How to be alone… Or Why Be Alone At All?

Yesterday I was working a mid-day shift (11-8pm) at work. As the day began to wind down its end I was struck be a wave of loneliness. It hit me that after the shift was over I would be alone. The thought crashed upon me like a harsh wave to a surfer’s body, and it took me under. I was drowning. I looked over to female co-worker;

Me: “Oh no I feel lonely.”
Her: “Brittaney we came into this world alone.”
Me: “Says the lady who gets to go home to her man.”
Her: “True.”

At this point I walked away and I had a thought. What if Robin Williams did ask for help? What if just like I had in that moment he told someone what was happening inside of him, and just like I had been in that moment her was brushed off. Let’s be clear this is not to compare my lonesomeness to Robin William’s death and unfortunate un-conquered hardships.

What I am saying is that the seed of sadness and darkness starts somewhere and it’s unfortunate that it’s not taken seriously. Darker emotions are seen as too heavy, too time consuming to deal with or worst of all ‘negative thinking.’ Yet everyday I am asked at least 100 times a day that same dreadful question: “How are you today?” As a society are we truly open to hearing the answers? What happens when our fellow man is not alright? What happens when happy is not the current emotion?.. Ultimately when I arrived home one of my two amazing roommates was there. That’s it folks, he was simply there. He grabbed his blanket. He slept on one couch and I slept on the other, and lonesomeness wasn’t so heavy.

autumn and britt

The thing is at least for me I don’t have to be by myself in order to prove that I love myself. It’s okay to seek human partnership. It’s okay to want to be loved. I want to be loved. Maybe admitting is a first step in feeling the love that’s already there. We may have been born alone yet we are not meant to live in isolation. To every person that may be reading this who feels lonesome, alone, or misunderstood, I love you. I see you, and you deserve to be seen and heard. Let’s talk about it folks. Let’s be vulnerable and also let’s listen when people tell us what’s going on. We are only as sick as our secrets. Let’s stay healthy. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.

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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

“Can You Stand the Rain?”

Can You Stand the Rain?
It’s early Saturday morning and I’m at my job (in the health food store) and one of many favorite customers comes in. For the sake of his privacy and because it’s likely that he may read this I’ll call him Malcolm. We exchange our usual pleasantries. He gets aggressive (not unlike our usual banter). Then asks a question that sets the impetus for my day: “Are you going to run away from my assertiveness or are you strong?” My response is all the colorful reasons that I am indeed strong and have no reason to run away. He acknowledges my response then proceeds to leave and go on with his day. The day passes along and because I have a few minutes I start singing songs to myself. I began to sing New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain.”

As I sing along I start to really listen to the words and as the words of the chorus come out of my mouth, something in me shifts: “Sunny days… everybody loves them, but tell me baby can you stand the rain?” I marvel at these words. It took me 27 years to really hear these words. At that moment I realize that there’s never a need in my life again to explain that I indeed can stand the rain. I’m rounding up on 3 years in NYC and I have not only withstood the rain, but I have gone through more than a few umbrellas to weather the storm. I’m not just strong! I’m interdependent. I’m sensitive. I’m adventures. I’m curious. I’m cautious. I’m human. It took me 27 years to just be a human being.

The thing is, at least for me, weathering the storm doesn’t have to be a solitary experience and being strong is not a badge of honor or a requirement for an A+ in life. Besides what’s misunderstood doesn’t always need to be explained. As I come to my 3 years of New York City living and learning I am grateful for the many people I have met; the experiences that I have had, and that I have indeed withstood the stormy weathers to see the many rainbows that come after the storm. Sunny days… everybody loves them, but tell me. Can you stand the rain? Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.

P.S. please consider contributing to my go fund me campaign. http://www.gofundme.com/SendBrittaney2Tx Thank you

– Brittaney