Today has been a roller-coaster. After two nights of shitty sleep and forgetting to take my anti-depressant last night, I had a major mental illness day. I spent most of my time near the bottom, and with two little sick kiddos, it was hell. Tonight also happened to be the night of an event that I semi-helped prepare by creating the flyer and invitation. I was feeling very unmotivated to go, but I knew I would be missing out on something I really need in this moment.
I went, and I was right: I would have missed out if I had decided to stay home. It was a cosy get-together that had just enough people to feel like you’re actually connecting. I felt mildly awkward and out of place. I’m naturally the listening type, and I’m not the best initiating conversationalist. I haven’t really socialized much outside of my husband for the last several years. I’m a mess, really. But that’s not the point.
I was able to talk a little bit about what I’ve been learning, what I plan to do. I felt like I had something to say; that I am able to reproduce the knowledge I’ve been absorbing for the last year and a half.
An interesting question was proposed to me: How did I decide to take this route? (The question was worded differently but this was the general gist.) I know it was Charlottesville, but I can’t remember what I was doing just before, and who I began listening to just after.
I know the Charleston Syllabus and the New Jim Crow were first on my reading list. Two books I haven’t finished because the content is so brutal that I kept having to put it down and my library was demanding their books back. I know Ijeoma Oluo, Tressie McMillan-Cottom, and Eve Ewing were among the Black women who first held my attention. From there they suggested other Black women to follow, who suggested more… I follow a lot of Black women on Twitter. And the messages they produce are always the same – a universal Truth for Black women, with a capital T and B. I’ve been listening.
I’m going to take the time to research how I got started on this path because I think it would be a good thing to have in writing. And I’ll writing about those Truths, though I’m sure there is plenty of content out there written by Black women who have way more authority than I do to talk of such things. Here’s one Truth I’ll share:
Listen to Black Women