We had the good fortune of connecting with Anisah Amat and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anisah, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
Wow. There are so many books that I can think of that I love and have had an impact on me. The one that comes to mind first is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The four agreements seem fairly simple: 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. Like I said, they seem incredibly simple until you begin to become more intentional about applying them to your life and you realize it’s challenging to avoid speaking against yourself; we tend to be our own worst critic. It’s challenging to not take anything personally; to not believe that what others do is not, sometimes, a direct attack on us. Right? They’re a lot easier said than done but possible. I have them written down on a sticky note on my mirror so that I look at them every day; I start my day with them. It’s all about patience and being intentional.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a creative writer. Up until a few months ago, I told people that I had been writing since I was 13 years old; which was the age that I discovered poetry and used writing as a tool to process puberty and trauma and home life and all of the things. Over the summer, my mom was moving out of her home and I found little books that I created as early as age 5. I’ve been writing for most of my life. I haven’t always allowed myself to label myself as a writer. It never seemed “enough.” When I first went to college, I majored in journalism because, technically, I would still be able to write. Although, I wouldn’t be writing the things that fulfilled me, it was something, right? It felt pleasing and professional to think of myself as a journalist. At my core, it wasn’t who I truly wanted to be. The biggest challenge that I have faced, thus far, as a creative writer is when I self-published my first book, anonymous. There is so much at stake when you put yourself and your stories and your life out into the world for others to read and critique and witness. I was both terrified and proud of myself for taking a chance on myself the way I did. For choosing myself the way that I did. For believing that my story needed to be out in the world to let others know that they weren’t alone. After self-publishing my first book, I enrolled in a Creative Writing and Poetics Master’s program at Naropa University. After graduating, my husband and I packed up our apartment and traveled around Europe for three months. It was the most liberating and peaceful experience I have ever had in my life. It was so necessary as, for the first time ever, I was able to turn chaos down and turn myself up a little bit more. I was able to actually hear myself think. I was able to reconnect with myself and my husband. Since then, I recently landed, what feels like, my dream job in May of this year. I write and record meditations for an app called Expectful which is a meditation app for families along their fertility, pregnancy or parenthood journey. It has been so fulfilling to have the opportunity to connect with women across the world. During my free time, I am writing poetry and in the very beginning stages of writing my next book.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Whew. There are so many people who I can dedicate my shoutout to. My tribe is marvelous. I mean, there’s my mom, the one who I have learned resilience and dedication from. There’s my Grammie, who was a huge part of raising me and is the epitome of the type of woman I aspire to be. There’s my sisters and brother who inspire me to do and be better. There’s my mentor, Michelle Davis who has aided in the evolution of my spirit. There’s my best friend of 15 years, Ailey, who is more like a sister to me; we have been with each other through life’s hardships. There’s my uncles who are more like brothers or father figures to me. But, when I think about dedicating this shoutout to, it would absolutely and without a doubt have to be my daughter, Nyla and my husband, Roderick. My daughter inspires me every second of every single day. I spend so many moments just witnessing her and the way she moves through the world and the way she just figures everything out. She is my greatest inspiration and my greatest creation. And my husband. Wow. We’ve been together for 13 years. He has, literally, watched me blossom into the woman I am today. Through him, I have learned patience, I have learned how to love in a way that I never thought possible, I have learned to receive love in a way that I never thought was attainable. It took me a while to believe that I deserved a love as big as the one we share but I have let go and allowed myself to receive it. These two. My husband and my daughter. They are the sweetest parts of me.
Sunflower Field Photo by Jessica Christie Black Headwrap Photo by Roderick Henderson Couch Photos by Roderick Henderson Denim Overalls Photo by Roderick Henderson