While drinking my cappuccino and people watching in Center City Philly, I thought about my craft. I pondered who exactly I wanted to be and what I wanted to produce. Throughout daily routine, we’re so focused on getting to next place, making ends meet, and crossing something off a checklist. These are just a few components of the 9–5, the regimented structure that provides stability and movement. However, I find this constricting and quite the opposite of what life should be, or in other words, liberation.

After calmly sipping my bitter and creamy drink, I stared at my camera and took of picture of the mug. Well honestly, I took about 20 pictures of the mug. I wanted different perspectives, a narrative. It made me think of the different ways I could live my life and the different persons I could be. I could very easily do the 9–5 in an, perhaps as a software engineer and be successful. Or, I could join the non-profit sector and commit my life to others. The possibilities are endless, but I decided in that moment, that I would not to commit to quickly to one lifestyle or path. But rather, that I would give myself time to grow.

Which brings me to this blog. Ever since I was young I loved literature, movies, art, pop culture, and writing. Community service and helping people gave me purpose and clarity. I was involved in tutoring others, food drives, and more. However, when I had the opportunity to create, I was awarded with passion.

I can trace back to the countless school projects that required me to think outside the box, that’s what made me enjoy school. Not the tests or getting good grades, but the ability to work on something progressively and present on an end result. Powerpoints were my favorite. The research, design element, media, and actual content meshed so well together. The idea of making videos on a computer fascinated me. I found so much joy in staring at the screen for hours, getting the effects just right.

My strongest area was my writing. I always doubted it, mainly because so many in my generation turn away from reading. I don’t know very many people my age that are subscribed to magazines or pick up newspaper to read in the morning. I want to bring that art back. I want to show people that reflection and writing holds so much power.

I am going to use this platform to explore my craft. Through my photography, writing, and insight I am going to show the world that I can create and that my mind is powerful. I plan to use this space as an opportunity to grow, to refine, and to discover just what it is that makes Alliyah.

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Artist and Curator

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