Hello Readers! Happy Holidays! We realize that we have not posted in a minute. We have a special two part post that we wanted to share with you all from Ms. Bianca Mona. At the end of the year, she is embarking on a new chapter in her life and wanted to share with us. Please enjoy and feel free to share.
I get asked almost everyday, “Oh, you must be excited?!?!?” My response. NO. This relocation, or glorified adventure trip as some like to call it, has actively been in the works for six months. Six months of plotting, planning, and praying. Six months of research and network expanding. Six months of doubt, fear, and anxiety. And now with less than a week to go until I move to South Africa, excitement has yet to show up. Instead, anxiety has become from friend. A close buddy. A steady companion. And she manifest in many ways. First it started with sleepless nights. For months I got subpar sleep, often having to take naps during the day. Crankiness is the other side effect of international relocation. I haven’t been pleasant, smiley face Bianca since June. I’m irritated and annoyed by most people and situations and thus spend many a day at home, preparing… reading… thinking… all about South Africa. The other quite alarming physical and sometimes paralyzing effect of anxiety is the heart palpitations. I can be sitting on the couch, sipping on tea, watching one of the myriad of talk shows and out of the blue my heart starts pounding in my ear. My heart pounds so loudly that I can physically feel and see the elevation of my chest. The pounding increases until it drowns out the sound of the talk show guests. When this first started happening, I was scared. I thought I was having a heart attack. But now, I’m so accustomed to it so that when it comes I now use it as a moment of clarify. A moment to breathe deeply, focus my thoughts, and connect with the universe. I use it as moment to be grateful and acknowledge all of the focuses working for my greater good. And I move forward knowing that it temporary.
So you must be asking, with all of these physical barriers why do I want to move to Johannesburg? It simply. Just because I do. Just because I can. And honestly, why not? I’m 33, smart, single, child and mortgage free and I want to leave in Africa. And so I will. A more complex answer to that question is, to embrace and strategically deal with fear. Fear has held me back for years and I’m over it. I want to move forward and accomplish goals and most importantly, live a robust life. Fear and anxiety are neutral emotions, neither good nor bad, but rather attachments to life’s ups and downs. So for me this is as good of a time as any to learn to deal with it. To neutralize it. And hopefully to conquer it. I chose to face this fear with courage. Courage to curate the life I want. Courage to be me. And the courage to, as my personal God Maya Angelou says, “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”
I am emotionally, spiritually, and physically preparing so excitement will come. When it does, I will embrace it.
Bianca Mońa is an arts administrator, curator, educator, advocate, and artist. She was a consultant for the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (Manhattan), the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women (Bronx), and gallery manager for City Without Walls (Newark, New Jersey). Most recently, she served in the education department at the Studio Museum in Harlem while founding the Newark Black Artists Oral History Project. Her artwork has been featured in the Gallery Aferro and Bushwick Open Studios. She holds a bachelor’s degree in arts administration from Dillard University (New Orleans), and two master’s degrees (art education and interdisciplinary studies) from San Jose State University and Teachers College, Columbia University. Ms. Mońa is currently embarking on her next adventure, relocating to South Africa.