Somewhere along the way, I broke something I didn’t know was broken inside me. 2020 gave the time to realize it…and heal from it.
If you ask me what that something is today, I’m not sure I could really tell you exactly what it is. But I know that there was something because as I look back at the last 12 months, I realize for all the pain it caused, it gave me the chance to wake up and be one with myself again. I didn’t have a choice, honestly.
The first few months of quarantine, I sat alone in my tiny overpriced place in San Francisco with my dog, trying to will some type of normalcy in my world. I tried to teach the virtual workout classes, take the daily walks to get some air, get scared of the air I was getting in fear that I would get the “rona” and ordered enough food to last me the next 2 years…and then figured out I was more of Door Dash woman on the daily. I checked my temperature daily, ate Halls cough drops with no cough just in case, and sprayed my groceries down like that package of shredded cheese MUST be carrying COVID-19.
I joined Zoom happy hours, danced my ass off to Verzus battles with terrible wi-fis, attempted to FaceTime with my boyfriend even though neither he or I had ever really established video chatted in our long-distance relationship (don’t ask, it worked for us and I’m SO grateful that he didn’t force me to do it because it was never me- I’ve always wanted to just see him in person and then talk lol).
I did all of that and then George happened. Then Breonna. And suddenly, this country wanted to talk. This country wanted to pretend they never knew, that George was the first, that perhaps Breonna would be the last. They wanted to know everything that had been there, that had never gone away and instead had somehow been masked for them behind the carefully selected Martin Luther King Jr. quotes that made them feel good, like they weren’t racist (because if you read his whole work, you would indeed, realize, you were racist). They wanted to talk.
I didn’t. Instead, I quietly got on a plane with my dog and went to Nashville where my family and my boyfriend were. And what was supposed to be a 2-week vacation turned into almost 8 weeks and the realization that had been missing something. Maybe it was my true voice, maybe it was my patience, maybe it was just my ability to pretend that I could keep pretending I believed that folks got it. It was during that time that as my partner made us waffles on a Saturday morning that I decided to write a post, to my friends, to ask them not to say certain things to Black people on a Monday morning. It wasn’t for the world to see necessarily. Honestly, it was a selfish plea because I was over it as a Black woman and didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to be bothered with someone’s “ Oh my gosh, I didn’t know!” on a Monday morning. And I didn’t want my white friends to bother their Black colleagues at work.
35,000 shares later and we are here.
That post helped me realize that something was broken in me.
That 8 weeks in Nashville helped me realized something was broken in me.
That post and those 8 weeks together ? Also helped me heal what was broken.
In 2020, I lost my “she’s one of the good ones” voice and found MY voice.
I lost my ability to sugar coat to make you feel good and found my ability to fight, for myself, for those around me, for those who show up to work every day as the only and have no one to go to.
I found that family matters over work and that if you have the right work you’ll never have to choose.
I found that the man I know is the love of my life is still the love of my life when there is no physical distance between us- and that with the right one, you don’t have to give anything up…you just gain more.
I found that any fear I had is not greater than the fear I have of leaving this earth and having to tell God that I was just too scared to fulfill his purpose for my life.
And I found that while 2020 was the messiest year I’ve known yet…. sometimes, you can find the things you were looking for when you dig through the mess:
Even if you didn’t realize yet you were looking for.
To what 2021 will bring next.