A month ago I decided I needed to take a break from blogging. I started this blog as a creative outlet that would encourage me to travel more as well as help others to find the balance between their careers and to chase their wanderlust. With one of my goals for I’m Taking Off being to write more about how to achieve this balance, I started to work on a blog post about how to achieve just that. When I finished this blog post, I read it over, and said to myself, “Sanura, you’re barely doing any of these things yourself!” Needless to say, this got me to thinking about my life and assessing my current situation. I found myself in a sad place, to put it mildly. What I probably should say is I found myself in a coffee shop with my friend crying about how overwhelmed I felt and my dissatisfaction with the life that I was living. I was a month into being thirty and felt like I was falling apart and I couldn’t believe it because thirty was a milestone I had long been looking forward to. I just knew this was going to be the start of the best years of my life. Yet, here I was, in this coffee shop going through napkins trying to hold it together. In true Sanura fashion, after I composed myself to some extent I tried to act like everything, was okay, but my friend closed my laptop and said: “You need to figure something out because you can’t continue like this.”
For me, the start of figuring things out was figuring out what triggered these negative feelings. I found that social media played a big part because I was being inundated with all these images of people living what looked like betters lives than mine. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that half the time, social media is just a show, and people convey what they want their audience to see and not what their reality is, I get that. But when you’re scrolling through and taking in these visuals you’re not taking the time to consider the behind the scenes story. So knowing how I was affected by this, social media had to go. All of it. Except Snapchat because Snapchat was one of few things that made me laugh. Unfortunately, this break from social media also included my blog *sad face*. As much as I loved writing and engaging with my audience I couldn’t bring myself to write. It felt disingenuous to try and write about something I loved when I just wasn’t in a happy place.
Once I addressed the social media issue, I focused on the second thing I felt was triggering these negative feelings I was having. Work. When I started this blog, I said that I was not a quit my job, pack my bags, and travel the world kind of girl. That still rings true today. I’ve spent the last few years navigating my current career path and I’m quite proud of all I’ve accomplished, but I reached a point where I realized it wasn’t enough. As I’ve grown and matured, I’ve realized that I need to be a part of things that are meaningful, impactful, and representative of my passions. I began to think about organizations that I could volunteer with to feed this desire but then I realized that I wanted to do something on my own. I wanted to create something. So I made a list of the things I was most passionate about which were traveling, singing, dancing, and reading. Then one morning on my way to work, this idea crept into my mind that I initially dismissed, but it kept nagging at me. So I ran the idea by some good friends of mine and my family, and their excitement and support was enough for me, and I thought: “What if I put real effort behind this idea. I wonder what I could do with it?” So I accepted this challenge, and I am excited to announce a passion project of mine, *Oprah voice* MY LIT BOX!!!!My Lit Box will be a monthly book subscription service highlighting the works of writers of color. This is the melding of two things that I love, reading and being a person of color. I’ve frequently ranted about how frustrating it is reading “Top 10 *insert category* lists that lack diversity and this is my small effort to begin to change that. The payoff in this venture is not profit, but the immense joy I’ll feel getting these boxes into the hands of fellow book lovers. People who want to get lost between the pages of novels that detail the experiences of others who may or may not look like them, but appreciate their stories nonetheless. If I can create and foster this community of people who share this common interest, that is how I’ll measure success.
I cannot begin to tell you the wonders this project has done for my outlook on life. I feel as if ever since I made up my mind that this is something I want to pursue, I have had this momentum behind me that I can only attribute to me stepping into my purpose. I am excited and ready to hit the ground running to make something that I am proud of, that others will enjoy! I’m sharing this here because I want to invite you all to come along for the ride. You can sign up for e-mail updates on my preliminary site while the full-scale website is being built.
So to make a long story even longer, this is why I took a break from blogging. I realized something wasn’t right. I figured out what was triggering these feelings. I eliminated what I could afford to eliminate so that I could focus on getting better. I discovered what my life was lacking and brainstormed on how to fill that void and created something I cannot WAIT to share with you. But new ventures aside, I’m Taking Off will always be my first passion project that I will never neglect so…I’M BACK!!!!