On Being That Renaissance Woman

By Mariah Hicks. Photography By Deun Ivory.

We exist as symphonies. As a gathering of instruments layered within one soul, within one body, orchestrated to perform in unity. We are woven into the intricate details of life, of love, of laughter. We are the women with the ability to charge the world, to start our own revolutions and redefine what it means to conceive creativity. We have given birth to our artistic truths time and time again. We are the women with poetry gracing our skin, with songs bursting at the seams of our beings. We are renaissance women. The then, the now, the future. The foundation on which our daughters will rise.

Us women pull art from our emotional wounds and layer the earth with our remedial melodies. Our work has curative powers, and we’re changing the world one woman at a time. Yet the road isn’t always a gentle leap into the soft breeze. It isn’t always a tango with the wind smoothly gliding over our bodies. Sometimes, the process is a stretch through the lowest valleys of life before we can see the sun. But this is what makes our work remarkable, when we can gather our pain and still exist as something beautiful within this dull world.

How do we continue to rise even when our souls get tired? How do we continue in faith when doubt is consistently dancing in our backyards?

For me, my work has always been based around healing, so I know that everything I create has a purpose to serve that exists far beyond my being. I think of how my work can touch someone else, how it might resonate with another person. That pushes me to continue to make art, even in the most somber moments. I have always told myself that everything I start is to be done wholeheartedly and with pure intentions, so even when the fear of not bringing a vision to fruition tries to get me to quit, I fight past it. Often times the process of creating can be a battleground, but I continue to make peace of the wars that come my way. I remind myself why I started. I remind myself that my gifts aren’t meant to be kept to myself, but rather nurtured and shared with others so they too can witness the testimonials of healing that my artistic being brings forward.

I remind myself that my job is not to leave an imprint on this world, but within the souls of people who will bear truth that my legacy existed. This encourages me to create authentically and genuinely without the fear of taking up space or taking up time. This motivates me to share my gifts with those whom I love, knowing that they will sow the fruits of my labor and honor the work that I have offered unto this world.

And so sometimes, we just have to keep going. We just have to keep creating and nurturing our passions. Because our work has the ability to transform, to heal, to create harmony.

No matter how much we hear that we need to “slow down” or that we’re “doing too much,” we keep going. And we won’t stop.

I won’t stop because I know my kids will one day walk this earth, and I want to prepare an experience for them, something that stretches far beyond what this world offered me. I won’t stop until I transcend above all the barriers that create the division between my dreams becoming my reality. And I will continue to rise even then.

Because that’s what I was created to do. Because that’s what renaissance women were created to do. We rise towards the sun even when the skies are grey. Even when there are forces against our prosperity. Even when people tell us not to take the risk, not to take the leap. We rise and we keep rising. And this rise is a ritual. This weaving of our bodies throughout the earth is ceremonial, and it’s proof that something so beautiful has the ability to exist.

Mariah Hicks is a senior journalism major and creative writing minor at Kent State University. She is recently a self-published author of “To Wilt and Bloom: A Collection of Poetry and Prose on Growth,” which can be purchased through Amazon. Mariah enjoys using the power of language to inspire women around the world. You can find her on Instagram and check out her personal blog.