I’m very emotional today and I don’t really have an explanation for it. Of course, I’m reflective of this year, but it’s not merely that. I just know that we were born into this world full of emotion and we go out of the world full of emotion, and although intellect got me through high school, undergrad, and vet school…emotion has propelled and prepared me throughout life. So, I’ve made peace with myself about not feeling ashamed as tears make a pathway down my face in this moment or any future moments. I know that as countless smiles and laughs have left it’s mark through 2 visible trails of lines on either side of my refined, small lips, there are many yet to come. Although, that phrase has a double meaning.
As I think of my life in all it’s glory and pain, I see my growth and lack thereof. It makes me want to do better and be better in spite of all the changes and unprocessed situations. I pride myself on being real, upfront, straight forward. Then I think of how much I’ve held myself back from crying (often a bitter, but necessary and sweet release), speaking my heart and mind, speaking my truth and I think..”You’re not the realistist you thought you were; you’re not quite where you should be in life; you’ve made a lot of amateur mistakes.”
There were many moments that I spent massive time and energy beating myself up over the mistakes I’ve made, over informed but wrong decisions I’ve made that I can’t call mistakes . I’d honestly yet compassionately just call stupid.
At this point, I can finally see myself. I can see where I was, where I am, where I want to be, but most importantly where I’m destined to be, in spite of mistakes and the struggle…as hard as it may seem and it will eventually get ..with every small detail all worth it.
The appreciation for who I’ve become-those experiences, places, and people who helped mold me..break me…build me up…stregthen me…set a foundation..chiseled away at my edges…went in for the kill.. it sustains my strength..which is my spirit to remain relentless and assures me that there is love and there is God and both those things abide within one.
Ego—depending on the man and how he manages it–instead of allowing it to manage him, it could serve to help or hurt him. It is my belief that it is perhaps the hardest thing for a man to allow himself to be vulnerable enough to allow a woman a glimpse into his mind…never mind his heart. It’s hard for the same reason every other thing we fear is hard to do or overcome-the possibility ultimately of failure.
Yet, what is more weak than letting fear conquer you and claim those things that could actually make you a better and mentally stronger person, a better man? Furthermore, what about the possibility of absolute greatness in love? A discerning man of a good woman….is truly a brilliant man; he is able to let down his guard as he recognizes that she is his defense and anytime his barriers are down, she is a massive shield around him, as she, too, is a woman of discernment and more importantly substance.
Black men, in general, do not seem to do well with accepting constructive criticism, especially from women. This is true for some women as well (I’ll do a separate post on this).
Usually, it is asked: How did you word it? Were you too harsh, too direct, demeaning? uhhh…perception. While it is true that how you say things can sometimes certainly influence how someone perceives what you say and why you said something, there are many people, no matter how you say it and with the best of intention you present it, who will still have a bruised ego.
Some will say, if you had just said it this way or that way, it would have been received better, but the truth of the matter often times is it doesn’t matter how you say it, it’s that you said anything at all contrary to them, what they think, or believe.
How, then, are you supposed to have an actual in depth conversation with a man who’d in all honesty rather you keep your ideas and opinions very superficial? How are you supposed to help each other with personal growth..that is growing both emotionally, mentally, and intellectually, which is such a foundational strength when elevated on an interpersonal level??…when if ever you offer some constructive criticism, perhaps a different perspective– they accuse you of of not being supportive (which is actually stark opposite of what you’re trying to do) or not understanding.
This is in spite of you first recognizing that you’ve heard them, understand their feelings, thoughts, and ideas towards whatever the topic may be. That’s right— you can not grow with a person like this– and this person is unlikely to grow in numerous ways any time soon; you can not be deep with a person like this and you can not actually get to know a person like this at core-their lack of vulnerability and open communication will simply not allow you to. The ego is never the composition of the core or character; it, however, simply is a composition lacking in character but somehow still at the core.
It’s amusing. The very same people who vigorously shake their heads YES, obviously in agreement concerning white’s (white people’s) “blind eye” to racism, has that same sort of “blind eye” concerning colorism in the US along with other things. The response seems to come to an abrupt stop or somewhere around “No, let’s focus on other people” or “Black folks don‘t have issues with color”. In realizing myself, I quickly realized others around me. For the past, I’d say 8 months, I’ve seen an increasing number of “hits” for “white power”, though I can’t say I’m surprised with a black man as president and all. What comes to mind besides the obvious burning crosses and Ku Klux Klan, is black pride. Yeah, the real black pride. I don’t mean the artificial black pride that comes with trying to pretend everything black is great and that black people have no issues, because that’s just foolishness.
Some things are just too obvious to address, and when you know that, you know these people are lodged somewhere between trying to defend something they know little to nothing about or blind patriots of blackness kind of like blind patriots of America. Black pride as little to do with pretending everything is great with black people, and more to do with acknowledging the good with the bad, that’s black pride because if you don’t acknowledge it, you are just ignoring it which shows a lack of concern or an inability to address the issue at hand; it’s like knowing you are sick and not going to the doctor to figure out the problem—the problem will likely persist. It’s not going to go away simply because you say it has gone away.
I remember growing up in MS. My family never really had much but I never felt it. My parents made sure I never felt it. I had a wonderful childhood, a sheltered little black girl, who in at least my sister’s eyes, was spoiled and full of potential. I never felt wronged by the word black, in fact I felt it was something that was more or less a part of me simply because it was just as I was and not because it shouldn’t be.
My immediate family is a range of shades of brown. My father, brother, and I of a darker hue and my mother and sister of a lighter hue. Though this was the reality, in my family, the range in skin color was not discussed but our common blackness was, and it was almost always a pleasant conversation or at least one full of humor.
I can recall looking in the mirror as a young girl and admiring who I was physically and mentally. Again, I had a pretty good childhood, family always around, and again…a pretty sheltered childhood as well. Then into society and away from my family’s protective words, hugs, and kisses, things changed. An unsuspecting child that thought that every other black person more or less had the same ideas about blackness as myself. Wrong. WRONG.
Wow, did I quickly get the low down and dirty on the many divisions that exist between black people by personal experience and through others’ experiences from skin color and class to black Americans and Africans who came to America—not useful things, not productive things, but hurtful things. I don’t want to go into too much detail then this entry would be entirely too long, but Africa, which is now divided up into countries is divided because some colonialism, took place at some point, with that being said color would by virtue play some part to that exposure, just by virtue [skin bleaching, perms, etc]. In America the same sort of thing but much worse, and the same can be said for the Caribbean and for similar reasons. It use to really bother me a lot all, today in my mind, it’s just another ill of this world.
Black pride to me is the same as it was 17 years ago, black people, regardless of where they are from, who share a common blackness, though different cultures because the one thing we can not change regardless of how rich, poor, smart, the language we speak or the language we don’t speak, African, or African American–black is the color of your skin, and that’s not a bad thing–not at all. It makes me wonder when I hear black people say “She/he thinks he/she is too good, or he/she says they are mixed with Indian, well, he/she is just plain ole black like everyone else”—wtf is plain ole black or plain ole anything dealing with blackness? Is black a step down from everything else? I’m going to need people to think first, speak later. Now, I have a letter to write.
So, I ran across one of my favorite blogs to run across when I get a opportune to run, and I saw this quote from Bill Cosby
On hair extensions: “Don’t pin Korean hair on a black head. If you’re going to love a black woman, love all of her.”
It’s seldem that I don’t see a black woman/girl getting praised for having long, flowy hair (permed or natural)–either by another female or male–and frowned upon for letting their hair go naturally and unpermed. That implies that these people believe this type of hair is superior/better than hair that is not long and flowy. I mean, just the other day, I overheard some guy tell this girl that she had “good” hair. I said to myself…aww man, not his again. She laughed and asked him what he meant by that. He replied, “it’s long and stringy like white people’s hair” He had to be at least 25. What’s the year again?
So until I absolutely have to go back to that place…..I’m officially off duty.
Kristi…will go go put the…” No.
Kristi….is my..” No.
Kristi…if you’d just….” No.
Kristi….will you listen…” No.
Breathing is easy.