A photo-and-questionnaire adventure
in a series celebrating strong women I know.


Sallie Keena / Chinwe Obodo

What do you wish people knew about you?

I wish people knew that the moments I drift off into a place of complete seclusion isn't a slight on my love for them. I wish people how deeply I need those moments to maintain some form of sanity. How important self care has become as I manuver through womanhood. I wish people knew that I still love them even if I don't pick up on the first call, even if I forget to text back. To be that friend that they need me to be I need time to put myself back together again.


What have you noticed is different about yourself?

I've noticed that as early as yesterday I began taking up for myself more. As a child I have always hated bullies, but when it came to my own self deprecating behavior I was never there for me. I realized that I'm wasting time not believing in myself. It's taken me a while to even voice my dreams and aspirations to anyone but myself. But, I'm ready. For me, for my parents and for my future children. 

In what ways are you strong / what makes you strong?

I give without asking or remembering and ever since I was little Ive always considered that my superpower. Ive been blessed enough in my lifetime to find sisters in college and a boyfriend who mimics these traits. I am also strong because of the trails and tribulations I have been through. My resilience levels are high as hell. My faith keeps me sttronger than I have ever been.

What's your biggest aspiration?

My biggest aspiration is to be ***** happy. {word omitted at Chinwe's request} I mean it though, its easy to list all the things I want to accomplish but I've watched too many movies and TV and read too many books to write a checklist of everything I want to accomplish. At the very end of the day I want to wake and be happy. Tom Cruise jumping on the couch happy, because that is when I'm at my best, that is when I can actually change the world. I know that life will bring its ups and downs but seriously all I want is to not wake up at whatever age and hate my life, my work, and regret every decision I've ever made. 

What do you like about yourself?

I love that I laugh alot during my day, and I love my creativity and I love that I love change. Growing is a huge factor in my life. Im always pushing myself to be better than I was yesterday. Not so much as a head coach but like a teacher who really believes in you and wants to push you to see what she sees.Even when Im planning outfits my thought process consists of how can I wear that shirt differently, whats a cool way to do my makeup that Ive never tried, and I change my hair alot! Thank God for wigs! And I'm lowkey a food scientist so cooking and eating different foods, different ways is extremely important to me. 



In what ways do you want to grow personally?

With that being said I still have a ton of work ahead if I plan to become the woman that Ive always wanted to be. I always have these (in my mind lol) dope ass ideas but struggle on the follow through. In my struggle to reach pinnacle perfection I tell myself that if its not right then I'm not going to put my name on it. But, that's bullshit. Life is all about failing and failing big. Ive failed sooooo many times in college that Failing is no longer scary. So for now I want to grow in any way where I can put shit out into the world, take more pics, read more books, pitch more, write more, and do all the things that make me happy. 


What's your favorite mystery?


What's the worst and best thing about being female?

As a black woman, and a lover of history I feel like the worst thing is erasure. Historically I feel that the women who came before me carried the weight of the world on their shoulders and had to still go to work. There was no time for tears, for sadness, for one to even ponder what is the best and worst part of being a woman, it just was the lot they were given. Sometimes I feel those pangs, my self care sobs as my sister and I have dubbed them sometimes even feel like a waste of time. I still have to figure out where this rent is going to come from, I still have to make sure my mom and my family are good, and I still have to be the child, girlfriend, student that everyone expects me to be and its tiring sometimes, but what do you do, quit? stop? nah you just keep going.


The best part I would say is the magical ability to bring life and sustain life simply by breathing. 


What are you proud of?

I'm proud of how far I've come and the faith that I have built to make it this far.

December 2017 / All photos, Sallie Keena, on Holga with Kodak Portra.