This will be a poor attempt at gathering my thoughts. I’ve been worrying lately about how much I may be perpetrating performative activism. I may be too wrapped up in the comfort and haze of day-to-day life to be more active in the call for change.
But I know what I believe. Black Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter. The systems we live with today are based on the oppression of BIPOC lives. This includes the police. Healthcare. Education, etc.
I grew up aware of the colorism in my own culture, watching my grandma completely cover herself before a walk so she wouldn’t get any darker. She was already “blessed” with lighter skin though. She didn’t have to try very hard.
I recall another moment years ago when my cousin and I were watching “Bruce Almighty,” with Morgan Freeman playing God. My cousin said, “Look, Ma, it’s God.” My grandma spat out, “That’s not my God.” I think I laughed, but I was also inwardly cringing because of how adamant she was.
I remember when my mom started dating a black man. I was maybe 7 or 8. I remember the whispers and raised eyebrows from other relatives. I didn’t know if I could do or say anything about it, and I wouldn’t have known what to do or say anyway. All I knew was that it made me feel uncomfortable.
All this to explain that colorism was an undercurrent in my childhood, whether my family was aware of themselves perpetuating it or not. Even in adulthood, I’ve had to catch myself a few times from making too swift a judgment. Colorism and racism have become parts of the fabric of everyday life in this country.
Where was I going with this? I really don’t know.
My mind’s been extra chaotic lately and I keep trying to contain it in little compartments. The sheer number of people who don’t seem to care about this pandemic, and the tragedy of George Floyd’s death, are at the forefront of my mind. The protests have been successful and uplifting, but I worry about the spike in COVID-19 cases that may inevitably come.
I worry about my own mental health during this shelter in place. This is the most time I’ve spent with myself in a very, very, very long time, and while I’m learning to enjoy my own company, I’m still not 100 percent there yet. I’m still learning to process my feelings in healthy ways; the desire to do something stupid is never exactly quiet.
Like right now. I want to numb myself with bourbon and I keep fixating on the bottle of it on my counter. A friend suggested boba but I’m not sure any place is delivering at this time.
Well, I discovered it will be around $20 for a boba drink delivery. No thank you.
That’s a slippery slope too. It’s never just one glass of bourbon. It used to be a bottle a weekend. Plus pills. I flirted with death almost daily back in 2017.
I often think fondly of my 5150 hospital stay. The nurses were very nice and snuck me coffee even though I wasn’t allowed any stimulants. I was able to shut out the world and my worries. And. Just. Not. Think.
But it’s so hard not to think right now. People are suffering. People are mourning. People are angry, and rightfully so. How does a sensitive person not get swept away in this roiling sea of emotions?
I need to find an appropriate outlet for my feelings, but I haven’t found it yet.
I made it about myself again. I suppose I shouldn’t beat myself up too much about it. This is my space, after all.
But anyway, do what you can. Help in the ways that make sense for your individual situations. Progress comes in all forms, and circumstances are fluid. Collectively, people have made great strides thus far; let’s not let up.