I aim to drop these notes monthly to share more about myself. The past several months have been… rough. I’ve been in quarantine and now Chicago is in phase 4. I’m currently quarantining. Like many across the world, my entire life has been disrupted. I no longer rush to the gym in the mornings, than into the office, and then to the bus to get home. In addition, over the last several weeks, civil unrest has been a long time coming. Let’s get into it…
Quarantine has been unexpected but I’ve welcomed it. It’s given me much needed time to think, plot, research, learn and grow. My entire mindset this quarantine has been to level up. I’ve been working on leveling up my eating habits, being more in touch with myself and my goals. It’s been a great time to BE. It hasn’t been without its challenges but I’m blessed nonetheless. I’m heartbroken by the many people who’ve lost their jobs. I was on furlough for 8 weeks but asked to come back the 4th week. Many haven’t been as fortunate. A $1200 stimulus check didn’t do much for many families. Entire industries are being bailed out while people are struggling. How are Americans expected to have savings but banks and corporations don’t? Many Americans may never rebound from this. It’s also brought to light how selfish we can be. The fact people REFUSE to put on a mask is unfathomable. If it’s for the greater good and literally harms no one, than why not put a mask on? The selfishness and overall lack of empathy for fellow humans have been disheartening.
Now let’s talk about civil unrest. George Floyd was killed by the same police officers who unjustly killed a Native American in 2018. Ahmaud Arbery was running in his neighborhood when he was gunned down by two white men. They thought he was a thief. So they killed him in broad daylight. The most disgusting thing in all these murders is that people had to show outrage to get some type of justice. If charged and convicted, historically these murderers will get less time than Michael Vick because they’re white. I’m completely disgusted that I pay taxes in a country that provides little to no justice for people who look like me. Breonna Taylor was an essential worker, an EMT, when the police ran into her home and shot her. The police had the wrong house. They have not been charged with murder and it’s been 4 months. Who is fighting for women who look like me? When it comes to a black woman’s life, there’s no justice. Look at Sandra Bland or Tamla Horsford. Tamla Horsford was murdered in February at an adult sleepover. She was the only Black person. Her death was ruled an accident, but reports show alcohol poisoning and blunt force were used. This reeks of foul play and murder, yet no justice.
No other race of women can relate to the exhaustion it is to be a Black woman in this world. We’re made out to be bitter, aggressive, and/or hyper-sexualized. We’re required to be “strong” and anything less is unbelievable. My passion for my beliefs and opinions are framed as anger instead of just passion. I’m required to take mistreatment or be demonized for speaking up for myself. People don’t think they’re rude nastiness can hurt my feelings because I’m “a strong Black woman”. It’s as if black people, even women, aren’t allowed to be feminine, soft & gentle. I am tired. I’m tired of being placed at a lower value because of the color of my skin. I’m tired of being lumped in with POC because Asian women, & Latina women aren’t treated the same as Black women. I’m tired of people stealing from me and my culture than insisting they were just “inspired.” [Yes this happened recently to me on Instagram from someone I know.] I’m tired of white people saying racism is “in my head” and devaluing my experiences. It’s all frustrating, exhausting and sad.
My biggest lesson these last 4 months have been all about protecting my energy and creating boundaries. This must be the lesson I’m learning in this moment of my life. Maybe it’s my 2020 theme. In this moment I’m showing up for myself and committing to who I want to be and what I want my impact to be on those around me. Also, never take people or anything for granted.
Overall, I’m happy to see there are people marching, educating themselves, donating to the cause that will better our society and helping each other. I’m hopeful that people will begin to acknowledge and respect the humanity of black people. I’ve donated the most I’ve ever in the last several months. I’m happy to see my peers and other young people assembling to help each other during this very hard time. That has given me hope and made me have some optimism for the future. This global health crisis and race pandemic have shown me the true colors of the world and those around me. It’s sparked something in me I can’t define at the moment. When I get there you’ll know. 7 months into 2020 and I have to say this has been The Eye-Opening Year.