How I Finally Found My Real Voice




Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

That’s how it went for the last four months before finally deciding to come here and write this post. To write or not write, say or not say, speak or not speak, tell them or just say fuck it. One day they may see me elsewhere and make their own connection. But did I really want to leave my narrative to chance? Nah. 

It is black history month after all, I finally decided. What better time than now to say what I have to say. It is one year since Beyonce stunned and blessed the world with her ass-kicking album, Lemonade

In a nutshell, I have transformed. For the entire eight years of blogging, I knew I was morphing into someone I had yet to really see fully. I felt the occasional rolling wave of  new thoughts, heard unexpected cracking noise in a moving joint, felt a tickle in the throat, there came a cough, a stomach tremble, was my skin stretching?— sometimes I would simply freeze, stare off into space …. wait, listen, and wonder ….. who

To allay my confusion, I distracted myself with lighter blogging fare, listing books I’d read, describing novice sewing attempts, dragging out ephemera from my childhood, navel gazing on nail polish, hairstyles, TV shows, photography, change of seasons and other random topics.  

Finally, I shut down the (politics) blog, went in search of my soul, started another blog (online journal) to give myself a place to just let go, be me, and yet I still struggled to unleash my true voice. Sure, through the journal blog, I did find my voice a little …. kinda sorta, but not really. 

In a last ditch attempt to stay online — why I felt the need to stay online to find myself is a laughable question in retrospect, and yet very much par for the course — I turned to Facebook and Instagram, hoping for what? Alliance? Encouragement or cheering? Kindred spirit connections? I was the very definition of lost. That experience? That search, going from blogging to Facebook and Instagram? It was like having a taste for something delectable, staring into the fridge, then the pantry, and finally eating whatever is available, but then feeling stuffed in the gut while your tastebuds sniff disdainfully, gawking at your protruding belly in unfulfilled horror. 

So I deleted the affronting social networks without so much as a backward glance. And I stopped blogging altogether.

I can’t give you all the details of how I finally found myself, at least not yet, and unfortunately, not here. But here’s what I can tell you. I made a decision to stop lying to myself, and consequentially, I had to stop lying to the people around me.  Seven months following that decision (coincidence? or a prelude to a seismic social shift? time will certainly tell), Beyonce’s new album, Lemonade was released. And in those lyrics I was inspired to face the pain wielding, lying husband, known to most of us as AMERICA. Finally, I found the remaining pieces of my woefully lost self, the self who had begun morphing as I blithely blogged for years about what I thought I knew. I knew a lot less than I cared to admit. 

I know it sounds crazy, but that's what happened. I listened to the lyrics of that album and I couldn't stop thinking of all the terrible shooting and wrongful deaths which have continued to riddle black communities across the nation without legal consequence: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, (and more recently)Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott (to name just a few). Get it? Who do I love that keeps stomping all over me and mine? Who keeps asking me to forgive and be patient, trust and obey, even as they claw and rip at our pulsing jugular veins? Dammit! Who refuses to see, refuses to talk, makes up a litany of excuses so they don't have to change? Hello!?! America!

Relief! At last! This is all me. Black and proud, shouting it with a smile! Nodding to my two beautiful daughters and saying, Thank you, girls for your undying Beyonce love. It took a few years, but I've finally caught up. In February 2016, as I watched the last ever Super Bowl to broadcast in our home —because in another turn of events I would eventually cancel our cable TV subscription—my amazing daughters were texting and cheering in praise of Beyonce’s outstanding super bowl performance. As my all grown-up girls reveled and celebrated their music queen, a new dawning of self was taking place within me.

So that’s my story (in part). If ever I’m thought of again by someone who once followed my blog, I wanted to reveal the truest part of my story so far. Don’t misunderstand me, I still love America. But the country is a bundle of unaddressed pathologies which are killing us all slowly. I will never again pretend otherwise. I will also never give up on this place which is our home, the very nucleus of our collective social order. I have hope (yes, I’ve come to LOVE and RESPECT former President Barack Obama too) that together, if we can commit to speaking the truth, and if we are courageous enough to act in sincere regard on behalf of all people, while we may not be able to fix all of our collective broken parts, we can remedy a significant amount of our social ills. 

Will I continue blogging along this new vein of thought? Nah. I have learned that my mind and voice thrives best in solitude. Will I keep writing? Most definitely, yes! Have you heard the last of me? I certainly hope not. 

One love.

Comments

Granny Annie said…
You are still on my blog roll and I was surprised to see you pop up today. Welcome back.

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