For the days leading up to my birthday, I ugly cried. I didn’t do a planned reflection like I usually do for my impending birthday. As a result, emotion crept up on me and consumed me in a way it hasn’t in years.
I ugly cried. Snot running from my nose, unable to be contained by sniffling and snorting, ugly cried. Falling to the floor in a pool of salted water, legs unable to keep me up ugly cried. Swollen, red puffy eyes, involuntary gasps for air ugly cried.
I missed my granny. She was my mom for what seemed like the first 7 years of my life. The only real constant figure I remember during that time and she died when I was 7. I use to call her mommy until my grandpa, her husband, put a stop to it. I ugly cried because I missed her.
I ugly cried because I’m 26 and have been angry since I was 18 when I realized that most mainstream white and asian people didn’t care for me or about me. They certainly didn’t understand me. They didn’t care if I was a pillar of strength, beauty, sophistication, knowledge, love and care. They couldn’t see it. They didn’t care. They only cared about what you could do for them or how you would make them look. Image. That’s all it was about for many of them.
I ugly cried from this place in me, that place that was angry due to disappointments that I hadn’t allowed myself to feel. It was anger and raw emotion that I wasn’t suppose to show because “the angry black woman” is a scary black woman. But I was angry and insecure white and asian people no longer got a say in how appropriate it was. Black people who wanted to define my blackness no longer got a say in how acceptable I am to it.
I ugly cried because at 26, I had grown but still held on to great regret. Staying in DC so long, not doing something other than nursing, I wanted to explore other avenues if I could. I wanted to write, to get more creative with life. Do things that created value in my life and that didn’t suck the life out of me and wasnt meant to be long term. And I didn’t want to do anything for free.
My grandma wanted me to be happy. My grandma wanted me to feel good about what I do and about who I am. She wanted my heart to be overflowing with joy and it has not been. I want it to be. I want to live. Truly love again and fall in love with who I am. And so I ugly cried. From the heart. I want to do 26 differently.