On my quest in becoming a better person (or rather a better woman, or even more specifically a better black woman) I’ve found that the ridiculous expectations and standards placed on women are just that, ridiculous-and that I have to do better and stop constantly placing them on other women. This is nothing new for me, I’ve been working on this for years. Yes, YEARS. Because unlearning a lifetime of terrible behavior is difficult in a society that is so embedded with these things. Difficult- yes, impossible-no.
You can be beautiful, but make sure to never boast
and if you aren’t, do not vocalize the pain; do not cry, do not post.
If you wish to live a life that will be rejected by those you love most;
recede into yourself. Become shapeless, lifeless. A shell or a ghost.
If conformity is a dagger that your heart surrounds and bleeds onto
and eradication means certain death or a life of obscurity you cannot undo,
then remain. Content and in excruciating pain with every breath that comes into you.
There is nothing left. A pseudo life; not nearly enough. But will suffice until death is due.
Creative careers are not new. We’ve always had artists. Writers and photographers (for the past century or so), play-writes, actors. So on and so forth. Yeah, none of this is new to our society. So why is it that we struggle with accepting people who want to embark on a creative career path?
2016 was a great year because it allowed me to discover more about myself and the world around me. 2016 was a terrible year because it allowed me to discover more about myself and the world around me.
About a month ago, I had this weird existential epiphany experience. Or something.
I watched some documentary that I probably shouldn’t have watched and I was left there frozen for an hour trying to figure out everything.
Everything meaning race and religion and career paths and conspiracies and you know, everything.
Do we consider excessive photo shopping of ones images on social media a manifestation of narcissism or one of self-hate?
Think about it for a second. I’m sure we all know at least one person who devotes a great amount of their time to altering photos of them self before sending it out into the world. If you don’t, good for you. But if we all know a person who does this, have we considered why they do it.
So I think I’ve been in denial about how much time I waste using technology. Okay, when I phrase it that way, it sounds as if I’m a techie creating an app or something but no, no I just mean I have an unhealthy addiction to my phone. It’s with me all day, every single day and while I can argue that “I might need it for emergencies!” or something else, in the entire span of 7 years since I got my first phone and the problem officially started, I’ve only had actual emergencies a couple of times. So it’s clear that this excuse is just being used to justify a problem.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently comparing my life and my interests to the other interests and forms of expression that are ‘accepted’ within the black community. Over the years, I’ve been bombarded with comments on ‘blackness’ and I’m left trying to decipher what that really means.
It is impossible to ask for perfection in the world. This is because everyone’s definition of the word is different. Perfection has a different meaning for everyone and we can never be at ease because some person or some group will always fight to push their definition on others.
For me,a perfect world is a place where I’m not afraid of law enforcement, where I know that my opinions matter and that people accept them, without my gender being an issue.Living in a world surrounded by people who crave knowledge just as much as I do and who value the lives of every human,as they should, should be a given. It isn’t though, but again these are some of my ideas are perfect,perhaps it is too much to ask for others to believe this as well?
I spend a lot of my time having conversations with my younger brother and cousin about the world and our society. I’m not an expert,obviously, but someone has to have these talks with them. No one had them with me, but I still learned to care about and attempt to understand things that are occurring around me. They’re learning about the far from perfect world that we live in and it’s one of the things that I’m most proud of.
But I digress, alot. That’s yet another thing that isn’t perfect, my ability to stay on track when attempting to express my self. However, in this specific situation, it isn’t completely terrible.
A part of realizing that perfection is impossible is having to accept the fact when it really boils down to it, there is nothing that an individual can do to fix anything. I often think about this,I read articles and news stories and I feel helpless because as the world crumbles into, for lack of a better word, shit, I know that there is nothing I can do to fix it. In a perfect world, I’d have the solution to repair and mend society’s problems.
Oh but again,this would be my version of perfect. Doesn’t work for anyone else besides me.
As the new year quickly approaches, I’m trying to put my self into a different position mentally. I don’t want to feel helpless when thinking about the issues in the world, if I can help it. I’m still attempting to strive for near perfection,no matter how impossible or unattainable it may seem.
I swear this post was intended to be something fun that outlined my 18th birthday and how excited I was and everything but of course me being me, that is not what happened. I don’t know, I guess I felt that this was a little more important and mattered a bit more to me. I may still write the fun birthday post but I’m not exactly sure yet. Anyway, here’s 18.
We live in a society that ignores,shames and places unnecessary burdens upon our youth. From the viewpoint of many of our “elders” our opinions and insights into the world around us are often perceived as wrong or not taken into consideration because we lack a certain number of years behind us. We lack ” experience”, therefore we have no grounds to stand on when making statements about social issues, the economy or anything really.
Before we have even started our lives and graduated from college, many of us are already in debt. Student loan debt is at an all time high and the job search has only increased in difficulty. This only makes starting a life more difficult for us,and the worst part is, these conditions are a direct result of generations before us. We will bear the burden of the mistakes of our parents and grandparents and i’m sure our children will bear ours. Because, unfortunately, this is how our society operates.
As a nation, we’ve always looked down on people we consider to be inferior. Whether it is race, gender,age or sexual orientation, someone is always considered to be lower than someone else. Of course,me being a female, and a black teenager, I’m basically at the bottom of the totem pole. When my 18th birthday passed least week, of course I was happy. 18 is supposed to be an accomplishment, something to be celebrated but when you take into consideration all of the negatives of adulthood, all the responsibility that comes within the next few years, things get a little less festive.
We are “adults”. But we really aren’t. We have to learn to be responsible. But we really can’t. Our system is created to give us just enough freedom to no longer be considered children but not enough to actually be completely responsible for ourselves. We still can’t drink,in some places we can’t rent cars. Of course we’ll still find our way around any of these rules.
We can vote but most of us don’t because we don’t think it matters, which is perhaps one of the saddest facts of all. We have a great amount of influence and extreme amounts of power, but we don’t use it because most of us don’t understand how.
To wrap up all of my ranting; We are put into a peculiar situation because we are lead to believe that adulthood is something to be excited about. For many of us,though,this is still true. However, for the most part, we still aren’t exactly seen as adults. Often times our opinions are overlooked, and we are convinced that they don’t matter when , in reality, the exact opposite is true.
18 is a year that signifies adulthood, responsibility and all of the other great things that we love so much. But honestly when it’s taken into consideration, 18 doesn’t really signify anything.