Saturday, February 21, 2009

finding my paper clip

Are you willing to remain on the lookout for ANYTHING, no matter how small, that might help you escape, survive, and thrive?

Are you willing to take some steps, even small ones, to escape unsatisfactory circumstances?

Are you willing to immediately reach for ANY opportunities that might come across your path?
My immediate response: Dayum, I think I may love this woman. Tell the truth and shame the devil. *waves around church fan* It actually hurts my heart that the Black community has devolved into this mess. And she is absolutely right.... a lot of these communities have turned into sun-down towns. There are certain sections of town that you would not catch me dead after 6 pm - and I know it's the same way all across America.

My parents live in a predominately Black middle-class community. I feel absolutely safe out there, but to admit this in public, or to admit that you feel safer in all-white middle class communities is interpreted as race-traitor-ism. Well, you know what? I'll be that. Some of my parents' friends made snide comments about me moving in an apartment on the "White" side of town and "why the hell did I move out there." I really wanted to ask them when is that last time that folks were shooting right outside her door? I just REFUSE to do it.

So to the question at hand - are we ready and willing? I am. I had to get broke down to realize that things had to be done differently. And right now I'm talking about my physical and mental health. It took me being unable to drag myself out of bed and wanting to hide from my family/friends to finally seek the help I needed to manage my depression. Therapy + medication saved my life. I'm not even exaggerating here.

I've only recently began to take to heart how my physical health has been suffering. I'm an emotional eater, my work is extremely stressful, as well as culturally-alienating being in white environments most of the time. While earning a Ph.D., I gained 50+ pounds that I couldn't stand to gain in the first place. I very well understand the "I cannot do all of that" because I was there for YEARS. But guess what? I'm getting up earlier in the morning and taking myself straight to the gym for a workout.

It took me realizing that work (and hell, sometimes family and "friends") will completely drive you into the ground if you let them. I will be the one having a heart attack at 40. Not them. And I decided that I couldn't, WOULDN'T do it.

AND MY GOODNESS, this excerpt spoke VOLUMES TO ME:

In terms of working AA women, I challenge anyone to tell me exactly how our collective quality of life is substantially different from that of our enslaved foremothers.

For most of us, there is never enough of what we need, let alone any abundance in our lives.

For most of us, there are no men protecting or providing for us and our children.

For most of us, there is no true fellowship. Instead there is plenty of misery that loves company.
I have felt this way more times than I can even begin to count. I'm constantly searching for paper clips. I gotta take care of me, first and foremost. Even if it's baby steps aka dragging my tired, broke down self to the gym and to the therapist when I don't feel like I have the energy.

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