Philomena Kwao 2016

The past few months have been hard to say the least. I've gone through many changes, and as with anything that creates a metamorphosis, it hasn't been easy. Without going into any particular details, one day I just woke and decided that I was tired and I couldn't go in as I was, stifled and underutilized. It's a scary thought, to think that the comfort that I'd become accustomed too was no longer enough. The life I thought I wanted now seemed like a prison, not a liberty ... Growing up, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be here, where I am now. I've been blessed. And I have God to thank for that. But in my inability to see my potential I somehow limited myself. Yes I dreamed and pushed for more but with each height I reached I didn't see myself going any further and I began to settle. The thing is, I wasn't always this way. As a girl I was a dreamer. I dreamed myself out of a council housing estate, I dreamed myself out of the cliche of a young black girl from Deptford. I refused to become a statistic... When did all of that change?

Then we go back to the same old saying, change. Always necessary for better or worse. At some point this change was to my detriment. I thought, at the time that it was what I wanted. I thought, that it was I needed and I proceeded to accept my fate as it was, trying desperately to engineer the hands of time. Because ultimately, I wanted it all. Strike that I want it all, but should I have to give up such a huge part of myself to obtain it? Then it happened. I woke up and decided no. I didn't . Do I have regrets, yes of course. When beauty is carved bits are chipped away, pieces are lost. And I lost a part of me, an irreplaceable part. But is what left damaged? No. Is what's left a shadow for my former self? I wouldn't say so. But then again, maybe it is.

After all this what did I learn? I learnt that change is scary. Uncertainty is the killer of hope. But leap, and take the plunge into the darkness, the fear that acted as a shackle suddenly let go and after the flinch of FEAR came peace and freedom.

Hair, Make Up and Photography - Rose Concencion

Hair, Make Up and Photography - Rose Concencion

Coat - Zara

Sheer Vest and Bra Top - Calvin Klein

Trousers - Eileen Fisher

Sneakers - Converse

Faux Nose Ring - H&M