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Ending My Self-Doubt: How Beyonce’s RENAISSANCE Called Me Out

I'm more COZY now than I have been...

I am not a part of the #BeyHive. I am not part of any hive, army, or squad. So, when Part I of Beyonce’s Album, Renaissance, was released, I was going to do what I usually do when a highly anticipated album comes out: Wait for a song to find me. When a song finds me through the radio or Apple music suggestion, it is usually precisely the vibe I need, and the perfect intro to that artist’s body of work. However, the buzz around Beyonce’s album was intriguing. All the songs flowed into each other seamlessly? A song called Alien Superstar? Is that Beyonce on a translucent horse? Okay, maybe there’s something to this. I expected a few favorites on rotation on my way home from Atlanta. I didn’t expect Beyonce’s album to give me a firm talking to, to remember who I am, and not doubt myself ever again.

Some songs make you feel pretty and sexy; then there is Part I of Beyonce’s Renaissance. It is an ode to power. My power. Your power. Our power. I could feel it while listening and writing my most recent essay, Where Does the Ancestral Rage Go? I was reminded that, as a Black woman, I am precious. I am more than “that girl” or “that bitch” or a “bad bitch.” No. I am precious to the core of my being, my most intimate moments, and my most mundane. I am worth celebrating because I am here and a part of a lineage of other precious, beautiful Black women who came before me. I was reminded it is my responsibility to shine, and I began to wonder: When did I doubt my power?

Self-doubt was not always my worst enemy. When I was in my early 20’s, doubt was more of a trusted friend. As soon as people heard my age (25 or below), they immediately reminded me, “You’re a baby!” “You don’t know anything!” “Just you wait!” I went through so much in my life at that point, so surely, I must’ve learned something! I must’ve had some wisdom by now! But I couldn’t convince anyone that I knew what I was doing and could be trusted with my own life. So, I kept doubt close to my chest and leaned on others “wiser” than me to confirm each move through the storm that was raging in my early twenties. I became anxious, cautious, driven, and resilient, but the self-doubt was constant. Beyonce reminded me, through melody, that self-doubt was still there, and it was in my best interest to obliterate it. I can celebrate myself more often because the simple fact is wise or not, young or not; you made it this far because of your instinct and the people you allowed around you to support that instinct.

Beyonce’s RENAISSANCE confirmed the power already brewing as I approach 30 years old next year. This season of my life is dedicated to conquering new territory in my healing journey. I am going back to the past to pick up the missing pieces (Sankofa) and create a blueprint for my future. RENAISSANCE reminded me of all the work I’ve done and all the work I’m doing to fill my cup. Why not dance it off? Why not bathe in a luxury of a different kind? Why not celebrate? Why not laugh and embrace it? If I’ve made it this far, why doubt me now?

I believe self-doubt starts in the heart and makes its way to the mind, like a virus. Then, if given enough power, it infects the eyes, nose, and throat. RENAISSANCE attacks these areas with each track. COZY gets to the heart, BREAK MY SOUL hits the mind, and THIQUE gets the eyes. By the end, you are replenished, and the celebration can continue. There is a lot that comes with being a Black woman in America and it is about time celebration was a part of it.

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