Back when I started this blog in 2008 I never really expected it to grow; after all I was just another blogger yapping about my life. Yet this space has grown and has even become a part of my professional life, which means I rarely write with the type of abandonment that was once a part of this space. However for today, I am throwing caution to the wind and going back to what this space was originally about for me, speaking my truth in hopes of giving form to what I am dealing with and maybe letting someone else know they aren’t alone.
I talk a lot, in fact I talk so much that often when I am at home with my family, I put myself in the timeout chair, just so that I can get a breather. For those who are into the Meyers-Briggs thing, I am an INFP though I have often felt that isn’t entirely accurate since talking is my thing.
However for all the talking that I do and all the talking/communicating that happens thanks to our technology, I feel less and less like I am actually saying what I need to say. In fact the more I talk, the more hemmed in I feel. Suddenly it seems talking about anything of emotional weight is considered a societal no-no. Instead relationships have become a series of status updates where facts and personal happenings are shared but to talk about actual feelings is greatly discouraged. Sorry, but this isn’t working for me.
When I am talking to someone who doesn’t know me well, I have come to accept and expect that person really doesn’t want to know the details. So I play the game, say what is expected and leave it at that. If an online pal offers pat words of comfort, I accept them in the spirit in which they are offered.
Yet when people I know and trust start offering me those same pat words and dismiss real fears and concerns instead offering up “Everything will be all right.” I get pissed. I get pissed because all of a sudden concepts such as “villages” and “support systems” are these mythical concepts that don’t seem very real at all. I even get sad because carrying what feels like a thousand pound emotional weight on my back gets even harder knowing there is never a moment when I can take it off and share the load if only for a moment.
The past few months have been a whirlwind for me, many good things in the works but those good things come at a cost. To be honest the cost is suffocating me and I wish that I could be as confident that everything will work out. The last time I blindly believed that everything would work out, I found myself crushed when my mom died unexpectedly. No one wanted to acknowledge that things might not work out, so we coasted along on blind faith. Faith can be a beautiful thing but blind faith is scary.
Professionally I am leaving my comfort zone, with a very steep learning curve ahead. Personally, the road is rocky and littered with Chicago sized potholes, as the Man Unit and I shared with the kiddo yesterday, we no longer can guarantee that our family will always be together. Eighteen beautiful years together and a solid love is not always enough to keep a marriage together. Another painful truth.
Speaking of painful truths, now that the cat is out of the bag about my work, can I just say that I am tired of people insisting that racism doesn’t exist. As I am learning, nothing helps create a tense moment faster than a Black woman telling a white person she will be heading up an anti-racism organization. Can’t we just have a comfortable pause and acknowledge that things are not equal? It’s okay, I won’t offer you a white Klan suit if you acknowledge that racism is real but telling a 40 year old Black woman who has spent the last 11 years living in a very white space that racism is not real is akin to calling me a liar. Trust me, I could write a book on these last 11 years and maybe I will if I ever get the time. Or maybe I will just get the hell out of this state and never look back and hope that time heals me from the pain of the last 11 years.
Someone recently contacted me about moving to Maine and asked what life was like as a Black person in Maine. I often have my own pat answer that I give when asked this question as I don’t wish to scare anyone away from a state that offers such natural beauty. But truthfully, I wouldn’t wish this state on my worst enemy, the mental and emotional gymnastics that happen for those of us who decide to inhabit spaces such as this eventually takes its toll.
As I search for the words to wrap up this post, I wish my ending were more upbeat. Yet considering today’s dump, it is fitting that it isn’t upbeat, because sometimes life unlike the Disney version of life that Madison Street attempts to sell us, isn’t always happy. There are times when we just tread water and hope like hell for the best but also prepare for rocky waters as well.