It’s been nearly a year and a half since I’ve been able to sit down and write in this capacity. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t know where to begin. So much has changed and greatly shifted. There is so much brand new and scary beautiful that words seem almost cumbersome in expressing such delicate feelings and experiences. I was afraid that my sometimes clumsy and overly colorful rhetoric would get in the way of subtlety and therefore come off as shallow or insincere. I often gave in to the notion that there is nothing inherently unique about my personal happenstance considering the worlds current state. Nevertheless it has been my purpose and dare I say my pleasure to record the human experience as witnessed by a thirty-something, queer, black woman who has no idea what the fuck is going on. So yeah, let’s just make a start.
I feel it’s necessary to begin our recap with the mention of a bad breakup which puts us just weeks before my 31st birthday, post New Years 2019. It was an unexpected blessing in drag that, once the dust had settled, left me more relieved than shaken. When I broke the news to close family and friends I was greeted with more of a, “Good for you!” approach as opposed to the expected, “Oh I’m so sorry to hear that.” - All of which coincidentally put me in a space of looking forward to the future. Mind you I was not the one who did the breaking up rather I was on the receiving end of the impact. It was Just so abundantly obvious to everyone except me that my relationship had well over ran it’s course. I was just too lazy and complacent to notice that the greatest gift my partner could have ever given me was their absence. However it didn’t have to be done so messily and in such a gross and cowardly fashion.
For the first few weeks of newly single life I did what any respectable, self loathing young woman would do in my position and that was deem myself undesirable and therefore unworthy of love. While burying myself in work obligations and half-assed creative endeavors, I became too booked to be bothered and after a while, I didn’t even have to try at it. It really is true that once you stop looking for something, you find everything and somewhere amidst the dwindling madness I just so happened to find myself. I continued to keep a full schedule. I even made it a point to RSVP to every gathering that I would’ve otherwise said no to. Throwing myself into the fold of fellow well dressed dykes who, like me, were also half-passed give a fuck with love and all of its misguided offerings of forever. I knew that eventually I would again try my hand at landing that fairytale ending but in the meantime, can we just have sex and lots of it? …PleAsE!?
If love wasn’t to be on the table, I felt at least I should be. -Flesh spread apart and placed on a platter, held wide open with no expectation of infatuation post consumption. I lowered myself to the subpar standards of todays dating scene. Borrowing bodies until I felt just in my conquest for passing time. But perhaps my years of pilfering treasured moments while tied to a sad sack of unnecessary granted me pardon in falling victim to a whole new low. The first woman I encountered In my state of jaded solitude was indeed the romantic. She willfully shattered my knack for self loathing and placed me on a pedestal so high that even my most entitled self had to question it. We dated, not just casually but with purpose and in time, I truly began to mend.
This is not the part of the story where I boldly exclaim the revolutionary impact of finally finding my one true love. This isn’t even the part where I attest to there actually being a “one true love”. However, this is the part where I embarrassingly begin to realize just how low I had once set the bar. I was so used to being taken advantage of that this woman’s genuinely good deeds began to feel like an ongoing joke. My sick brain interpreted her goodness as suspicious behavior. I had become too broken and low maintenance to notice that I deserved the world and then some. She and I had some good times and once they were over, we eventually parted ways. But damn if she didn’t bless me with a whole new appreciation for myself and all of the sex and good loving I had been missing out on. I promised to think of her fondly as I knew there would be others like her to come. I once again regrouped, counted my blessings and quickly moved right along.
But enough about the romantic aspects of things (for now). During this time, my platonic relationships had flourished tremendously. Honestly, it’s not as if they actually suffered a great deal as they were my sole outlet for peace and recreation amidst my highest highs and lowest lows. We drank and talked shit, raved and rioted all the while dressing wounds left by life’s ruthless nature. We commiserated over our savage tendencies. Vowing to heal and live freely while allowing the things that fail to serve us to dissipate like ice at the bottom of a glass that can always be refilled. We really do find our ride or die tribe in the course of a crisis. You are only as good as the company you keep and trust me when I say, I have the stellar character to prove it. The moments where I wasn’t at my best, I was able to find my true friends waiting for me at the bottom of each and every breakdown. They helped carry me out of spells of spiraling self doubt and depression, -proof that I had done something right in identifying my chosen family.
If you do not learn from the failures of the fools you have endured then you are bound to repeat those ghosts forever. So much of what we learn to tolerate is hollow and infertile. Learning to identify barren grounds from fruitful fields becomes a full time job. But I have since learned to do so and I am onwardly learning still. For the record, we are too old to be idle and content with mediocrity. We shouldn’t allow second-rate treatment to be the basis on which we build from. There is no reward given for suffering fools gladly. No one is going to congratulate you on how much bullshit you choose to put up with on a daily basis. Thankfully most of us don’t resemble the impact of who and what we’ve held up against. And with these next 40 or 50 years ahead of me, I know that I haven’t waded in the last of my troubled waters just yet.
At the closing of my life’s most recent chapters, the characters may have changed but the story remains the same. The art and words that will pour from my experiences are mere testament to the ongoing work that is knowing your worth and upping the price every time a bitch gets it twisted. These strange times are merely an accumulative drop in the bucket of what is to come and I welcome it all. I welcome it all with a brave heart and a more realized sense of self. I promise to keep a pen in hand and record all the madness along the way so stay tuned and don’t count me out. I’m back!