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...sometimes it be ya own you (ii)

self-critic being a wild hater in dolby surround sound constantly, damn


just popping by to share a short film that i created in 24 hours with the help of the illustrious mars sebastien (additional vocals by mel blanco and emily varnam)✨

peep the short film 🌱

sunday, i woke up creatively blocked. i’m doing more waiting for answers than making opportunities lately and idle hands and all that.

i’m plagued by social anxiety.

“hold up, what? what? you? nah can’t be, you buggin. you make jokes, you write, you’re a performer, you’re so nice-”

yeah yeah, all that but also, i’m constantly in a state of negative self talk; a voice that my inner critic uses to convince me that the world hates me, would be better off without me, and that everyone around me doesn’t want to be around me.

“what do that voice sound like tho?”

weird q, but ok why not. it sounds like an enemy pretending to be a friend so like anyone that the moment calls for. sounds playful but malicious, tender and taunting,

"you always been like this?”

generally, i’ve struggled with it silently a lot because the comedy switch always turns on in my brain when i’m in social situations that i’m unsure in, unsafe in, etc. luckily, i got a good crew now but i’ve been around some pretty flimsy, false, and shitty relationships (romantic and platonic) in my life. told myself that i was overreacting, i deserved to be sad, and that i could “handle” being mistreated. the years of uncertainty and mental gymnastics i experienced still reside in my bones. short answer: i wasn’t always, but I don’t even remember not having this voice reside in me. it’s not an alter but it alters how i see the world and myself 24/7. the wildest part? i know enough that it’s not all on others, i also taught people how to treat me. so consider this admission of the realities of my anxiety also a stake in climbing my way out of my own head and holding myself accountable.

"what about all that performing, what was going on then?”

i was performing. i was a performer who wanted to leave it all on the stage but constantly felt like i needed to save some performance for offstage too. positivity in the face of trauma wore me down, smiles started to feel fake, the “i’m oks” kept rolling in, and the reality of constantly being on point started to take a toll. but, imma hit stages this summer, got new jokes, new stories, and new energy. hold me to that. part of my community care, dedication to abolitionist policies, and personal decolonization is recognizing just how normalized distance, punishment, and binary judgements are in our society and psychology and doing my best to close those gaps by giving myself and others time and grace, applying nuance wherever i can, and still being distant but being close with those i feel comfortable with. safety above all else.

“on point?”

always. hypervigilance, overexplaining, and overapologizing are trauma responses. it took me so long to realize it because I truly on some level didn’t believe that I could be traumatized; part of that might be the concoction of being too smart for my own good, looking at red flags through rose-colored glasses, and masculinity but an unalienable source was being told I couldn’t be hurt, especially by those who themselves harmed me. strength is vulnerability and in a world where vulnerability can be weaponized against you, it’s scary to be strong. especially when you live in a nigga body like myself; people project more than they protect. this all being said, my hypervigilance helps me see others who are hurting and check in. it’s a super power. my overexplaining helps create detailed and specific worlds for the characters i write. and my overapologizing needs to stop, cut the cameras, deadass. i blame the whites for that toxic trait.

“why did you make the short?”

honestly, survival. if i don’t work, write, make something, I fall apart. that sounds toxic and ding ding ding you’re mf correct, good shit. i’m doing all the healing work for the anxiety, ptsd, and depression but rather than pretend the voices weren’t there, i made the short to invalidate my own impostor syndrome, challenge myself to create on a deadline, learn how to edit in premiere, and finally just demystify and destigmatize an issue millions around the world live with. so in the end, toxic overworking myself? yes. working my shit out through creative means and public vulnerability. also yes. i feel balanced.

“the voices, are they chatting right now?”

the negative self talk is constant but is quieter. I have methods to quell it but in times where there isn’t much to do, it comes at me hard. it’s a constant self-betrayal but i’m still learning to fight it. if i was around the goofies i was before, i probably wouldn’t be dead but i don’t think i would have lived but i’m in a better place. the voice knows all my moves, past and present, and is trying to stop my inevitable future. it’s like having a live-in enemy and that nigga be chattin and never does the dishes.

welp, one to grow on: sometimes it be ya own niggas, sometimes it be ya own you 😭

more loosies soon come. lemme know ya thoughts in the comments 🤝

peep the short film 🌱



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mamoudou n’diaye