of and outline the process that takes us to a place we’re proud to be in if not for our sake, for the sake of those around us looking on and living vicariously through us.
Why? Because just like I learned watching H𝚯MEC𝚯MING this week, it takes a lot of sweat – and occasionally some tears – to build something from scratch that you’re proud of and too few people are willing to do what it takes.
1. “Rejoice in the imperfections and the wrongs that are so damn right.” — Beyoncé
That leads me to this last important point. We try so hard to hide our imperfections and the things that are “wrong” with us when they are what make us … us.
Celebrating our history, our stories, our failures and successes, our trials and our victories is why this blog exists. I didn’t create this blog to only showcase everything that’s great about being a young, black, Caribbean Millennial in whatever part of the world you might find yourself in but also to show that despite whatever challenges we might face there’s only one person getting in the way of us achieving our wildest dreams, and that’s the person we choose to tear apart when we see them staring back at us in a mirror.
So just like Beyoncé chose to celebrate the swag of the HBCUs across Black America, we too should choose to celebrate everything that makes us unique in this world of duplicates we’re constantly being forced to fit in instead of just being ourselves. You are enough. We are enough.
Have you seen Beyoncé’s Netflix Documentary? What lesson stood out most to you?