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still I grow (a poem)

Shakira, Shaquiera, Same name, 2 very different people. One of them acclaimed. The other feelin a bit of place in her own domain. A struggle to maintain…

Born in the city. Childhood melodies tinged with a melancholy ring. Be safe, don’t do that, These fields are gonna swallow you. Travelled to the country. Different context but teen melodies had the same sting. Be safe, don’t do that, These fields are gon’ devour you

Don’t give them your power, continue to bewitch. Now Switch. Tell me how it feels, To be somebody else. Now switch, Code switch. Am I even real? An imposter performing in this endless reel. Someone please… Tell me who I have to be? To get some reciprocity
They attach the word “ugly” to my complexion. “You’re pretty for a black girl” they tell me. “Smart for a black girl” much to my teacher’s delight. “bright”, “strong”, “exceptional”, “bisexual”, “Black”, “fast”, “angry”, “loud”, “underclass”. Must surpass. So many different labels, don’t know which one to believe. I can’t breathe. Tired woman, always in a fright, ready to take flight. Questioning everything like the greats that came before me. I wonder why we take from our women? Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?

Losing my mind on a tiny error. No, no, no, no,
Can’t be mediocre. Over and over, they tell me “no”, “don’t go”, “don’t grow”

But everything inside me screams No, no, no, no. Don’t lose who you are.
No need to hide your scars. It’s okay not to be okay. Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart. Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising

Nowadays adult melodies are confusing. But I’m not losing. Gratitude is a must. Family, friends, and mentors are what I trust. When I look at where I’m coming from, I know I’m blessed. Still a bit stressed. But It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day. And with the more I know, I’m feeling it in my soul. Something is changing. The future is out of my control but still, I grow.

Where you can find my art: When I began writing my bio I noticed how important music has been throughout my life. Not only is music one of my absolute favourite hobbies, it’s also an important tool I use to help me process my emotions and our world at large. I decided to take lyrics from some of my favourite songs to help write the above poem about my life. This includes music that speaks a bit to my Black Indo-Caribbean heritage, helps me process, makes me happy and keeps me motivated. The playlist with all the songs included in my poem can be found here.

Spotify: Still I Grow

Have fun listening, I hope you enjoy the journey! Can you figure out which lyrics came from each song?


Hey there, I’m Tam 🙂 I’m an entrepreneur with a passion for baking and a high interest in Japanese culture. Life has been a rough one if we’re being honest. I can’t say I’ve seen it all but I’ve seen enough to break me internally. A fake smile has always been my best talent and it hasn’t been an easy road to shake off. The past few years I’ve learned a lot about who I am individually without others and what I want to do to be better. Loving myself is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to achieve but I’m getting there. I refuse to let the minor things in life keep me from being happy. As Lilly Singh has said “Happiness is the only thing worth fighting for in your life”. I firmly believe in this to the point that it’s tattooed on my arm. So these days I’m just enjoying the achievements, relishing in Japanese culture, traveling, and being the me I want to be. Not the one people expect me to be.
I wrote a book that might be the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s a poetry book that reflects trauma in relationships. Poetry has let me release some of the baggage I carry from day to day and I hope this book tells someone their not alone and that someone understands.

You can find my book here



Namaskar! I was born and raised in Mumbai, India and moved out at an early age. After spending several years overseas and some unplanned events later I moved to Canada during the lockdown. I’m a software engineer at an Artificial Intelligence company based in Boston. It allows me to develop my analytical and creative skills. To complement my technical job, I work with CFIC and Ashtanga Yoga Montreal. AYM gave me a sense of community as a newcomer in Canada and provided me a space to continue my Yoga and Dhyaan practice so I could work on my physical and mental self.
It is my pleasure to join Grow Still because I can relate with its mission and identify with the team members. Being an emerging adult, it’s difficult to navigate through life and I think Grow Still is providing a valuable service backed up by well thought out principles and carefully planned workshops. I especially want to reach out to young adults who are also newcomers in Canada, like me, so we can support each other and contribute to the communities we have chosen to be a part of.

Where you can find my art:

You can find my music on Instagram and SoundCloud.

Instagram: @rohitriffs

Soundcloud: rohitkulkarni3010

My favorite song right now: The Chant, by Gojira

Jasmine Mascarenhas



I am a nomadic, pansexual, polyamorous community leader on a Mission for Human Transformation. Throughout my life, since I was just a baby, I had various health issues, which got worse when I hit puberty. I was a high-functioning anxious person, dedicated athlete, enthusiastic and stellar student, and partying became the perfect way to let go and be free. Alcohol allowed me to be less shy, and was usually shared with good friends and good music. I didn’t see anything wrong with it, especially because I was still managing to perform in all aspects of my life…until one day I couldn’t do anything. The effect of substance abuse was insidious, because what was developing within me was a chronic invisible illness, which Western medicine labels as ‘fibromyalgia’, a condition that is deeply-rooted in one’s nervous system and therefore initiates widespread, diverse and pervasive symptoms. Grow Still was born within my spiritual awakening, which unsurprisingly coincided with the beginning of my path to healing holistically through alternative medicine. Listening to my body, seeking professional help within the community (instead of following the chaotic maze of the quebec healthcare system), and committing to sobriety are just a few of the elements that colour the direction and values of the organization. I feel blessed to be alive and so grateful for the cards I was dealt, because they allowed me to find balance and purpose at a time when humanity really needs emerging adults to be Awake, empowered, and responsible for their own health and happiness in order to shift global consciousness.

Where you can find my art:
My playlists can be found on Apple music as Jazzi. They are special to me because they are the soundtrack of my life for the past 5 years, sort of like a musical journal. There is one, sometimes two, for every season. I don’t make them with a specific intention, mood or genre in mind – they simply reflect the vibe I was in and the music I was discovering and which was calling to me. Listen on shuffle and enjoy the journey!

 Apple Music: Jazzi

My favourite song right now: Me x 7 by Alicia Keys ft. Tierra Whack