Tag Archive | Black Woman

Talk to Me Nice . . .

6 weeks ago, my whole world turned upside down.  Not as a euphemism, but like actually turned upside down.  I left Arizona, headed to MI on a plane on March 30th, with a job and a home. 10 days later, I was going to be homeless because the house I was renting was going on the market. “But we will of course honor your lease,” said the white woman.  My lease was up for renewal at the end of June.

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So I flew back to AZ, and packed up my entire life in less than a week.  Followed by DRIVING 2167 miles from Tucson, AZ to West Bloomfield, MI. Because, why not?  Did I forget to mention my 70 Lb dog . . . whose favorite thing in LIFE is to be in a car with me.  I had to drug him . . . because just NO.

6-dog

This is just here to set the scene for the actual point of this blog, because it’s important to know my mindset on this journey from AZ to MI. I was doing what I HAD to do, not what I wanted to do.  My life was in AZ. I started a business, I had friends (well like 10 of them, but still), my life wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either.

Or so I thought.

I’ve been a Social Worker for 6 years.  Which means I understand things like “Survivor Mode,” and “Secondary Trauma,” but some kind of way, I didn’t know I was dealing with that, and in all honesty probably had been for at least 2 years.  Basically after my seizure, I just went into survivor mode and I haven’t stopped.

So much shit – good, bad, and horrible – has happened to me since I had that seizure.  Gained and lost friends, gained and lost family members, discovered Medicinal Marijuana, fell in and out of love with several people, dealt with my mother’s illnesses, got a dog, etc.

But I’d just been going full force.  Working 12 – 18 hour days, with one off day during the weekend, and usually I had stuff to do so I didn’t get the chance to just de-stress.  I’m actually slightly surprised I managed to function that long without having a serious mental breakdown.

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Looking back, I was in a rut of my own making.  I wasn’t very social.  But then again, Arizona is NOT very social.  There is nothing to do that doesn’t require hiking or swimming in extreme heat.  Which is bullshit, because FAT. Thus leading to the theme of my 2000+ mile journey: “Why the FUCK did I ever think I was Happy in Arizona?!?”

Click here for my definition of Happy

I was miserable.  I was irritable all the time, and I put up with bullshit because it was the best I could get.  I put up with a nigga (and the sex was garbage) because at least he was a Black Man in Arizona that liked me. I ignored my feelings for the only otha Black Man in Arizona that liked me, because I didn’t want to ruin it. I lost myself in AZ.  I forgot I was cute.  I forgot I was sexy, I forgot that I was a GOT DAMN UNICORN.

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I”m a 36 year old Black Woman.  I have 1 degree, and enough professional knowledge to have 2 more.  In multiple disciplines.  I’m the GOT DAMN Autism Whisperer.  My Vagina is a got damn miracle.  It could change your life, if you let it. I’m smart, capable of doing anything, and a cunning linguist. Driving cross country I realized several things about my life going forward.

  1. You never know how people view you.  You can have this thought, that the way you present yourself to someone lands the same exact way, every single time.  It doesn’t. One of the men I love {or am In love with, depends on the day}, (because I’m allowed to love more than one person at a time, SOCIETY) he sees this strong and resilient person, who never gives up and always perseveres.  He thinks I’m a strong person, even though I feel like I call him and cry like once every 3 months.  About completely different things, and I always feel so damn stupid for crying about it, because I’m supposed to be an adult at all times. So I feel weak, and less than for being vulnerable to him. And his take, “You may feel you’re not where you wanna be in life, but you’re right where you are supposed to be.” *thug tears*
  2. Love is Love is Love is LoveIt doesn’t have to look like anything other than something that makes you happy every single GOT DAMN day of your life. You don’t have to choose between the person who makes you laugh, and the person who makes your lady parts tingle.  No one has the right to tell you what your love HAS to look like.  Talk to the people, tell them your preferences.  If they aren’t down with the Get Down, that’s okay.  But don’t compromise yourself, to settle with what other people think is good for you.  We are living in Trump’s whole ass ‘Murica.  The world could end tomorrow, don’t waste it being sad because your needs aren’t being met. 
  3. I’m done apologizing for the way I’ve lived my life thus far.  I’m done feeling ashamed for the missteps I’ve taken.  I’m done trying to make up for the fact that I didn’t feel like I was an adult until a week ago.  I’m over anyone who tries to tell me how I should live my life, and navigate the world.  Be they Family, Friend or Foe – GTFOH with your rules and expectations.  I get to walk through the world in this new body I’m creating for myself.  I get to eat whatever the hell I want, and also RUN A FUCKING MILE for the first time in my life. The only people in this world who get to dictate how I live my life, are the people I choose to listen to.  I’m in charge of this ship now.  No more letting the wind take me wherethefuckever. 

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I’m sure I’ve written in the past that today is the day my life is different.  I’m sure at the time I wholeheartedly believed it.  Maybe things did change, in a way. But this version of MJ, the one writing this blog has already won.  She is living in her GOT DAMN truth.  And it’s Sofa King Fabulous.

Please, join me. 

Let’s live our Best Whole Ass Lives for the rest of 2018. 

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I Can’t be Racist . . . I have White Friends!

It’s important to tell anyone reading this, I didn’t actually understand that I was Black, until I was about 7.  I never looked in the mirror, and some of my best friends in Elementary school were white.  I assumed I looked like them.  Call it childish innocence.  It wasn’t until my lil’ redheaded friend’s father wouldn’t let me sleep over their house, and my mom had to explain to me why.  I don’t remember exactly how I felt, but as I remember the event some 30 years later, I’m sure it made an impact.

Thats Racist

In high school, my group of friends was like the United Colors of Benetton.  We took our “Buddy Pictures” in plaid flannel of all colors.  There was a biracial girl, 2 white girls, a Filipino girl, and me. Imagine my surprise when one of my white friend’s dad was angry that she was friends with me.  I had talked to this man on the phone almost every day for a year.  He KNEW me, I thought.  That’s when I found out her dad was racist.

The majority of my life, I’ve befriended people based solely on merit. If you can hold a conversation, or we have something in common, or we work together, I’ll talk to you.  I’ve never really looked at race as a determining factor in my relationships with people.  I don’t mean, “I don’t see color,” I mean color didn’t determine your worth in my life.

Then Travyon Martin was killed.

All of a sudden, people I’d been friends with all my life – some people I considered FAMILY – were saying the most horrifically racist things about this CHILD who was killed by an overzealous asshole, who was probably racist.

“I mean, maybe he did attack that guy!”

“Why was he looking suspicious in a neighborhood he didn’t belong in?”

“I have to hear both sides . . “

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For the first time in my life, I realized that my existence as a Black Woman was in no way separate from my position/worth in some of the relationships in my life. I was the Black friend,  not the black friend.  I was being regarded as “hostile,” and “argumentative” for expressing an opinion.

Then, Mike Brown was Killed.

It was at this point, I started to lose friends in droves.  Before it had been, “Let’s just agree to disagree,” and precarious alliances were formed.  As long as I didn’t express my opinions, or acknowledge the unfairness of the USA, it was all fine.  But I couldn’t be quiet. I had to express myself, the pain was too great. First it was unfollowing people on FB, then I was being cussed out in the comments of my own posts, then it was people blocking me.

I’d never specifically expressed myself as a Black Woman around my friends.  I shied away from all that, because I understood it wasn’t worth the fight.  “Just shut up MJ, they won’t get it.”  Suddenly, I was trying to MAKE people understand.  I tried to have serious dialogues with people about race in America, and how it affects everyone in some shape or form.

Then, #BlackBoyJoy happened.

There was a video of a little Black boy dancing to some song, I honestly don’t remember what song.  I shared it on my FB page, with a comment like, “I love to see a Little Black Boy having fun!” There were probably some heart eye emojis, because HELLO! Lil Black Boys dancing is ADORABLE.

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The step sister of my best friend – my LONGEST friendship (since 5th grade Latchkey), my #WhiteBoyBestFriend – commented on the status something to the effect of, “All children having fun is beautiful, why just black boys?”

I can admit now, she caught me on an off day.  Any other day, I would have probably just blocked her.  But I had TIME that day. I didn’t call her out on my status, I sent her a FB message.  I’ve known her since she was 12 years old, and her mom married my best friend’s dad. I was trying very hard to maintain this relationship.  Maybe she didn’t understand that she was #AllLivesMattering my post.

I’d felt some time of way about her for years.  She, IMO, was the Epitome of what was wrong with America.  She was white, and entitled, and felt that everything should always go her way.  She had never had to be hungry, or experience life failures (to my knowledge), or fear for her life when she got pulled over by a cop.  She lived with her parents, was over 25 and had NO SHAME in that.  She did the absolute bare minimum on an hourly basis, and somehow, she felt she had the right to tell ME, that #AllLivesMatter.

I was tired of her, and her White Privilege.  Her Whiteness was offensive to me that day. I tried yall, I really did.

Seriously, my pride in beautiful black children is my own…allow me to have it without trying to make the focus about you and ur feelings

Calm your bitch down dude. I asked a genuine question. There is absolutely no need to jump down my throat. You know, I used to believe you were a tolerant and understanding person, but I have to say that I no longer see that in you. I see a very angry person and that saddens me. I don’t know what happened but I feel sorry for you.

Note: My response . . . and hers. I started off doing so well, right?!?!? Like I didn’t call her out her name, or ANYTHING. Because, growth.  But after her response tho . . . I went the FUCK OFF.

So since you already pity me [I’ll] tell you this. You live in a world that doesn’t exist. You are the EPITOME of White Privilege and Frailty. If you have paid attention to ANYTHING I’ve posted in [the] last 3 years, you would know “what’s wrong with me.” You are vain, and selfish, and I pity what your life is going to become.

Keep talking bitch

Of course I had to call my best friend, and tell him what had happened.  I screenshot the convo, and told him I understood if he wanted to fall back on our friendship for a while.  Thankfully, he said, “That’s between you two.  I’m not in it.” It was at that moment when I had to remind myself – They aren’t all like that.

Some Facts which, at this point, must be Stated:

  • Whiteness is a threat to most people of color. Anytime I, in my Blackness, challenge the status quo (Whiteness), I am attacked in various ways and on multiple levels.
  • White Women, and their fragility is harmful to the voices of People of Color.  I’m tired of quieting my voice so that white tears can be heard.
  • I Don’t Hate White People. I hate White Privilege.

All this has been written to say: I’ve been entirely too quiet about this feeling of . . . unease I have regarding our current  society.  My fear/anger is turning me into a person who pushes buttons on purpose.  I wear/purchase shirts just to piss off the people I see.  I wear my hair in an Afro to offend the eyes of people who dislike – or are uncomfortable with – Blackness. I put color in my hair because I know people think it’s “Ghetto,” not creative, because I’m Black.

There are a myriad of White people in my life on a daily basis.  I have White friends on FB, Instagram, and at work.  Lately, I’ve had to put disclaimers on my status’ and posts, and what I say in group settings.  Sometimes I don’t even speak at all.  Because of the impact it could have on my job, my life, my relationships is too great. {Which is a PROBLEM}

The . . . silencing of my voice is getting to me.  It’s making me fall into depressive states on a regular basis.  When I trace back the origins of all my waves of depression in 2017, it was an instance when I silenced myself in some way.

Tupac Shhhhh

I’m not Racist . . . . I’m Black. This shit is HARD.

Before I’m a woman, before I’m a Social Worker, before I’m a Friend, before I’m a Daughter, I’m Black.  The burden of that . . the weight of that in today’s society is slowly sucking the Joy out of me.  It’s like you have a 1,000,000LB weight on your back, and every white person can’t see it.  Better yet, they keep saying to you, “Girl, it’s just 3 flights of stairs.  You can do it, because I did!” It’s making me bitter. It makes me think snide ass comments about Whiteness, then feel bad for thinking it.

To ME: My Blackness is beautiful.  My skin is damn near flawless, I haven’t aged since I was 12 (I have the pics to prove it.) My hair is amazing.  I can do 1000 things with my natural hair, and it will be just as beautiful. My curves are sexy – these hips can hurt you if I want them to, or they can change your life. The original woman probably looked just like me.

To Society: My Blackness makes me less than. My Blackness is ugly, and the exact opposite of Beauty. My hair is ugly, dirty, and nappy.  My curves are unhealthy and I don’t deserve to sit comfortably in any chair, ever.  People who looked like me, were shaped like me, where kept in museums and displayed at circuses. {Look up Venus Hottentot}

Adulthood for me, is finally understanding the real meaning of the following poem:

Mother to Son

BY LANGSTON HUGHES

Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

It’s had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor—

Bare.

But all the time

I’se been a-climbin’ on,

And reachin’ landin’s,

And turnin’ corners,

And sometimes goin’ in the dark

Where there ain’t been no light.

So boy, don’t you turn back.

Don’t you set down on the steps

’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.

Don’t you fall now—

For I’se still goin’, honey,

I’se still climbin’,

And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

This is Blackness in 2018.  This is Me.

Can You Hear Me? Do You See Me?