{ One Last Time }

When I applied to be a blogger three years ago, I never imagined how quickly this final post would come up for me. At the time, I was struggling and certainly did not consider myself a "writer" or a blogger so I was sure that I would not join our team. The only reason that I went for it was because a friend and fellow Posse member was blogging and it was so good. I wanted my writing to do for others what his did for me--make me feel acknowledged, translate words into experience and overturn my own fears.

Three years of blog writing have led me to cherish three guiding truths. Firstly, folks remember passion, no matter how you express it. Whether I was getting my future Dr. Cunningham on presenting research or getting loose at the 'Sco, I was met with cheers and love. I made space for my joy. I brought life, passion, commitment, vision and tenacity to what I did not because it was required but because that is a part of who I am. Folks remember that and I do believe that people remember me.

What you do has effects beyond just you and sometimes those implications are beautiful. I learned that my posts helped some of my peers to envision a space for themselves and to stay at Oberlin. My mentees tell me all the time they could not imagine doing all the phenomenal things that they do without me.

When I reflect on my own journey and map my future, thinking of all the places and minds I wish to touch, I recognize my own power. I stand under the weight of this crown by getting more comfortable knowing that even my falls are beautiful. Just as someone needs an example of how to shine, they need instances of how to get back up again. Moreover, I need to feel--more--and recognize my own highs and lows as necessary to my growth.

Lastly, I can prioritize self-care within the context of community. One thing I struggled with in Oberlin was how do I look out for Alex first? When I love, advocate, protect and guide I do that fiercely and take it seriously but it has (and still does) take a toll on my mental, physical and emotional health.

I find that being honest about my needs within my communities is a solid first step. I can say that I need time and space for me to people that understand and they give me love and support. They send postcards or call or send videos and we love each other as we sort through life, together. I am grateful for this and blogging made me aware of it.

Here is the point where I am supposed to break up with y'all. I have gotten a little soft in my young, old age and I refuse to do that so instead I will share what I am working on and how to find me going forward.

On the Oberlin Blogs we archive so (to my knowledge) these posts will be here for a while and you can always google them and they'll come up. We also have Oberlin Switchboard (which I'm on) and you should just check that out generally to connect with great Obies who know things and are connects.

As for writing plans, well, right now I am applying to graduate programs in Africana Studies. I am not ready to give it all away yet but my proposed project looks at hip-hop, gender, sexuality, performance and eroticism so expect a lot of great writing to be coming from that in about ten years. However, I am starting to pitch to cultural and femme/women's blogs so be on the lookout for some pieces from me very soon any and everywhere!

Another cool development is that I am seriously working on growing my own blog project, Back at the Table, which is an arts and culture blog for Black and Brown folks that centers how popular culture, art and activism can bring us, as communities, to the "table" to dialogue and act in our daily lives. All of these things I am incredibly passionate about so I am excited to keep sharing with y'all beyond my Oberlin Blogs home.

Finally, I'll leave y'all with this... be limitless because you deserve to uncover the multiple layers of incredible you have within inside you. Nurture this process and guide someone else through this process too.

Much love!

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{ Responses To This Entry }

Alex, one of the highlights of my Oberlin experience has been getting to know you. Your generosity, compassion, groundedness, and super intellect have been amazing to watch -- both in action and as you've grown yourself in each aspect. Laughing with you, learning from and with you, and reading your words have been treasures I will hold close for a very long time.

Posted by: Tanya on August 22, 2016 1:12 AM


Posted by: Kameron on August 22, 2016 1:13 AM

Alex! You are such a gift and such a shining star - I hope you keep making space for you joy and I fervently hope we all keep being inspired by that. Can't wait to see where else you bring the house down.

Posted by: Ida on August 22, 2016 9:36 AM

The worst part of working with the bloggers is watching the doors close on an utterly fantastic record of your time here. The best part is watching that record unfold in myriad beautiful words and know that you're off to do even more beyond this place.

I've said it once and I'll say it a million times more: your lasting impact Oberlin and on the Oberlin blogs is unmeasurably ginormous. Thank you for being a part of it all, Alex.

Posted by: Ma'ayan on August 22, 2016 2:58 PM

Tanya, thank you so much for that very beautiful and well appreciated compliment. I'm filled with warm fluttery aww's at the moment and also feelings of deep joy that you've been able to share in my growth, be in my cheering section and nurture me on my way. Thank you for being here always and giving me these memories to cherish as well!

Posted by: Alexandria Cunningham '16 on August 24, 2016 8:04 PM

Don't cry superstar! I'm just making more room for you to do your thing--this is a happy moment :)

Posted by: Alexandria Cunningham '16 on August 24, 2016 8:05 PM

Ida! Thank you SO much. I'm definitely doing my best to always make space for my joy and write. So whenever and wherever those two things converge, you'll be sure to hear from me about it!

Posted by: Alexandria Cunningham '16 on August 24, 2016 8:07 PM

Ma'ayan, you always know just what to say to make my heart melt. Thank you for all that you've done for me as my blog goals, my mentor, my friend and my support. I truly appreciate our relationship and though I'm really sad that this is the *official* end of this part of our time, I'm really excited for ways that we'll come back together and brainstorm and just be awesome. Thank you again!

Posted by: Alexandria Cunningham '16 on August 24, 2016 8:09 PM

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