So, one of the issues with young black professionals, and young black women, which is our particular narrative experience, is that we are educated, we’re critical thinkers, we’re intellectuals, so even if there is an underlying issue of mental illness, we know what not to say. We know how not to tell the truth about it. We know how to articulate a language that evades detection. So you continue to suffer in silence – no one can see behind the mask because you studied. You’re a psychologist, you’re a chemical engineer for Proctor and Gamble, you are a medical professional – you know the language and articulation to hide behind. So we often go undiagnosed, unseen.
MW: But also, with us being minorities, struggling and surviving pain is an unspoken way of life. I struggle some days with wondering if I actually need help or if I’m being a baby. Because I think about everyone that came before me and how much they went through, and it’s like, how am I gonna complain? I don’t allow myself to feel overwhelmed because I know all these people who could say they have it worse than me so I deny myself a release. I just get mad at myself and say, come on, we can push through this.
You don’t allow yourself to be human. You don’t allow yourself to have feelings. It’s the constant comparison – it could be this, but it’s not. I could feel this, but all I have to do is focus in and take it one day at a time. But that’s not giving yourself the space to just feel and just be human about that. And we’re so isolated. Our jobs isolate us in the sense that we can’t, we don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable in that way. I don’t really get it. I have these conversations constantly. Sometimes I say, I just don’t want to do it today. I can’t walk in there. I’m done with all ya’ll.
It’s unbelievably difficult and I’m working to try to get to this space to release and reconcile. I appreciate my husband’s perspective in so many ways because in traditional Christian religion, you see yourself as an adopted child of God, through Christ, for better or worse. But in my husband’s understanding, he is the child of God. From the beginning, he is that essence. He – like he says – he rocks with the creator in that sense. And it’s so difficult, I believe, to reconcile that kind of power. Like, literally the creator of life is in my being, and yet I have an everyday job. Like, let me just shuffle on through and do what I’m supposed to do and say what I’m supposed to say, feeling like my chest is going to burst because my heart is bigger than my job. My heart is bigger than this next meeting.
MW: I told my husband, I said, I’m just convinced that we’re God, and we’re magical, and they’re shook. Because this system tries so hard to dominate every second of our thought process with something negative that we MUST have magical brains, and it must be that as soon as we focus on something positive it manifests, because they're literally trying to shut… its almost laughable, like, damn, y'all really sweating huh?
Like, y’all really trying…
MW: Y’all trying hard. But its not working. People are like, yeah, nawl, I’m not going to be scared. I still think God is on the throne and everything’s good and I’m just gon’ live my life.
People like, we all gon’ die! And I’m like, that’s just not the God I serve.
MW: That’s not who I serve.
I’m like, I don’t know who you’re dependent on, but for me personally, He is still on the throne. What does that scripture say? "There are giants in the land, but we are well able." Still here.
MW: Still here baby.
Still gon’ be here. This is covenant.
MW: Girl I had to laugh at myself the other day because I was like, bish is you thinking about money when you’re part of the LORD? (laughs) It don’t even make no sense…its like, but there’s EVERYTHING available to you…
You mean the one who set the earth in motion and the fullness thereof? Oh, so THIS is what I have access to?
MW: All of it. So I’m not gon' really sweat…
So I’m not gon' really worry about the funds because I am the child…
MW: (laughs)… the child!
Of the one who one who owns everything…
I don’t even ask my daddy – my earthly daddy– daddy can I have a little change? I don’t even say nothing. Daddy be like, you know I just thought...take that, gon’ head, take that baby. Glory to God. And I’m like, you knew? (giggles) But that’s because he’s Dad. That’s who he’s always been. I’m his only baby girl. Imma be 87 and he’s gon’ be like, here’s two cent on your dentures. So how much moreso does the heavenly father…
MW: Heavenly father. And mother. They a team. They together.
MW: They together. (laughs)
Always behind the scenes holding everything together. (laughs)
MW: Can you imagine how much easier it would be to believe that? I mean we believe it and we know it, but how much easier would it be if all the pictures of God were replaced with a black woman? Can you imagine if the image of God was YOU?
But see that would mean that now they can’t try to pigeonhole “Sharqueisha” into some inauthentic, hood rich, yassss bish and continue to devalue her presence. That would just give her too much power.
MW: It would.
Right? Because we see the images and they reinforce how we see the truth. We’re visual learners, all of us are. We’re visual. So we see stuff, you know, we hear stuff, and that’s what we internalize as truth. So what you hear about, what you see, goes inside you. Hence Jesus is a white man with long blonde hair.
I tell my students all the time – the people who control the world – it’s not the politicians, it’s not your vote, it’s the media, it’s the people that convey the narratives, the people who are writing the stories and communicating them, they control history. They control everything you think you know, the information you think you have. Unless you were there you have zero idea what actually happened. And you never will. So it’s like, the power and control rest with the people that are generating these narratives.
MW: Do you ever feel like we’re in the version of the movie Back to the Future, like the first one where Biff lived on the top floor of the casino? Like, I feel like I’m just waiting for Marty McFly to get his shit together. (laughs)
Yes, I often feel like I’m in some sort of alternate reality. I told my husband, Imma have to do something. I know it’s something I’m supposed to be doing. Because if I am discontented, if I am restless then it’s gotta be something. It’s not just the fact that I’m pregnant again, it’s not the fact that my house is a mess. Even though my anxiety and my OCD wants to make it that, that’s not even it. It’s like a life thing. It’s a, what am I doing? kind of thing. I’m 31. What are we doing? What is the stuff? Why can’t I be rested? What am I wrestling with? Or it’s nothing that… I don’t know… it’s just so strange, just something that… maybe I’m unsettled, or I’m in a particular space… but something is afoot. Something is brewing. And I gotta keep my eyes open. I gotta keep my ears open. It’s just weird. It’s not anxiety, it’s not stress… it’s just something. And I don’t know what that is.
MW: People say we should be happy because…
MW: But my body and mind fight every day. My body is getting to the point where my mind ain’t gon keep winning.
This is what I cling to. In the most difficult moments where I feel like they’re trying to kill me, I just have to remember who I am. That when all of my options have been exhausted, when I am fatigued, when I am done, when I don’t have a way out… it somehow clicks that I don’t play by the same rules.
MW: Speak on that.
The literal creator of the entire universe calls me daughter. And just like when I go to my natural daddy right now and ask for anything, or don’t even have to say nothing because he loves me enough to give me stuff and support me because he loves me, how much more so do I look to the Creator, to the essence of what gives me life and keeps me moving? I say, Daddy, I don’t have anymore. I quit. I’m done. And it’s almost as if He’s just waiting…
MW: I be holding on so tight. I’m so capable and that is my curse. I be like, I can do it!
Right. Not knowing that you’ve been held the whole time and what you thought you were pulling off , wasn’t even you. It was never you. Like my daughter – she’s 6 months old today and she swear she’s a big girl, as big as her other siblings. And so I hold her hands and she moves her legs, so the whole time she swears she’s walking. In the same vein, when I say, I can’t do it anymore , it’s almost like the creator says, I’ve been waiting on you to get to that place, every day, to recognize that you cannot do this. It was not designed for you to do it. This is not your fight. This is not your life. This is not your purpose or destiny. All that rests in ME. And the quicker I can sort of stop and say, what say you, source of life that calls me daughter and loves me unconditionally, what say you? And sometimes, there’s a clear answer, and sometimes the answer is just to rest. Rest in who you are. I know who my daddy is. I know where my support comes from. And I think the problem we have, because we’re educated and capable and we’ve been told we’re more capable than most, is that we start to depend on that. But that’s the danger. That’s the pitfall. Because all that capability – its terminal. It has an end. It’s finite. But what will keep you sustained is that connection to eternity. When I’m running out of time, I turn to the one who is time, who is the beginning and the end.
But that’s the struggle. The struggle is not believing the truthful lies we’ve been told about our capability and resting in those capabilities because they come to an end. And let them decide to change some degree requirements – we wouldn’t even be qualified no more. Somebody decided these were the requirements, just like somebody could decide something else is the requirements. That’s not even in our power. My parents don’t have degrees but they make more in retirement than I make working. And that’s because they had the wisdom from the creator to save and plan.
But for me, that’s part of our great work. It’s like that famous quote – “Our greatest fear is not that we’re inadequate, but that we’re powerful beyond measure.” That is my fear – that I’m greater than I’ve been told. That there is so much more on the other side of trusting and letting go and accepting, that there is power and beauty and brilliance and healing and affirmation and instruction and all these things that rest in the soul.
But all those things just get locked up and we go to work.
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