Birthday Reflection

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. 

Advertisements

Am I A Woman or Am I 13?

Dear blog, 

I have found myself asking this question time and time again. Am I a woman? Legally I am. To the outside world I appear to be. I can drink, vote, drive, pay bills, hold my own, have a profession. If I decided to conceive a child, pretty much no one would bat an eye or inquire as to how I will be able to afford it, etc. I’m an adult. I am almost 26 years old. According to science, my brain is fully developed. But inside, I often feel like I am 13 years old. 

It’s the thirteen year old in me that feels depressed, trapped, not heard, wants to know she’s good enough, be validated, be respected, and know that God is not angry with her or punishing her for her shortcomings. It’s the thirteen year old in me that wants to belong and feels like nobody likes her and is tries to people please and be extra nice (a form of manipulation) in an attempt to gain approval and validation. The thirteen year old me came to the conclusion that she is not good enough because if she was, more good things would happen to her. That’s the thirteen year old me talking. 

The thirteen year old me constantly asks herself why, as likeable as she feels she is, others can’t seem to feel the same way about her. The thirteen year old me then looks into the mirror and decides that maybe its her looks, her choice of dress, her tone of voice, the occasional dark spot or pimple on her face, her darker complexion, her weight gain, her introversion, her somewhat uneven complexion or her hairiness, her armpit length hair being too short or too thin, the fact that maybe she was too loud, too bold, too brave, too brash, not artistic enough, or not being as deeply invested in things as others, etc. And then she becomes scared that the world will see her inadequacies. And she becomes angry because she can’t understand why God, if He created her in His image, would mistreat her by putting people and situations in her life that feel the need to pick her apart and tell her all the ways she was inherently wrong, bad, or inadequate. 

Am I a woman? Yes. But I am also 13.