Used to Be

A reader recently told me I don’t write like I used to.

In August, I’ll celebrate 10 years blogging. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been writing online that long, though it feels like I’ve been Skinny Black Girl forever. Probably because, for better or worse, Skinny Black Girl is more “me” than “Robyn” is.

I’m getting away from myself.

I don’t live like I used to. I started writing because I was searching for…something. A fulfillment I couldn’t identify. I thought I was after “success.” Fancy job title, a byline in Vibe or The Source (that mattered 10 years ago), an 800 credit score, a tall, attractive partner who’d fuck me right, respect my space and my hustle, and travel the world with me. Now…not so much. The last ten years have taught me there are no absolute, permanent answers to life’s big questions. The point is to live everything. I don’t search as much anymore.

I don’t date like I used to. In fact, I don’t date much and when I do, I don’t allow it to occupy a large space in my life. A conversation may inspire the occasional post, but I don’t turn my mind inside out over men. (If that’s your thing, I wrote a whole ass book about my dating adventures. Get into it.)

I don’t opine like I used to. I don’t value opinions as much as I once did; not even my own.

I don’t kick it like I used to. I’ve found social scenes too cliquish and messy, so I just…don’t. I’m actually a little sad about this, because I’m a social person. But after too many reality show-style encounters with people who masked treachery and busy-body ways behind masks of “concern,” I tapped out on crews and scenes. Life is less lit, but more peaceful.

I don’t use words like I used to. I spent a year and a half working toward an MFA in Creative Writing. I’ll be paying off that year and a half for the foreseeable future. My writing had better be more polished than it was when I started.

I’m 33 years old. I started blogging at 24. Of course it’s not what it used to be.

Neither am I.


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