Wednesday, January 10, 2018

For the loner.

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
Sometimes it's a blessing, living in the shadows.
Sometimes it's a blessing to live out of the spotlight.
But that's only sometimes.

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
When was the last time they thought of you?
Tasted your name on their tongue, or heard it in their ear?
They don't call. They don't need to.
Why call when they know?
Know that there's no use.
Know that there's no response coming.
Know that there's no plan to be had.

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
Why don't they call again?
They should know.
Know that there's still love.
Know that there's still warmth.
Know that there's still yearning.
Yearning to connect, without a knowledge of "how."

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
It can be hard, transforming "me" to "we."
What if you stumble?
What if you choke?
What if you realize that you are just as unworthy as they make you out to be?

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
Maybe it's okay. Maybe you can get used to this.
Maybe you're better off in isolation.
No one can hurt you there.

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.

No. No. No.
Maybe it's not okay. Maybe you can't get used to this.
Maybe the isolation is the kiss of death, the last nail in the coffin.
You can hurt you there.

What if they remember?
What if they decide to call?
What if they do, and there's no response coming?

No. No. No.
They might know. Not understand, but know.
Know that there's still love.
Know that there's still warmth.
Know that there's still yearning.

No. No. No.

They do know. We all know.
Sometimes it's a blessing, being human.
Sometimes it's a blessing, knowing they've been there, too.




'Til next time,
Christina

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017: WTF?

Let's talk 2017, shall we?

I originally had the idea of listing all of the things that sucked about this year, but I decided against it, because there are just way too many. While this year was wonderful in some aspects, I think that most of us will be entering 2018 with a bad taste in our mouths. I mean, we started the year with Trump inaugurated as our president. Things couldn't get any worse!

...But they did. They got, like, really bad.

Like I said, I won't go through every single event that happened, but I just wanted to recognize the fact that 2017 contained a great deal of trauma. There was political trauma, and our mouths were pretty much agape every day. There was more police brutality. More natural disasters than I would like to fathom. More shootings (a.k.a. domestic terrorism). Oh, and let's not forget your friendly, neighborhood Nazis parading the streets.

What. A. Time. To. Be. Alive.

On a personal note, I also dealt with depression this year - something that I've only read about and experienced through others. It sucked. The second half of my 2017 really, really sucked. I am grateful for those who provide me with the love and support that I sometimes feel as though I don't deserve.

I've had several conversations with people about how tough this year has been, and when I think about it more deeply, I just feel exhausted. Sometimes I feel helpless, or desensitized, like I've seen it all before. That's no way to be.

So what do I do? More importantly, what do we do?

I find solace in trying to live authentically, and encouraging others to do the same. There is a great deal of nonsense that is out of our control, but also some that is within it. In times like these, we need to feel in control. When we feel powerless, we need to remember where our power lies.

We've made it this far, and as shitty as things are, we are all capable of being powerful. As defeated as we may feel, we are resilient. It just takes getting through it - whatever "it" is.

I don't have any resolutions for 2018, with the exception of this. I want to recognize my power, honor it, and empower others who may need it. And on the days where everything is just too much, I may rely on ya'll to empower me too.


'Til next time,
Christina

Friday, July 7, 2017

Are you good enough? Nope!

If I haven't said this before, I'll say it now - my blog posts are 85% for me, and the other percent (you can do the math) goes out to anyone who happens to read them. They're a public journal, you could say. A very public journal. If I'm feeling some type of way - sad, frustrated, "shook," as the kids are saying now - best believe I'll put it into writing.

So let's talk about something that definitely plagues my mind and might bother you, too. Being enough.

Are you enough? Short answer, yes. Long answer, no.

Despite how perfect my life seems (that was a joke), I often feel inadequate because that's just how life is.

Sometimes I don't feel "woke" enough. I'll share videos and articles, and I'll write about my frustration and exhaustion regarding oppression and police brutality, because that's what I personally feel capable of right now, but somehow I still end up feeling like less of an activist and, subsequently, less "Black."

Sometimes I don't feel positive enough. I follow a lot of new age-y, holistic, and health-minded people on social media, and I'll find myself feeling like I should be out hiking more or going to yoga more, or talking more about how "present" I feel and how beautiful life is.

Those are just a couple of examples. There are a few more insecurities and inadequacies - trust.

There are a ton of things out there and people out there that will make us feel as though we're just not doing enough and we're just not enough, period. So back to my first question, are you enough?

In the grand scheme of things, no. If we continue to look for the next thing, the better thing, the thing that will supposedly make us happy, strong, interesting, or good, then no. We will never be enough. (This isn't to say that goals aren't important.) Chances are you won't have the same quality of life as that person who's loving life and smiling on Instagram, because they're them and you're you.

I also said that you are enough, though. "Enough" is a word that probably has some Latin root, meaning something very meaningful, I'm sure. But the thing about "enough" is that it's immeasurable. And if you were to measure it, someone else would be holding the ruler, not you. So let's take "enough" out of the equation (and let's stop with all this math talk).

Since we can't measure whether you're good enough or strong enough or smart enough, why bother worrying about it? This is a legitimate question that I'm asking you, anonymous reader, and myself. When the standards are infinitely high, why worry?

This is going to have a really cheesy end to it, and I halfheartedly apologize. What is "enough" is 100% up to you. And if you take "enough" out of it, you just are. We need to realize that we're probably never going to be (x) enough and just deal. Just live our lives. You're doing what you're doing, you are who you are, and where you're at is where you're at.

'Til next time,
Christina

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

23.

Habits don't have to always be bad. They can be a place of growth and stability (as ironic as that sounds). They can be a starting point.

I've had quite a bit of time today to sit, meditate, read, laugh, cry, and reflect. I've been able to look back at this past year and acknowledge both the challenges and moments of resiliency. Both considered, I'm still here and I'm still okay.

That being said, I want to continue some habits and start some new ones.
I want to continue living as honestly as possible. I want to continue pursuing and sharing my truth. The most powerful thing that I've done these past couple of years is reclaim my voice. A voice that has felt, for too long, awkward and unimportant. I've shared parts of myself and written more. I'm so grateful to have my writing, my insight, my ability to reflect.

I want to continue living my truth.
I have allowed others to diminish my feelings too many times. My awareness, my ability to feel so deeply that it burns...although they feel like burdens, they are beautiful gifts. I no longer hide my emotions to please others; rather, I live without shame and will continue to do so. Others may catch on, but if they don't or can't, it really can't be any of my concern. That's their truth.

Let's do more moving forward. The same good habits, but more.
Self-care for me has too often been a last resort, a place to turn when the ship has already sailed. Let's, instead, embody self-care. Every word, action, and effort should be made with self-care in mind, with self-love in mind. And not as a means to be selfish, but to care about myself so much that I, in turn, encourage others to do the same. With self-care we are also caring for others and our communities. We're making a commitment to ourselves to just care. To grow.

I'm happy about where I am and where I'm going.
Habits can be good. They're agreements to stand up for ourselves. To put ourselves first.

'Til next time,
Christina

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dear young black girl,

Dear young black girl,
Go ahead, buy the black doll.
She may not be Barbie with the good hair,
But among the tufts of honey
And the creamy complexions of your peers,
She's the only one who looks like you.

Dear young black girl,
Know. 
Know that the chemicals will burn
And the hot comb may leave a scar,
But with those straight locks you look like them.
No lye, no lye.

Know that growing up, we're all awkward
But you may still feel like Other.
When they speak of your history,
You'll crouch. You'll cringe. You'll wish it could be over.
They only show reels of shackled black bodies,
Of assassinated leaders.
They won't have a unit on Black Excellence.

Know.
Know that you are just as pretty as Sarah and Lauren
That your -iqua doesn't have the same ring,
But you can still wear the crown.

---

Dear young black woman,
Know your worth.
Know your place.
A place above the ceiling,
Shattering glass.
Above the murmurs of unprofessionalism,
Let your curls kink and your kinks curl.

Know. 
Know that the men who look like you
May not love you,
May spew filth as Black as your skin,
As their skin,
As their momma's skin,
But may not love you.

Know.
Know that you are a threat.
They judged you for your cranial size
But now pay for your lips, your hips.

Know that you are a threat.
To intelligence, to beauty, to history.
A history that has silenced the voice,
But welcomed the hands that kept the stables clean.

Young black woman,
We commend you.
You embody grace, strength, and yes,
Magic.
You are more than
You are more than
You are.

Dear young black woman,
When we say #BlackLivesMatter,
We're talking to you, too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

These are not New Year's Resolutions. I repeat, these are NOT New Year's Resolutions.

As much as I would love to be edgy by saying that New Year's Resolutions are pointless and impractical, I think that a new year is the perfect time to make some changes in your life. Also, I basically consider this blog a public diary at this point, so why not just give the people what they want (more stuff about me)?

This post isn't about a long list of resolutions as much as it's about a confession - to myself, and to whoever is reading this. (If this were a YouTube video, I'd make a cut and play Usher's Confessions, Part II right now.) This post is about me surrendering and being vulnerable, because I'm tired. I'm tired of feeling how I've felt for so long, and I'm ready to take responsibility and leave myself accountable.

I'm a pretty insecure person, and I feel lonely and unhappy a lot of the time. I place so much of my own self-worth into relationships with other people that I've lost myself in the madness. At the end of the day, I feel unfulfilled by the many interactions I have with others, and crave a strong, genuine connection. I lean on my self-deprecating humor to make up for the fact that I'm actually feeling down, and I blame others for making me feel so lonely and left out. It's really not fair to anyone, including myself.

I don't trust myself or my journey. I don't trust my ability to live a life of love and joy by myself, so I turn to mindless online dating. I don't trust myself to be vulnerable with others, so I end up turning them away. I don't trust the fact that I have a promising future, so I choose to dwell on what I'm not instead of what I am.

So here I am, aware of the fact that I am this way. It's a start, right? This is where I start. This is where I start to trust and accept myself, where I am, and where I'm going. This is my surrender to end the self-sabotage and to leave room for love. Love for myself, mostly. Also love for and from others.

I tweeted this a couple of days ago (so Millenial~), but I truly think that we are all okay, and that if we don't feel okay, there are ways to get back. Counseling, writing, yoga, hugs, whatever. Whatever the tools are, we need to trust that we are already the person we aspire to be. Most of us have just fallen away from that person due to events, self-doubt, or other trying circumstances; even so, that person is always there. It's just a matter of finding them again.

So here's to 2016, and to being that person again.


'Til next time,
Christina

Monday, December 21, 2015

On being your Black friend (who, like, isn't even THAT Black)

I have a lot of White friends. That's always been the case, and most of the time it's so normal that it doesn't bother me, but sometimes it does. As you could probably imagine, it also creates space for misunderstandings and the occasional awkward situation. But that comes with the territory of being the only POC - person of color - in the friend group (although it shouldn't). Here's a bit of perspective about being the "only one."

1. You saying that I talk or act "White" isn't going to make me feel better. I'm not going to sigh and say, "Golly! Thank you for noticing; I've been practicing my White accent all week! What a relief." I understand that you're trying to say that I behave differently from the stereotypical image in your head of what a Black person "should" be, and that it's funny or impressive, but it's neither. It's hurtful.

2. I will act VERY differently depending on who I'm with. When I'm in New York with my Black friends and we go out to a bar that's predominantly White, I really have no problem rolling my eyes with them, like, "Ugh. White people."

However, when I'm in Boston, where most of my friends are White, I figure my roommates probably won't appreciate that? So I refrain. But White people can also be very frustrating. #NotAllWhitePeople though.

3. I mostly date White guys. THERE, I said it. And it's not because of internalized oppression, okay? I also like Latino, Asian, and Black guys, since we're on the topic. The race, sexuality, or gender identity of who you're attracted to really isn't anyone's business but your own, but let's think about someone like me contextually. I've grown up in predominantly White school settings, and live in an area where most of the people I encounter are White. So, most of the guys I've had crushes on have been White. Rocket science, really.

4. Sometimes I get upset, and sometimes I'm quiet. Maybe it's because I had a long day, or maybe I missed my bus on the way to work. Maybe it's because going to bed was tough and waking up was even tougher knowing that another Black man/woman/child was senselessly killed. It's physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting, and I feel the pain in my heart constantly.

5. I may not bring these things up to you. In fact, I probably won't, because who wants to hear Christina complain about White people and oppression? Just because I may be your only Black friend doesn't mean that I'm ONLY your Black friend. I don't exist to know the words to that one rap song or to teach you how to twerk. I don't want to hear how cute my and so-and-so's baby would be, as if biracial children don't deeply struggle with identity issues.

This isn't just about me, either. Appreciate your friends of color AND their identities. Remember that your gay friend doesn't only exist to go shopping with you. Remember that your friend with anxiety doesn't "just need to relax." Everyone has an identity that they carry with them every day, whether or not you choose to acknowledge it.

6. To everyone: it's okay to be honest. Let your friends or co-workers know that you've had a hard day because of what's on the news, or because someone said something strikingly offensive to you. It's okay to feel and to hurt and to ask for support. Don't apologize. The people you surround yourself with should be as supportive and as patient as you are brave.


'Til next time,
Christina