Voicing Up for the Voiceless

What happens when we get angry? What happens when we speak up about the causes of that anger? Do we get shot down, shut in, and told to shut up? In recent weeks I have witnessed just that. I am referring to Ferguson. I am referring to Michael Brown the 18 year old man-child who was murdered for being, not in the wrong place at the wrong time, but for being a black male in a divided and racially charged environment. I’m referring to the United States of America. He had no criminal record. I remember sitting at the Diner table 2 days after the murder and hearing about it for the first time. You see I don’t watch the news, I let the news come to me, and for this reason I was late hearing about what happened to a young Black man-child in Ferguson, Missouri. I remember thinking to myself as I heard the news about Michael Brown: “Wow there goes another voice unheard; another voice unsung, yet, history had been made. I wonder why our young Black boys only make history when they have bullets shot into their torsos?” And I am angry.

I am angry that another man-child had to sacrifice his life in order to induce change. But I won’t ask why, Instead I’ll ask what now? The late Maya Angelou said that when we know better we do better. What now can I do to support the imminent change that is abreast? For me writing this blog post is a start. I don’t claim to be the voice of the people, what I’m coming here to say is that I am of the people. I still have a voice that can be heard. I have a song in my soul that can be shared, and it is my job to do so. For Michael Brown, for Trayvon Martin, and for every black man-child whose only crime is being born of color in a White patriarchal society. It would be foolish of me to think that if I just kept living my life and “let it go,” got back Facebook, and worked even harder to be a “good girl,” that this indecency wouldn’t happen again. We live in a modern day Hunger Game and the world is in a constant Quarter Quell. I want to wake up before another life is lost.

michael_brown

The thing is at least for me, I could go on living life with the motto that “only the docile survive,” but I can do better, and I certainly know better too. I don’t know that this blog post will do anymore than piss a few people off, but it has to be said that it’s a travesty to know what happened to Michael Brown and to not let it ignite the voices that can be helpful. I encourage everyone who has an offering to share it, be it your blog, through music, a Facebook status, or the Intentional way that you move in your life. Wake up. We all have to die but while we’re here let’s not let the demise of those before us be in vain. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.

Tray

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Trash ‘Cans’ Too

I read a quote the other day that said “even if you are trash you can still do stuff. It’s called a trash can not can not.” This quote changed my perspectives by epic proportions. You see sometimes I feel like trash. There are moments that I feel my life has gone to waste. I often waste my time, and I spend a lot of time wasting energy. I often treat my body like a waste dump.

It gets heavy. I often feel the weight of people responding to my apathetic moments. They pull back. They push off. They walk away. This sometimes makes me want to walk away from myself. I feel lonely and it hurts. Then, there are moments like the moment I saw this quote. It reminds me that “trash” ain’t so bad.

(my before picture of my health and wellness journey)

Trash can be fertilizer. Trash can be recycled. Trash can be precious. After all one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s truly about perspective.

So, I have made a conscious decision to stop being hard on myself. I have turned my Instagram page into a health and wellness page and I am working to be cast on Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body. I’m doing something with myself!

Today I’d like to remind others to stay true to team you! Don’t give up on yourselves. Besides, even if you’re trash you can still do stuff. It’s called a trash can not can not, and trash ‘cans’ too!

Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon!

Find A Reason to Get Out Of Bed Each Morning

https://youtu.be/5PB2YzNddI8

I recently decided to turn my Instagram page into a health and wellness journey (@Britt4point0). It has become my reason to get out of bed in the morning!

Everyday I hear people say live your best life. What I’ve come to realize is that I’ve been holding myself back. I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment. Sadly, there is no “right time.” The time is now. And I’m petrified!

It never occurred to me that I didn’t try new things out of fear. Well, Tomorrow

is a brand new day! The fear won’t leave, but the opportunity to live anyway is here!

If you’ve been struggling with fear. Find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Living your best life starts where you’re at.

Wish me luck on this new journey! I hope that my actions inspire someone to live through the fear too!

(2018 Never Give Up!)

Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon! 💓

Living Single

A few days ago my roommate and I decided that our household was a lot like the characters from Living Single.

In the show there are three women who live together as roommates. Synclaire, Regine, and Khadijah. They also have friends who frequently visit by the name of Maxine, Kyle, and Overton.

In her assessment I was a lot like the Synclaire of our home. Fun, bubbly, corky, and kind.

I took it in jest and proceeded to move on with the week.

As the week progressed I started to notice more how people responded to my personality. I began to hear the pet names that people placed on me; sweetheart, baby, and dear. The latter of which I most dislike being called.

By the fourth night of the week I came home and said to my roommate, “people take advantage of my kindness.”

Her response saved my personality. She said: ” Yes you might have a Synclaire personality, but Synclaire was no punk. It’s not you to walk around being hard and aggressive. Don’t let people change who you are, because most times it’s them. They’re unhappy, and they try to make you feel the same.”

I was so grateful for her feedback! As I move forward I’ll know one thing to be true. My name is Brittaney, and though I’m living “single” in the city of New York, I am never alone.

As Maya Angelou used to say. I come as one, but I stand as many. Synclaire personality traits and all!

No Longer In A Space of Chase

I live in New York City. Tonight through a series of events I found myself sitting in a McDonalds near Broadway and 181st street. As I surveyed the environment deciding where to sit I was drawn to a table that already had someone’s belongings on it. It was near the back of the restaurant where there would be no draft from the wind. I walked towards the front of the restaurant and I couldn’t find anywhere to sit there either.

I decided to try my luck at the table I was drawn towards. I turned around and headed back towards the rear of the store. Luckily the person had come back. She was a woman whose name I would later come to learn was Suanna.

We exchanged small pleasantries. Hi how are you? We each asked.

Afterwards there was a pregnant pause. In the silence I looked her over. She had on a hoodie and a knitted hat. She was wearing one earring. She seemed tired without looking aged.

Finally the silence was broken. I’m playing a game she beamed. I need to know the capital of the UK in order to move to the next stage. We figured out the answer (London) and our conversation commenced.

“Do you come here everyday?” After I asked the question I could sense the shame washing over her. I listened as she explained that she was there to meet a friend. She never knew when he’d arrive but he was always there between 5-7 pm.

As she spoke I wondered about her life? What had landed her in a McDonalds in New York City? How many heartbreaks had she endured. And when had she decided that she wouldn’t endure anymore?

I began to feel compassion for all women. I reflected back on how just 20 minutes ago I myself had written a farewell email to a person whom I’d loved but never dated.

The irony wasn’t lost on me that I myself was one severe heartbreak away from passing my time away in a McDonalds too.

Ten minutes after the start of our conversation I said goodbye to Suanna. I left her with the remaining of my large fry and a well wish to have a better night.

As much as I wanted to, I knew that I couldn’t save her.

So many of us women are like that. We let go of ourselves. We start to wear the hoodies and the knitted hats that are meer coverings for the deep pains that we harbor inside.

We don’t talk about it enough. Quite frankly there are too many Suannas in the world.

There are too many Suannas in the world

Once I was back on the train heading to Brooklyn I thought of myself.

I’m not perfect and I tend to seek solace in the wrong places. I thought of Suanna. I thought of how many metaphorical friends I sat in my spritual McDonalds waiting to show up for me. I thought of the ways in which they had not.

I made a decision in that moment to leave the space of chase before like Suanna I left myself behind in search of what the world won’t provide.

I won’t pretend to know what that looks like. But I know that I deserve a chance. We all do.

If you’re a woman and you’re reading this I invite you to choose yourself. Make the tough choices that bring you healing.

As the saying goes joy comes in the mourning. We have to feel to heal. Let’s do the work.

As always do what brings you joy. Live your best life and thanks for stopping by.

How Many of Us Are Lost?

“Everything you desire is on the other side of suffering.” Those words echoed to me from a YouTube video this morning. “You have to be willing to go through the pain to get to the other side.

These words fluttered through my mind as I went into my day. They danced across my memory as I cashiered at my job. They drummed through my thought process as I asked to be dismissed from my station. They beckoned me while I put on my coat to leave the building.

” Everything you desire is on the other side of suffering. ” ‘What’s for dinner?’ I found myself walking through Downtown Brooklyn. I had 22.00 to my name, a MetroCard, and one single thought. I decided to get hot wings. Now 13.00 left to my name. “Everything you want lives on the other side of suffering.” That is when it hit me. I feel lost and I don’t know what to do with myself. Which is why I keep repeating the same habits.

Every time I buy that lottery ticket. Every time I text him because I don’t want to be alone. Every time I eat something in order to feel better. Every time I login, swipe left, swipe right, or scroll it’s to combat misdirection.

And how many of us are lost? How many of us don’t know what to do? Instead we choose what we’ve been taught to do. Eat this, watch that, call her.

Yet, “everything I desire is on the other side of suffering.” Being lost is insufferable. So… When does the suffering cease? In a world of “positivity” it begins by being honest about where you are. Right smack dab in the middle of “trying to figure it out.” Take my hand and bring your flashlight. We can find ourselves together.

“Everything you want is on the other side of suffering.” And you don’t have to do it alone.

As always do what brings you joy. And thanks for stopping by.

Black Women Are the Mules of the Earth

I am a Black woman and I am enraged. Can you tell? No. That’s because Black women are the mules of the earth. According to the dictionary a mule is considered a beast of burden. And that’s exactly what Black women are.

Black women are the mules of the earth.

What’s worse is that we are given no space, no right, and no room to express our anger. What happens to Black women who choose to use our voices? Well? Say our names. And I am tired. There is no freedom in silence and no comfort in authenticity.

As a Black fat woman,

Everyday of my life has been a battle. I am the big Black woman in the room. Many times I have met this aggression with timidity. I am no longer available for that.

Today at work the smallest Hispanic woman (with a big attitude) attempted to belittle me because I wouldn’t answer a question fast enough. What’s worse is that while she chose to embarrass me in front of coworkers I pulled her to the side to spare her feelings. Our confrontation concluded with me apologizing to her for being “reactive.”

Which brings me to my second and third points. Black women are too forgiving, and women of color in general hate each other. It’s because we have been taught to hate our selves.

There needs to be more dialogue about it so that we can heal! Instead, we are being told to take responsibility for our pain, our shame, our anger. How?

How can pain be released before it is felt? So we trudge on projecting our fear and our rage at targets who don’t deserve it (our men, our children, ourselves) while we kiss the asses of those who do (fragile white men).

This is a PSA Black women. We need to fix this. I am not suggesting that any woman “rage against the machine.” Though we must stop raging at ourselves!

So what “inspired” this post? The very thing that I don’t want to be. Bitter. Feeling this anger is making me bitter because it’s unexpressed. I don’t want to be bitter anymore.

I don’t want to look up in 20 years and I am still bitter. So, I am ‘reclaiming my time’ now. I am ‘reclaiming myself’ now. It starts with being honest about where I’m at.

Which brings me back to my original statement. I am a Black woman and I am enraged. If it continues to go unexpressed it could kill me.

Which leads me to my final thought. This “mule” is committed to choosing herself. It won’t be easy. It will be messy, and I won’t be bitter. Here’s to showing up for one’s self.

As always do what brings you joy, and thanks for stopping by.

My Friends Are In Love and I Will Be Soon

My friends are in love, and I will be soon. This is not a whimsical notion. It is a fact. It is a fact because everything changes and everything grows. Now, if you had asked me this a week ago, I would have said no.

A week ago this blog post would have been entitled, My friends are in love and I’m in limbo. Two days ago it was, my friends are in love and I’m in the pussy wagon (catchy right).

Now here it stands. My friends are in love and I will be soon, because as it goes my love life has nothing to do with my friends!

My life, my path, my experience HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY FRIENDS!

My friends are just here to help me along the journey, and I bless them.

Because if I continue to compare my life to theirs it will kill me.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness major depression is one of the most common mental disorders among adults.

Which leads me to believe that while most of us pretend to have it all together, inside we are holding it together at the seams.

At least I was

With what seemed like random occurrence, I fell into a slump.

It was as if the more my friends raved about moving in, falling in love, and being happy the more I judged myself.

Why wasn’t I in a relationship and in love?

Well folks, if you are in a similar situation here’s the answer.

I am single because… I am not in a relationship.

That’s right it’s that simple. It is not that I am bad or wrong or unattractive.

I am enough. I am whole. I love me. And soon very soon someone else will too.

Here are some practical choices I have made to ensure that I will be ready when love presents.

  1. I logged out of social media.
  2. I committed to 30 days of gratitude
  3. I am going to drinking at least 50 oz of water a day
  4. I plan to exercise 3 days a week
  5. I am going to eat more vegetables
  6. I am planning a morning and evening routine
  7. I plan to reward myself for who and I am and where I’m at right now
  8. I am going to eat fewer bags of potato chip
  9. I am going to to censor what I watch, say, and who I engage with
  10. I have stopped sharing myself with people who don’t have my best interest.

I logged out of social media.

As I have heard, energy grows where energy goes. I am going to love and focus on myself and I believe those behaviors will attract love into my life. Even if said love manifests a fuckton more love for myself.

As always get out there, play, and stay in environments that bring you joy. I know I plan to.

Thanks for stopping by, and let’s talk again soon.

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