Crystal McDuffy, 19, Rising Junior at the University of Florida
“Why?” is my favorite question.
I started this blog—initially—to help other black women navigate their way through college. Over time, I realized that I wanted to expand my scope. Now, I write to discover new parts of myself and use what I’ve learned to help others. Identity resolution, professional development, and maintaining mental health are just a few things I’ve begun to dabble in. I’m so glad I’ve had the privilege to share those experiences with my readers along the way.
What I’ve realized through this journey is that my passion isn’t just writing. It’s people. It’s the bond we all share regardless of background. It’s the magic that happens when one learns through another’s experiences. It’s laughter, love, and friendship. Every piece I’ve ever written has been inspired by someone, so I’ve decided to embark on a new venture via this site.
I want to break barriers. I want to use my platform to unite people from vastly different walks of life through the things we all have in common; love, joy, pain, anger, lust, and fear just begin to explain the depth of the emotional journeys I plan to explore during my latest adventure, What’s Your Why?
Every #WhyWednesday, I’ll post the why(s) of a new person who has inspired me in some way to my blog. My ultimate goal is that these anecdotes will help myself and my readers live life more authentically, courageously, and intentionally. I hope that What’s Your Why? will: help unite people during the most trying sociopolitical climate I’ve ever experienced, give people the strength to be vulnerable, and showcase the stories of people who have been silenced.
So, I’m using myself as an inaugural post.
My why is my people. It’s my grandmother—who marched on Washington for my future. It’s my aunt—who was the first black woman to attend the University of Mississippi so that I could eventually (semi)-comfortably attend the University of Florida. It’s my mother and father, who raised me with the most delicate balance of stringency and love so that I’d have the wherewithal to withstand the situations I’ve been faced with.
It’s also the black girls who are “too white,” the lesbians who are “too pretty,” and the women who are “too assertive.”
At a recent retreat, someone anonymously sent me this card. As someone who never fit into any of the boxes society tried to put me in, I am still working to overcome my struggles with self-esteem, body image, and overall self-love. Because of my rather unpleasant experiences with my identity up until recently, I strive to make my world a place where everyone feels like they belong, because I never felt like I did.
That’s most of my why. I can’t wait to find out yours.