A friend introduced me to the butterfly effect and I was immediately fascinated by it. I’m always curious about the different energy forces and phenomenons that are at work around us so this one was no different. The butterfly effect is the idea that small non-linear seemingly unrelated things can have a huge impact on an even far more complex system. Since my friend told me about this theory, I’ve been researching it and going back in my mind’s eye of instances where I’ve experienced the butterfly effect.
One such experience was the one of “finding my tribe”. I knew there were other Black people in my city but they were all students, with the exception of one other girl that I knew about at the time; but she was an ‘oreo’ and way too “white” for my liking. Up until February of 2020 I thought I was the only “Black” professional living in my city. It was during the peak of Covid-19 when embassies started tracing their people all over China that I discovered that there were other Jamaicans working in my city; and even then the effect still had not come into play.
I struggle with letting go of control and allowing other people to lead me. However, as a woman on her quest to enlightenment, I recognised that in order to become that woman there were some things I needed to handle; handle being, joining a Latin dance class. What other way to learn how to let go than to be held in a tight embrace by a man, trusting him not to trample your feet and praying that his breath does not stink or even worst that he did not have Covid-19. It was during one of these classes that I met the first member of my tribe. I walked in, she came over and said Hi, I found out that she was from Uganda and that she was NOT a student and as they say the rest was history. Through her, I was then able to meet 1 other Black American who was working here as well. Through that Black American I was then able to meet other Black Americans, South Africans and a Canadian. All professionals. All Black and all filled with magic.
The butterfly effect came into play because my first Ugandan friend decided to visit an English corner one day where she met our dance teacher. She told him about wanting to go out more and he invited her to our dance class. I had always attended dance class with another friend but she was not in the city that day and I toyed with the idea of not going but in the end, I am so glad that I did. One small action (invitation by the teacher) translated to me finding my tribe. I am now surrounded by powerful Black women all shooting for the stars. We are authors, designers, photographers, event planners, fashionistas; we are Black Girl Magic.
Can you think of a moment in your life where the butterfly effect was at play? Something that happened that seemed so coincidental that propelled you into a whole other sphere?
Similarly to how a butterfly flapping its wings may lead to a typhoon halfway around the world, so too is the impact when Black women come together in solidarity. It’s not easy living in a foreign country but having people you can rely on makes it so much better and more meaningful. We know what it’s like to feel alone. We know what it’s like to need help and think that you have no one to call on. It is because of that understanding that we can be that and more for each other.
May you find your tribe to help you navigate this China tide.
According to Aleia, we are a USA/SA sandwich with Canadian jam in the middle, Ugandan peanut butter and I guess I’m the rum coffee from Jamaica. Together we are quite the delightful bunch!
Shauna Reeves is a Jamaican native currently living and teaching in China creating her own version of "eat, pray, love". A young woman with a curious mind as well as a passionate reader; this is Shauna's first foray into writing. The gift of gab and storytelling is one of those skills passed down from her dad, who used to regale the family with many lores.