Spirit Animals

For the past week, I’ve been mentally trying to compose this particular post.

I remember when I first brought it up to my boyfriend and watching him try to figure it out, piece it together. Quintessentially asking me what I was talking about without uttering the words and maybe crushing all confidence I had in the topic. Rihanna is my spirit animal.

Last night, as I googled her name and tried to find a nice collage of her to use to go along with the post, I began to realize I was wrong. I was very wrong about Rihanna being my spirit animal. To call Rihanna my spirit animal would be to refer to my little sister as my spirit animal. And the more I looked through her images online, trying to find just the right one, the more it all aligned for me. Rihanna is the popstar equivalent of my little sister.

Suddenly the kindred spirit I felt I shared with Rihanna was revealed. She was an older version of my little sister. Her carefree attitude. Her choice in fashion. The way she expressed herself when speaking. The way she carried herself. The way she latched onto her baby niece and spent so much time with her, that if you didn’t know the context, you would swear she had a child. Rihanna is my little sister or maybe it’s better phrased as my little sister is Rihanna. The spirit animal text that I was so amped to write was gone.

Besides, the only real context I had for the spirit animal reference was the changes in Rihanna’s music over the years with each album she’s released. She went from sweet girl next door to a carefree black girl with no regrets and no need to explain herself. I started out the sweet girl next door and began to evolve, but I haven’t quite made it to the carefree black girl with no regrets and no need to explain herself, stage yet. I’m still working towards it, but it’s a lot harder to do when you have a daughter who has discovered “Why?” and insists on asking it until she gets an answer that satisfies herself.

But maybe I was never supposed to be that kind of carefree black girl. Maybe I was never truly destined to be a carefree black girl. Maybe I was just always supposed to be the black girl that is supposed to get caught up in different causes. The black girl who’s mind is forever working and cranking out ideas and coming up with projects with the intent to fulfill them one day.

I guess now, it’s figuring out who my spirit animal is more like. Or rather, embracing my lack of a spirit animal and accepting that maybe I can’t attribute everything about me as being a shared similarity with someone else.


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