One year ago today, hand-in-hand with my favorite person, we walked down a lantern-lined aisle; on a hot New Orleans Thursday afternoon. Under the Tree of Life, a symbol of growth, strength, and connectedness, we proudly said, “we do!” Oh, what a beautiful day that was! To celebrate, I wanted to share a few details with you all, including our ceremony script.
Do you have a friend in your life you consider the “strong friend”? You may not use that label, but may have used descriptors such as reliable, understanding, problem-solver, gives solid advice, always knows what to say, and has it all together. This friend has your back, is your cheerleader, very comforting and supportive, and a good listener. All done without asking for reciprocation. Does that sound like someone you know or, does that sound like you? That friend is probably exhausted.
This year, as chaotic as it’s been, has allowed me time for introspection. Today, 7/27, is my birthday; I have a lot to say to my younger self. They should be very proud.
I’ve been weird all my life, not fitting in and feeling pressured to do so. I have a new appreciation for weirdness and being a weird Black kid; this is my love note to all the others.
Permitting yourself to be authentic is beautiful, but it takes practice, trust, and safety. We hear over and over that we should be ourselves, without the warning that it needs to fit someone else’s design.
Black womxn are at the crossroads of all social issues; poverty, racism, sexism, homelessness, homophobia, reproductive rights, and classism are only a few examples. The experiences and stories of Black womxn are unacknowledged and erased, yet, they are expected to bear the emotional and physical labor of pushing these movements forward.
Raise your hand if you do not like getting your picture taken ? If you raised your hand either physically or mentally, I am right there with you.
Don’t spend too much time behind or away from the camera that you forget to include yourself.
Have you ever used daily reminders? Little things to tell yourself to keep going about your day. Sometimes these phrases can be a machete that chops through the thick brambles of negativity; other times, they just kind of swim around in your head. Here are a few you can incorporate.
When I disappear, it’s not because I no longer wish to write. A scary, familiar feeling makes its way back into my mind; the first sign of its existence is when the writing stops. These words are a reminder to keep trying.
I have a lot of bad habits that I should have dropped years ago and hope to leave behind in 2019. I have convinced myself that they’re harmless, but these sorts of things build up year after year. I can’t promise I will replace them with something dynamic, but I can be a little easier on myself, which might be good enough for right now.