Every few months I get this feeling of restlessness.
I feel as if I’ve fallen down on the job. The never-ending job of mom, journalist, sister, friend, daughter, professional, citizen and woman.
What qualification chart or performance review am I holding to feel that way? None, yet the feeling remains.
Whatever that reason is, it causes me to stop and take stock in all aspects of my life at that moment. Sometimes that’s a good thing (and a morale booster) and at times it causes me to face some ugly truths.
I’m sure that I’m not the only person who’s found themselves feeling this way. There are too many people getting paid off of self-help books for me to be the lone wolf in that forest.
As I get older, I’ve come to appreciate that period of time. I don’t feel worthless. I don’t feel as if I’m not useful.
Oddly, this time motivates me. It’s a challenge to be a better me. Or to at least try to be the best at whatever I happen to tackle that day.
That could be taking on two stories for publication and posting a blog or deciding to wrestle three loads of laundry, while making sure dinner’s cooked before the 6 p.m. PTA meeting.
It’s a push to pour my heart, soul and sometimes anger into whatever I’m doing.
Ultimately, it’s a sign of growth.
It shows me that I’m no longer content with being content. It shows the need for evolution. It shows the need to challenge myself mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally on a quarterly basis.
It shows that I still have the urge to learn, teach, explore and care about others.
Finally, it shows that this is not the end for me. Far from it, if I say so myself. I still have somewhere to go, something important to do, and someone important to say it to – whether they want to hear it or not.
My only problem is which challenge I’ll tackle first.
It wouldn’t be right to expend all of this awesomeness all at one time.
It just wouldn’t.
I have to learn to space the greatness out.
I’m Just Saying.
(Inspired by “For Colored Girls” by Ntozake Shange)
Funny we are ruled by color.
The melanin in our skin dictates our treatment by others and by ourselves.
“Is my skin too dark?” or “Am I too light to fit in?”
Funny thing about color. Because everyone asks about the colors on the outside. The color of your hair, skin, nails and toes. The color of your clothing, purse and the car you drove.
No one asks about the colors within.
The Red you see from watching so much violence you’ve become accustomed to the rich, thick liquid staining the streets as yet another falls victim.
Orange, the once bright and vibrant color, has changed into the color of rust. The rust you see every day in your poverty stricken environment. The same one that will go so long without being taken care of that eventually it blends into the drinking water that the government says is clean.
The Yellow that cautions you to slow down. To tap the brakes on your hopes and dreams because of the societal and economical constrictions placed upon you by antiquated men that know no different and antiquated women who’re raised not to care.
Green represents the bile raising in your throat as you think about the injustice you’ve been dealt at the table called life. Nope it’s not new but it still disgusts you how the race doing the oppressing can think there’s no oppression when the oppressed race can’t move forward.
Blue is the broken and unfulfilled dreams that we hold deep inside and only think of when we’re trying to carry our crippled souls to another place. It is the deep-seeded depression that creeps up like a snake to wind its way around our brains, slowly killing us. It is the sadness that we fight so hard for others to see but work so hard to keep hidden away. It is the moment that we break down, just for a minute, so that we can shed all the dirt and negativity before rebuilding ourselves again.
Then there’s Indigo. A light at the end of the tunnel if you will. A transformative color that flickers in and out of our reality as we transform into whatever the hell we are forced to be that day. It’s a mask. It’s as public as a Michelangelo painting at the museum. It’s our cover and our cloak. We must not let everyone know our feelings and the colors they evoke. They could take advantage or worse, try to appropriate them.
Lastly there’s Violet. When we melanin-laced girls go through these colors at some time in our lives we’re often reminded that we come from royalty. We come from Kings and Queens who lived their lives in colors. They were broken and discarded but carried more dignity for themselves then those who owned them.
So this isn’t for everyone. And that’s alright.
It’s for melanin-laced girls who thinks it’s the end of the road.
It’s for melanin-laced girls who want to give up.
It’s for melanin-laced girls who don’t know which way to turn.
It’s for melanin-laced girls who need hope.
Stand strong!!! Deep inside the colors on that dirty palette you’ve been given is your Queendom. You have the power to change your hues without changing your official hue.
Even the finest pottery begins as a dull mono-toned piece of clay.
I’m Just Saying.
Speaking with a friend the other day about her current man-child situation she uttered these words “If I could learn to be lonely like you, I’d be just fine.” This of course led to me telling her a few things including that her word choice was wrong.
I’m not lonely. Instead I’m learned.
I’ve learned it’s okay to have standards and morals that you won’t compromise in order to keep a man in your presence.
I’ve learned it’s okay to expect a one-woman man and eliminate the custodial issues that come with sharing him with Trina and Jasmine.
I’ve learned it’s okay to have hopes, dreams and aspirations without putting them down or on hold to make some man feel better about those he doesn’t.
I’ve learned it’s okay to be stingy with what I have at my table if that person isn’t upgrading the menu.
I’ve learned it’s not okay to settle for someone else’s crap in an effort to have someone lying next to you at night.
I’ve learned my peace of mind is much more valuable than the drama that comes from being mistreated by some man who doesn’t love me.
I’ve learned it’s okay to walk away from situations that don’t improve my status, life, health and overall well-being.
I’ve learned my self-worth, crafted my own opinions and executed my ideas and why all that should be valuable to a man.
I’ve learned that in those rare times that I am lonely, I should be cautious of who I surround myself with and their motives for being there.
I’ve learned that there is nothing wrong to listening to silence and that it’s better than listening to someone nag, fuss or fight.
I’ve learned that knowing and expecting all of these things makes me a better Queen when my King comes into play.
I’ve learned that doesn’t make me a crazy, scorned, bougie, bitter or high-maintenance.
I’ve learned myself.
In that process, I learned how to LOVE myself.
So if it takes me being alone until I find someone who loves me just as much as I do. I’m okay with that.
I’d prefer it actually.
I’m just saying.
In the past year, I’ve made an effort to work towards losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. I’ve taken up walking daily to make sure I get some sort of exercise and stopped eating out.
I’ve learned to cut down on my proportion size, count calories and drink more water.
I’ve learned to listen to my body when it’s trying to tell me something, whether it’s a whisper or roar.
What I also learned was that there was someone watching me. Someone taking notes on the changes that I was making. It wasn’t until I heard her talking about how she needed to lose weight (she’s all of 60 pounds, soaking wet) that I realized that I had been using the word “diet” instead of “healthy.”
Thankfully, I’ve picked up on it and am trying to correct it. It seems that I’ll be getting some help with it as well.
Mattel, the maker of Barbie, has announced that they would be coming out with three new body types for Barbie beginning March 1. The dolls will now be offered in a variety of skin tones and hairstyles.
The company has been working for the past two years to bring a more diversified and realistic image of Barbie to the shelves. Last year, according to USA Today, the company introduced 23 dolls with different skin tones, hairstyles, outfits and flat feet. Ha!! This year the company will introduce different size dolls including tall, curvy and petite. Well Done Mattel!
What does this accomplish?
It shows our girls, of any skin type, that it’s okay to be healthy and not wear a size 2. It shows them that they don’t have to conform to the images that are on the magazines to be acceptable. It shows them that it’s okay to be their authentic self in their authentic bodies without the Kardashian nose or butt.
Most of all, it reinforces what we as parents should always remind them of anyway. That healthy comes with being happy, not accepted. That beauty comes in different shapes, sizes and colors. That what you bring to the table is designed to be different than the next girl. That you should celebrate that individuality with confetti, streamers and a cake.
I’m just saying.