This morning I thought to reach out to a...friend...that I made under the most unlikely circumstances. I go into most places with the intentions of being respectful, getting what I came for before exiting stage left. As a woman who is VERY open to energies outside of me, I try to keep the gates around me closed pretty tight to keep the crazies out. I used to be burdened by stray cat syndrome, picking up broken women (& men) along my travels who snacked on me as they got advice and assistance navigating their own lives from me. It made navigating my own damn near impossible. That lasted for several years and left me dry and empty. I had to establish major boundaries.
Every now and then I can go somewhere and leave richer for having gone. It's a rare treat to be standing in the grocer's freezer section singing a song lyric stuck in your head and find a like mind who completes it with you. Next thing you know you've exchanged numbers, started a book club and make sure to catch that artist together whenever s/he comes to town. I can imagine the eyes rolling after reading that unlikelihood, but you know what I'm sayin. This sista and I came together over her child. I was his teacher, he's her life's charge. We both want nothing but the best for him. It's not that I didn't feel that for all of my students, but she supported me and didn't stand in my way. She was honest about who her son is and didn't try to pretend that the little boy in my classroom was a completely different [translate: better] person at home. She never fronted on me about issues that could potentially affect her son's attitude/behavior/performance in my class. That kind of honesty bridged a gap for us to be honest with each other about our individual struggles as women. We were unintentionally about the business of forming a support system for one another.
Her son is no longer in my classroom. Hell, I'm a teacher sans classroom this year. But he's not far from my heart and neither is she. So I reached out. What I got back is what she's always given me: support, space to share my truth, and inspiration. Her story is her own to tell, but it's not too much different from any other [Black] woman, except that it's hers. No less inspiring. She believes in the good in me, passes no judgment. She said to me today that Black women should do this, be this for each other more often--tell each other the truth and live the best we can with our collective support and strength.
I hope that when you stop thru here as you break from your daily doldrums, or to take a moment out before you change out of your daytime cape to your nighttime cape, that you find the truth of what life is for me as a woman. Because our experiences are so similar, I hope that my truth relieves the pressure of yours that you perhaps haven't spoken out loud yet. Maybe you're not ready to put it all out there. Well, I can't keep it in anymore, so I'll do it for you if you don't mind. ...& even if you do...
Silence is no longer an option in my life. And as my friend said today, one of the themes for this year is lemonade: take the bitter with the sweet and make lemonade.
Pour yourself a tumbler, and...
Watch me move.