To the Loves of My Rife: goodbye, good luck and thank you

Sumaya looks back on her journey to and with Rife, reflecting on all it has meant for her

In 2015 I participated in a filmmaking course with the BFI. I almost let self-doubt discourage me from applying, but boyyy am I immensely grateful that I did. It put me on a trajectory I previously didn’t feel I was allowed to be on, urging and empowering me to follow the call of my creativity. It was also through this that I first heard of Rife Magazine, as we were to be working in conjunction with them. From that moment, I’ve had a wee plan for the future: drop out of Sixth Form, study Creative Media Production at college to grow my skillset, and keep an eye out for openings with Rife. I did the first two, then got a little lost in the post-compulsory-education-panic-y-limbo where I wrestled with my conflictions regarding my next steps for a while. After bouncing between several jobs at cafes and within retail – often crying lots and recuperating on my days off instead of being actively creative – I saw that Rife were hiring their next cohort of content creators. I still felt like what I had to offer wasn’t good enough – that I’d be out of my depth in a professional environment, with actual responsibilities and expectations to live up to. However, I was trying super hard to have faith in opportunities and their abilities to present themselves when you need, and are ready for them. Here I am, in the final week of my placement, definitely glad with the choices I’ve made leading up to this point. I’ve gained and learned a lot during my time here:

How to chill tf out a lil’

Though I for sure can’t simply flip the switch on my angst or being pretty hard on myself, all the lovely people here at Rife and Watershed have really helped me practice self-compassion – professionally, creatively, and personally. Through their faith in me, all the support and advice they’ve offered, I’ve come that much closer to believing in myself – my voice and my capabilities. They’ve helped me learn that it really is okay to take time for myself, and that I shouldn’t feel guilty for doing so. The people here have consistently reassured me that I, and the things I’m doing are of value. It’s hard to believe in opinions that vary so drastically from your own, but the authenticity of my new buddies’ admiration for me have for sure helped me see myself through a kinder lens. Their pride in me has helped me finally be a little proud of myself.

Community

Watershed is filled with so many incredible talents and beautiful personalities. The people I’ve been blessed with meeting here have always made me feel immensely welcome, like I’m a part of something bigger – something very wholesome and pure. They’ve helped me grow in so many ways. I think about the new friends I’ve made and I’m overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and inspiration. I know the absolute Kings and Queens I’ve met are going to fricking boss the shit out of life. I’m immeasurably excited to see what their undoubtedly bright futures hold. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs, cheering y’all on with every fibre of my being, and keeping in touch. I know I’ve made some pals for life.

Exploration is the most important… What’s next?

As an indecisive mixed-medium creative who’s reluctant to limit myself to one area of work, I’m incredibly grateful to have always felt like I had the freedom to explore all of my passions. Over the duration of my placement I’ve produced written works, videos, a photo essay, and illustrations for articles. It’s really helped me better understand myself and gage what drives me the most. The same goes in terms of content – I’ve been most passionate when writing about topics such as identity and music. I think music is a huge part of that – a means of further exploring who I am and what I want out of this life of mine. Outside of, and often during hours at Rife, music’s been the thing constantly at the back of my mind fighting for more of my attention. Of course, I can’t say with certainty what I’ll be doing in the future, but for this next chapter, I would like to, and intend to focus my time and energy on music and all that entails. The creative arts all bleed into each other, so I’m confident I’ll always love and dabble with my other passions, but for now, I’m going to follow what I know brings me the most peace, happiness and fulfilment.

To everyone who has been a part of my Rife journey, thank you so much from the core of my soul my dudes. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you all and I’m wishing everyone the very best for the future. Y’all are doing mad things – make sure y’all take the time to acknowledge and celebrate how far you’ve all come. Love, light and good vibes all round.

Want to keep up with Sumaya and her journey? Follow her on Instagram!

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.