Dear weird black child (BEDA 29)

Dear weird black child,

There is nothing wrong with you. Do NOT let your blackness be defined by someone else. You do not belong in the box that other people, including OUR people, want to put you in to. There is nothing wrong with who you are. I have been there. I was that weird black kid and I turned into a weird black woman. I am proud of that.

I didn’t dress like everyone else. I wasn’t, and I am still not, label conscious. I didn’t really listen to rap music. I was super into anime (still into it now). I read manga. I was an undercover gamer. I was that weird black kid. I was made fun of. I was told that I “talk white”. I was told I wasn’t “black enough”. I was told I was weird. It took time but I embraced it. I am who I am and that is good enough for me.

You are who you are. Your blackness is in no way related to the things you enjoy. It’s ok for you to be more excited about the Looney Tunes Vans than the Yeezy season 2’s. It’s fine that you would rather watch soccer than basketball. Go ahead and participate in cosplay, you look GREAT! Sing along completely incorrectly to that Korean pop song, I’m in my car singing along too. You don’t know any of the rappers out right now? That’s ok, neither do I. You’re standing in line for a new game? Have fun and play hard! You know more about anime than reality television, you’re not alone (in fact most of the people I know don’t watch reality shows). There is absolutely nothing wrong you. There is nothing lacking about your “blackness”. You are who you are and you have no reason to be ashamed. Do not let others change how you feel about you. Be weird. Be true to who you are. You are not obligated to meet anyone else’s ideas of “how to be black”. There is no manual. There are no “blackness guidelines”. Your black does not have to match anyone else’s black. You are who you are meant to be.

One very lesbian year later (BEDA 21)

Today marks my girlfriend and I’s one year anniversary. It marks me being “out” as bisexual to friends and family. It also marks one year that some of my family has been in denial.

It’s still a phase depending on who you talk to. 

Seriously.

My mom (step mom technically, if my mom were alive she would have met my girlfriend already) still considers me an “eligible bachelorette”. As far as she is concerned, I just need to meet the right guy.  No, really. She does everything in her power to maintain the illusion that I am still straight. Example? Thanksgiving. I was telling her about Crys making me watch a scary movie that messed me up. Her response “who is Crys, your roommate?” My face: 


Mind you, this was not my first time mentioning her and yet…
Needless to say, the denial rubs me the wrong way. It has made me unintentionally distant. The denial of my sexuality feels like a denial of an important part of me. My dad seems to be sort of nonchalant about it. He doesn’t talk about it, but doesn’t deny it if I talk about it. 

I get it. I went through a bad break up with a guy and started dating a girl a few months afterward. I can see why people thought it was a phase at that time. As time progressed I thought people would see how serious we are about each other. It’s not like I just picked some random woman and decided to try her out. I had known my girlfriend for eight years prior to she and I getting into a relationship. We were friends. I simply decided to finally give her a chance after her eight years of persistence. 

Good decision on my part.

She drives me nuts sometimes. We argue something terrible but we also love something wonderful. She doesn’t call me “pretty”, she calls me “beautiful” all the time. Prior to her, it was a word I rarely heard from my partner. Oh, I was “pretty”, I was “cute”, I was even “sexy”, but rarely did they ever call me beautiful. She has forced me to learn how to communicate (still a work in progress because I’m an ass sometimes). She knows how to make me smile, one of these days I’m going to catch her random songs and dances on camera. She makes me happy. That’s good enough for me. 

So, one very lesbian year later, I am still adjusting to life and love. I’m still learning and growing on my own and with her. I’m still happy. 

I’m cool with that.

Self care

I have to regularly practice self care. Whether this be going walking by the river, solo dates, reading, writing, watching anime, anything that calms me. 

I have suffered from depression since the time of my mothers passing. I am going on 18 years of dealing with her loss. I’m much better now but it still rears its ugly head. When it does, it hits HARD. Depression is not the same as being sad. People will have you believe it is but those people have not experienced what real depression feels like.  The feelings of worthlessness, of emptiness, the lack of interest in life itself. You find yourself at the bottom of a pit, in the dark, alone. For a while, I stayed at the bottom of this pit, an emotional wreck. No one noticed. See, I am really good at pretending to be just fine. In fact I’m an expert at it. Smile, laugh, all while I was contemplating suicide. 

Then I saw a therapist. I tried the meds but I went from feeling like sh*t to not feeling anything at all and I didn’t like that, so I stopped. I started getting myself out of the house. I learned about blogging. I bought several journals. I began to write my feelings out. I learned how to sense when that pit fall was coming and things I can do to avoid it.  I won’t say I have avoided the pit every time but I now know how to build a ladder and get myself out. I have depression, depression no longer has me.

Then came the panicky-ness. I don’t think I can call it a full blown panic attack, maybe anxiety? I have no idea where it came from or why but it’s been popping up lately. My heart rate will suddenly increase, I’ll feel uneasy, like I’m missing something incredibly important, I’ll feel on edge like something is about to go wrong or something terrible is about to happen. The worse part? I have no idea what sets it off. I’ve woken up from my sleep panicking. I have to talk myself down. Part of me feels like the world and the things happening right now are getting to me. I tend to feel deeply. Someone else being hurt, hurts me. Their tears are mine. My emotions run deep, even though I present a stoic facade.

This is why I have to practice self care. I have to take time to do things to make myself comfortable. I have to do things that make me happy. I try and decompress I guess. The world will break you down, this is my way to combat that. I stay away from the news, tune out the politics, ignore as much stupidity as possible. Whatever it takes to take that weight off of my shoulders. I have learned that taking care of myself is not selfish. 

You should practice self care, too. Life is difficult. The ups and downs can damage you. Step away. Do that thing that you’ve been wanting to do. Go that place you’ve wanted to go. Read that book you’ve been thinking of reading. Take care of you. You deserve a moment to drop the weight of the world, even temporarily. You can’t build others up when you’re broken down. You deserve this. You need this. You’ll feel better, I promise. Take care of you

Forgiveness

I was taught to forgive. “Forgive and forget” they say. “Forgiveness helps you heal” they tell you. Nah, fuck that. Forgiveness is NOT for everyone and at NO POINT will I let anyone make me feel guilty. Sometimes I need to feel the anger. I need to acknowledge the pain. I have been lied to, cheated on, used, abused, hurt, abandoned… I have every right to FEEL!

People love to try and force the belief that forgiveness is the proper thing to do, the right thing to do, the only thing to do. Not always, not for everyone. For me, acknowledging that I was wronged feels like the right thing to do. Allowing myself to feel anger feels like the right thing to do. Accepting that you do not care how you have made me feel and I am allowed to hate you for that feels like the right thing to do. You may think I am allowing negativity to run me. I’m not. I am embracing my emotions, all of them. Negative emotions are still emotions and they should be allowed to happen as needed. It is a part of healthy self-care.

I almost feel like sometimes people rely on forgiveness because it is easier than accountability. It is easier to say “I forgive you” than to call someone out on their constant bullshit. Maybe people think it hurts less. We tell families that have had members killed to forgive the murderer.  We tell rape victims to forgive their attackers. We tell minorities to forgive people when they make racist statements. We tell women to forgive men when they make sexist comments. We tell wives and husbands to forgive their partners infidelity. We tell children to forgive their parents for mercilessly beating them. We tell gays to forgive Christians for constantly telling us we are going to hell. Forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive. NO! How about instead, we tell people to stop being assholes? How about we hold people accountable for their choices? How about we not make the victim feel worse by trying to guilt them into forgiveness? How about letting people deal with things in their own way? How about we acknowledge that forgiveness has a limit and it’s not a cure-all?

I  mean, how am I responsible for forgiving you but you are not responsible for changing your behavior or even apologizing for it? I should forgive you while you continue to do wrong ? You can miss me with all of that. I don’t hold grudges, there is no point. However, I feel no need to forgive you because you do not deserve it. I can move forward while also wishing you get four flat tires at the same time. I can take that anger and grief and use it as motivation to grow. Am I doing this to prove something to you? Don’t flatter yourself. I am doing this to help my self advance emotionally, that’s all. If you are looking for forgiveness, go to church… I have none for you.

Spoiled

Rarely does spoiling someone do them any good. A spoiled child almost always becomes an entitled adult. You are a provider. You vow to make sure your child never has to need for anything. This is noble and I commend you. Then it slowly goes from them not needing anything to them not having to want for anything. There is a difference. You go from making sure your child has shoes and clothes for school, to making sure your child has $250 sneakers and $150 jeans for school. Your child soon beings to expect only the most expensive things in life because that’s what you have taught them. However you never taught them to work for the things they want. Let’s remember they aren’t working for these things, you are. You work long hours, pick up an extra job, do whatever it takes to make sure your child has only name brand items, the best of the best. Now you are rarely there for your child because you have to work all of the time to provide the material things that they have become accustomed to. Your child learns to fill the void left by your absence with those material things. They want more things because you aren’t there, you aren’t there because you have to work to buy more things. You know exactly what I am talking about. Your son has $290 football cleats but you have yet to see him play in them because you are always at work. It becomes a vicious cycle.

That child then becomes an adult with that same mindset: “I want only the best and someone needs to work hard to get it for me (you know, what you taught them?).” These are the adults that want everything yet work for nothing. These are the same people who want to live a millionaire lifestyle on a Walmart budget. Rather than establish themselves and build up to that millionaire life, they’ll just find someone already living it and latch on. These are the men that have on a $500 outfit at the club but still live with their baby mothers because they can’t afford to live on their own (don’t worry though, they aren’t “together” he is just there for his child). These are the women who want you to buy them a $1000 bag and then call you broke because you can’t afford it, yet they can’t buy it for themselves either. These people typically can’t keep a job because the boss has it out for them, a coworker got them in trouble, the management is after them, etc. They will never mention that they are always late, or they call in constantly, or they are lazy at work. These people feel that they are entitled to only the best because that is what they were taught from childhood. You are now creating another one of these soon to be entitled adults.

Spoiled isn’t good for food, it damn sure isn’t good for a person.

The forever high schooler

We all know that one person that graduated high school but never actually leftThat guy that can tell you all of his football stats but can’t tell you the last time he has held a job for more than six months… The girl who can tell you she was most popular in school but can’t tell you the names of all of her baby daddies… That one person that knows every bit of gossip about every person they went to high school with but don’t know who the two current presidential candidates are…Those people. They thrive off of their who they were and pay no attention to who they are right now. They are so focused on the past that they have no real concept of where they are in life or where they are going. It’s like they have stopped growing, stopped learning, stopped advancing.

I wonder, what makes a person want to stay in the high school state of mind? Though high school wasn’t the worst, I spent my whole four years trying to get the hell out. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, I made some great friends, I learned a lot about myself, but when it was over; it was over. Reunions are great, a good time to reminisce about those four years of our lives. However, some people spend their whole life in mental high school reunion mode. I am just curious as to how that happens. Do you tell that person to move on, let it go… Or do you let them stay inside the bubble they have created?

Shoe shopping

I’ve ventured into the shoe store. A bit over whelming but I know what I’m looking for so I head straight to the flats. Walking… Walking… Looking… And I pass them… The Jesus Christ 5’s, the Moses “let my people go” 11’s, the calf high gladiator sandals. 


“There’s no way anyone would actually get those.” I say out loud as I walk past. I was wrong. I continue my shopping trip with the “thotiator” sandals far in the back of my mind. And then… HER! Apparently it’s never too early for ratchetness. SHE walks in, on her phone, talking loudly. Just ignore her, I tell myself. She stops… “OOOOOOH girl I just found some bomb ass sandals!” She’s not talking about… She can’t be talking about… Noooo, not the thotiators! Yes, the thotiators. She proceeds to find a box and sit down to squeeze her cankles into these sandals. They fit… Sort of. It’s kind of like, well, you know when you make s’mores and the marshmallow is all warm and gooey and it oozes out of the sides of the graham crackers when you squeeze them together? That, but in a tall sandal. I want to tell her “NO! Don’t do it! You can do so much better!” But I don’t. I just watch her put the sandal back in the box and proceed to continue shopping, still on the phone.  I do the same, all the while hoping she changes her mind. She doesn’t. We both get in line and I just stare at the box silently. I wanted to say something, I really did. However, she was bigger than I am and looked like she could fight. I can’t. The safety of her cankles just isn’t worth me getting my ass kicked. 

I wonder if I will see her, her cankles, and the thotiator sandals this summer?