Hey APC! I’m Kyla Raine and I’m a 17-year-old singer-songwriter from Long Island, New York. I’m a proud Trinidadian (whoop whoop! Shout out to all my West Indians!) and I wholeheartedly believe in and recognize the power of music and self-awareness to reach a space of healing.
Throughout 2019, and the now beginning of 2020, I’ve come to truly treasure the importance of self-care and awareness in addition to prioritizing myself in times of trauma and transition.
When I hear the word “self-care” I think of those aesthetically pleasing Instagram or Tumblr posts; you may know the ones I’m talking about. It may be a photo of a green-face-mask-clad person eating fruit, a skincare routine, or even ‘ self-care tips.’ All of these examples are helpful and healing in their own rights, but self-care looks very different for many women spanning many different experiences; it’s a side that we don’t see enough.
In June of 2019, I experienced a tremendous family loss. A while after services were held and everyone went their separate ways, I had to face a question that I’d never faced before: How do I take care of myself/embark on the journey toward healing to prevent any further damage? Personally, I’ve discovered that it’s a matter of finding what connects me to my rawest form; in my case music. Singing and songwriting have always been a space of solace, but last year it became so even more. Locking myself in my room, writing all of my feelings down, and potentially sharing it with the wider community in hopes that it might resonate with someone else has been where I find the most peace. I’ve also found healing through podcasts, specifically by black women, such as Black Girl Brunch, Black Girl in Om, and Naked Beauty. They tackle many issues such as beauty, self-reflection, and self love through the lens of pop culture and media in hopes of creating dialogue to help women everywhere open up about their experiences and become aware of them. These are two ways I personally find healing but again, it may look very different for many different girls.
One step I believe we can take as a society is by voicing/advertising many narratives to shift the way we view self care. Sometimes we believe that our experiences are so unique to us, that no one else could possibly understand them, therefore hindering us from acknowledging them at times.If there are more women speaking openly about their struggles, I believe that our society can/will shift to that of a more inclusive one spanning a plethora of viewpoints.
Again, finding what makes you feel whole is in no way linear, but I’ll leave you with these two questions to reflect: How do you care for yourself/show up for yourself in the times you need it most? How might you share these methods with the other women around you?
Photo Credit: jayambiances
Check out his photography @jayambiances on Instagram!