There have been so many changes since coming to London; the environment, weather, people and culture. The nonchalant atmosphere of London is a result of the vast culmination of minds, cultures and lifestyles that have descended upon the city within the past few decades. All of whom are steely focused on their own paths and responsibilities. It would be no mistake to say that London has also become a rich and bustling hub of fashion and luxury.
However, what I admire most is the street style culture. Using London’s street style culture as a prime example, no matter their aesthetic, they are our generation’s representation of freedom of identity and expression. To be who you are, all of who you are, and love it so implicitly is one of the most beautiful and impactful powers we can possess. But only if we seize it. Well, I’m seizing it.
I have long struggled with my outward expression of identity. Mainly, I believe, because I come from a country where anything ‘out of the norm’ is highly frowned upon; Barbados. A Caribbean paradise, a luxury vacation hub for the royal and the celebs, duty free shopping, lush white sandy beaches with cascading palm trees and warmth all year round that attracts all to my sun-kissed homeland. But beneath all the beauty, is an ugliness of conservatism which resides within the culture of the island. To be blunt, Barbadians despise change on a much broader scale.
My point? This is how we are raised. This is what grows to become an indelible part of us. This one attribute leaks into the rest of our lives and thereon molds it. This extreme conservatism ends up being our detriment, unless you are privileged enough to be among the few who travel or rebel against this mentality. I have been one of the few to rebel, but from my generation onward that number has been growing tremendously.
The youth have come to realize that, for lack of better words, Barbados is a bubble. What happens in Barbados, is usually only applicable in Barbados. We need to accept and understand that individuality is essential for the growth of any and every soul. Not the stifling of personalities and ideas. We get lost in the noise of who has a ”good job”/”a big house”, or whose child ”passed for a good school”, who ” dis go church every Sunday”. What people think of us, what we do and vise versa, should have no real merit on our thoughts, ideas, actions or future. Unless from a genuinely concerned loved one, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is to know who you truly are. All of you. To understand and love yourself. It is only then you can truly love/understand anyone else, specifically those who are distinctly different to you. We may have collective differences, but we are all individually different as well. Not many get to have this realization and therefore may disagree or dismiss. But remember, get to know your uniqueness. Nurture it and cherish it. That is your true power.
I gladly and openly await what is next.