This year I’m not focusing my talks on racism nor will I be spending unnecessary time or energy going back and forth about things that will not see change in my lifetime. It’s not that I don’t care and it isn’t because I feel as though though things do not matter. They matter very much on a larger social scale but individually those fall lower on my list of things that need to be tended to. I know. How dare I believe that there is anything more important than my community's fight and struggle for freedom? How dare I fix my lips to speak words that would suggest more pertinent matter? Kiss my ass. I said it and I won’t take it back.
This past year was an amusement park full of old, broken down rollercoasters. Every ride. no matter how smooth it started, somehow always ended with me be stuck hanging upside down with nothing but a flimsy seatbelt strap and loose lap bar to preventing me from falling tragically to my death on the asphalt below. From personal relationships to work related issues, bills, beef, being a voice for those who “depended on me” speak for them and simply just putting everyone else before my own I closed out 2018 looking like Alfred Woodard at the end of Holiday’s Heart. Yeah, I was well past done over.
Having another year like the last isn’t something that I am down to repeat. Don’t get me wrong, last year wasn’t the absolute worst year of my life, but it was possibly more stressful than all of the time I was married and that is saying a little about a lot. Reviewing the past year’s posts, discussions and situations was painful and when it was all said and done I realized that I am entering the new year with less than what I had started the year with. How is that possible?
You are focused on the wrong sh*t, chick.
Admittedly, I bullsh*ted last year. A lot. I wasted hours upon hours online, front and center, ready for action for every discussion. For every call out. My notifications popped 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don’t believe there was one single time where I did not have a notification from Facebook. I had to fight. Until the fight took me out. I got so caught up in the “fight” for everyone else that I forgot to take care of me. I took on the burdens of others and carried the cross for so many that I forgot that about me.
The problem with any kind of active advocacy or philanthropy is that you have to be on for everyone else 100% of the time. It’s a thankless job that while has long term rewards, most wont live to see or experience the fruits of their labors. It is a job that requires you to give all of what you had and then some leaving no room for other important areas of your life. Sure, there are people who are willing to sacrifice the short time they have on this earth to fighting the good fight, but I have decided that I do not have the desire to be one.
Life is getting shorter and it seems like death is always lurking around the corner ready to take some unsuspecting soul to whatever afterlife or next life may be awaiting. People are exiting stage left from this lifetime without rhyme or reason and to be honest it is terrifying. Situations like Kim Porter really strike a nerve because it hits close to home. Kim was young, beautiful, fairly healthy that we know of and rich. She was stupid rich honey with an ex who would kill over three times to ensure she had the best medical care if there was something wrong and still…she’s gone. Suddenly. To know that one day you could be completely fine and not wake up the morning. To know that you could be walking to your mail box and be killed by anything is scary. I’m scared and I’m not afraid to admit that. I look at my daughter everyday and worry if I have taught her enough. If I were to die tomorrow, what lessons have I prepared her for? What am I leaving her with? The answer is not much. The truth is I’ve been focusing on the wrong sh*t.
As much as I need to teach my daughter how to stand up for herself, stand strong and be an unmovable mountain in this misogynist, sexist, patriarchal society I also need to be teaching how to properly self-care and divest. Instead of fighting to break down the gates that protect rape culture I need to be actively laying the ground for lessons on self-love and awareness to prepare my daughter so that she is aware of how this world works as a Black girl/Black woman. She needs to learn when to mind her business and when to intervene. When to fight and when to walk away. She needs to learn how to navigate this world in a way that benefits her and enables her to take the lessons that she was taught, remix them to adjust and fit the times in which she will be in her prime and then (should she choose to have children) pass them on for the next generations to come that way by the time her great-grandchildren are coming into their adulthood a solid foundation has been laid, the seed has been planted and the branches of knowledge continue to flow as the tree continues to grow.
That is what should be the focus of my attention. Why should I continue to show interest and expel energy on things that can not help me now or in the immediate future. By the time any real change begins to actually take place my great-great grandchildren will be adults if human beings are even around to see it.
Yes, I have more important lessons to teach and systems to put into place. I need to make sure that my daughter and those within my reach know how to cook, clean, farm, sew, build and create whatever it is they put their minds to because one day we are all going to look up and we are going to need some kind of tradable skill to survive the chaos that is to come.
More often lately I’ve found myself thinking about the end of my life and how satisfied I would be leaving this earth should that day come tomorrow. I’ve caught myself drifting off into deep daydreams about what those left behind would have to say about me. How would they describe me? What would they say my contribution to their life has meant? Would my funeral be packed with red weeping eyes? Would it be full of people whose hearts were touched by my words and my work? The hardest part was acknowledging that outside of my immediate family and a few people sprinkled here and there more than likely the answer would be no. Not because I am a bad person or because I have done so much wrong that no one in there right mind would feel the need to acknowledge my passing. The truth is I haven’t done nearly as much work as I have done talking.
No, I won’t be wasting valuable time bickering back and forth with someone who is willingly stuck in their obtuseness. I won’t be “turning on my notifications” to follow along with conversations that are neither none of my business or adding anything productive to my life. This year I will take the same amount of hours I spent last year and dedicate them to learning as many tradable skills as possible so I can teach my daughter that there are a million and one ways to not on survive but to thrive without having to cheapen yourself for someone else’s pleasure.
This year I’m focusing on all the right sh*t.
Owner of Love My Black, LLC + Eighty5OH8 -Award Winning Blogger/Author | Viral Troublemaker | Mother of One | Brand and PR strategist