Culture Identity

The Art of Finding Joy in the Midst of Proving Everyone Wrong

Being 20 something is tough, with the added pressure of being 20 something and Black in 2020 hits differently. Sistem Magazine contributor Livie describes how she is trying to find joy

Sometimes I do things not because it is something I particularly love to do, but because I never want to feel like I failed. It’s a constant battle between what is seemingly right and what actually makes me happy.

I have been working at becoming a Solicitor for the last 7 years, I’ve moved the goal post so many times, I don’t even know where it is anymore – “if it doesn’t happen by the time I’m *insert age between 22 and 29* then I’m giving up.” I just turned 30 at the beginning of June, and up until just before lockdown I was STILL chasing the dream.

You’ll be glad to know that I’m on a Training Contract, at last! I thought I’d be happier but I won’t say that out loud – bad vibes to the universe and all that. Considering how long I’ve waited for this to happen, I really can’t wait for it to be done; not because I can see myself thriving as a hotshot Solicitor working ungodly hours, but because I just want to complete this chapter so that I can finally allow myself to discover what’s next.


Recently, I have immersed myself in the Black Lives Matter movement and it’s made me tie in my fear of failure to being a Black woman. Do I push myself to finish things for myself or for everyone else around me and how they’ll view me? Do I work so hard just to prove that Black people – Black women can do it too? I think I do. If we have learnt nothing else in the calls for justice for Breonna Taylor, we have learnt that we have to work a million times harder to be recognised, even by our own. I personally am tired of it, if in death there continues to be a fight, then while we are alive I truly believe that we should be able to do what we genuinely love and enjoy without having to prove ourselves to whoever may be watching.


Moving forward (after I qualify, because I still need to finish the chapter!) I am going to do more of what makes me happy. I am going to write more because that’s what I always wanted to do; I am going to take more pictures because no matter how hard I try to become a serious runner, I can’t, because I always have to stop to take a snap of the ever changing view! I am going to take more holidays, I am going to do so many more things, without expectation because #BlackWomanJoy matters too – no matter what anyone else thinks.


  1. Girllll… I hear you, your preaching to the aspiring black lawyers out here. God bless you, may the doors be open for more black famales out there 🙏🏾🙌🏾

  2. This made me cry. It’s the fact that, we black women do work twice as hard to prove a point or secure our jobs in any given job set up. Thank you very much for your article. Keep writing and pushing. America or the Western world as they say, is not fair and just in its treatment for black people.

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