On Mood Mondays, I’ll be sharing thoughts that are weighing on my heart. Some that have been with me for decades, but just haven’t shared. Others that may be more recent. This won’t be easy for me – my hands are shaking right now as I type – but I believe it’s necessary. So today, I’d like to give you a glimpse into my everyday.
I recently decided I need to start being true to myself and my feelings, and being communicating that with others. Most of the time, I sit with my feelings, emotions, and thoughts and they weigh heavy on my heart. Sure, it’s not the best of feelings, but when I think of the alternative, I chose to carry this weight. The alternative? An anxiety so strong, I have to hold back tears. An anxiety so overwhelming, my heart actually hurts. An anxiety so overpowering, my thoughts race to every worse-case scenario possible and for a fleeting moment wonder if people would be better off without me. So I’ve decided to do a compromise and publish here instead. I don’t regularly keep track of how many people read my blog, so for all I know, it’s just me, myself, and I. And that’s a start.
Everyday someone looks at me, they see a black female. They immediately have their preconceived notions. That’s life; everyone has preconceived notions of everyone. But in general when people see me, the first thoughts tend to be negative. Loud. Angry. Disrespectful. Uneducated. Instead of working with a blank slate, I have to prove the unsaid assumptions aren’t true.
Everyday I get ready, I am reminded that female beauty is largely defined by hair. For me personally, I know it is. I don’t feel pretty when my hair is a mess. I get it chemically treated, so it’s easier to manage; easier to style. I see other black women rocking their natural hair and they are beautiful! But to go on that journey to natural takes courage and confidence, and I’m just not there yet.
Everyday I drive, I think of what will happen if I get pulled over. I’ll have to immediately call my sister, tell her to mute herself, and put the phone on speaker so she can hear what’s going on. I think of how I’ll have to have my hands on the steering wheel; how I’ll have to announce to the officer that I’m reaching into the console to retrieve my license; how I’ll have to repeat this multiple times in hopes that I won’t get shot. I think of how I’ll probably be in tears and mention that my mom can’t afford to lose another child; how it will break her. I think of how fast my heart will be racing. I think of if I’ll remember to do all these things that may save my life.
Everyday I talk, I recognize I sound “too white” and not “black enough”. When conversing with colleagues, strangers, and even family and friends, speech patterns are always in my thought process. I think of that time back in high school when a “friend” called me out in the lunch room in front of a group, refusing to let me leave until I admitted I was an Oreo – black on the outside, white on the inside. It’s exhausting. So I just try not to speak too much.
Everyday I live, I am reminded I am Haitian, and I am American. But I will never be Haitian enough, nor will I ever be American enough. I can speak Haitian Creole, but there are words used outside of family speak I do not know. Therefore, can I consider myself fluent? When I go back to Haiti, will they consider me Haitian? And when people in the States hear me speak in another language, do they automatically assume I’m not American? Or when I share pieces of my culture, do they secretly scoff and think ‘Americans would never’?
Mood Monday: Everyday
When I sit and think about it, it’s heartbreaking that this is my every day, and that no one realizes this is my everyday. I like to think I’m a relatively positive individual, but that doesn’t mean life isn’t tough. It’s exhausting, it makes me angry, it makes me sad. Everyday I repress those feelings, because I don’t want others to feel uncomfortable. But, not today.