When I was in undergrad, a woman who was like a big sister to me, shared a powerful quote that transformed my life, “Life is a Journey, Not a Destination.” At that age, I was incredibly passionate. I wanted to dedicate my life to promoting social justice, healing my people, and using my knowledge as a tool for cultural, political, and economic empowerment. Because of that, I felt immense pressure to “get myself together”. I sought perfection and felt that in order to be an asset to my people, I had to be completely spiritually attuned, at the pinnacle of physical and mental wellness, and extremely knowledgable in all domains. Somehow, I expected myself to be all that at 19. I think this expectation was prominent for me, particularly because I was privileged enough to have been exposed to cultural, social and political knowledge earlier than many of my peers. I felt a sense of responsibility to educate and empower others. However, I had a vision of the woman that I wanted to be in order to be impactful in others’ lives and effective in helping to facilitate social transformation.
This quote taught me something powerful. My strength is in my awareness that growth a constant. I don’t have to have it all together, I just need to reach towards my goals with the recognition that my understanding, my knowledge will continue to grow, and evolve constantly through life. My power, my ability to impact my community reflected in my humility and dedication to continuous growth. Recently, I began to recognize that among the most powerful impact that I can make is sharing my growth, sharing my journey, and joining with others to work collaboratively to facilitate our healing and our empowerment. Hence, the development of the Nkem Chi Movement. My hope is that over time, this platform becomes a dynamic space for dialogue, collective healing, and self and community empowerment.