I have a physical copy of the album Survivor by Destiny’s Child. I bought it at a Warehouse Music, which is now a bank. The album sits on my shelf as a crystal.
On May 1st of this year, Survivor turned 20 years old. The album was released two years after Writing’s on the Wall also by Destiny’s Child. The time between the latter album and Survivor was seismic for the group. The song Survivor, which Beyoncé co-wrote, was in response to a comment scoffed about the group. She sings about what you thought she would be. She embodies the exact opposite. She was turning lemons into lemonade.
Speaking of lemonade.
Survivor precedes Beyoncé’s opus Lemonade by fifteen years. It is cautionary, full of discovery. It warns women to not take themselves out of their image to appease men. It also shows women to love, be loved, and embrace their body. Bootylicious is a righteous anthem. 2001 was a breakthrough era for women in music. It was a time of collaboration, expression, and experimenting. Survivor lays a blueprint for what would become Lemonade.
The word survivor implies some sort of relief, a breath before the next struggle prevails. It does not feel as empowering as it could, even with a song as bold as Survivor. The multitudes of life’s many shifts can make someone recognize what they were brought through. Still, surviving is not the precipice of knowing your strength.
Maya Angelou said, “my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Her quote certainly predates Survivor but the words affirm. “Thrive” is the word I seek to behold. It is an attribute to escape expectation. Surviving is to live or to exist, make it another day. Thriving is to prosper.
The Nap Ministry was started in 2016 by Tricia Hersey. The mission is to “examine the liberating power of naps.” It is a vessel to encourage resistance through rest, calling for the audacity to not be chained to hustle culture. It is a must-follow on Twitter and Instagram @thenapministry. A tweet from The Nap Ministry says, “We know how to survive. It’s innate for marginalized folks. Thriving is the end game. The goal. The center of liberation work.”
The song and album for Survivor cements a moment. Now cements a moment to flourish, rest, and of course, thrive.
What song brought you a breakthrough? Are you a survivor or a thriver?