Although the question posed in the newly released Well-Read Black Girl anthology was, “When did you first recognize yourself in literature?” I couldn’t help but seem to think about not necessarily feeling representing on the annual festival stage.
I am a firm believer of curated timelines. I know there may be some people that I offend because I don’t follow back, but discoveries like these make it all worthwhile. As some of you know, I am working on a lot of projects that involve writers and specifically writers of color. So I have been making sure to also curate my timeline in such a way that reflects that. I’m all about learning and gathering opportunities through social media. If we’re going to waste our lives away, it ought to be on something useful.
“The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.” -Willie Jolley
I wonder if our pasts could withstand the spotlight? That’s what I think anytime we find someone that becomes the public scapegoat for condemnation from week to week. Whether it’s Chris Brown, Nate Parker, Kim K or whoever, I always find it hard to jump on the bandwagon of public condemnation and it’s because I am not so sure I would ever want my past blown up for the world to see.
I’m not perfect. And though that would seem obvious, I’ve spent a lifetime trying to do everything right. From my hair to my grades in school, everything always had to be in place. I tried to make sure I never had to be corrected because I simply couldn’t handle it. I have wasted time pursuing the impossible and in the moments when I have failed, I realize that I still carry the shame that comes with not living up to your own hype.
I saw this photo and my first thought was look at this power and look at this love. It was comforting. It reminded me of how my husband and I fight so hard to show people that you can indeed go for your dreams and love someone. That you can support one another and be a part of each other’s narratives while writing your own. And then the internet perverted all of that for me.
There has been a war going on between me and my feelings for some time. For as long as I can remember I have always been a person who feels. Whether it’s balling my eyes out at Titanic when we already know the ending or being hard on myself for something that I messed up, I feel. I’m feeling all the time.