My half birthday just recently occurred on the same day as the solar eclipse. It kinda passed by as ambiguously as the way I experienced the eclipse at a location that wouldn't see totality-- Did it happen yet? Is this it? It wasn't until after the eclipse, the summer shower that followed, the long day at work, & the navigation thru traffic to go meet mine for a viewing of Crown Heights, that I realized what the date was. I had to laugh at how strangely appropriate it was that on my Black woman ass 1/2 birthday, I was sitting in a movie theatre watching a film about how the legal & justice systems conspired to rob a Black man of more than 20 years of his life for a crime he didn't commit & the various impacts it had on EVERYONE.
It seems that right now joy has to be fought for because there are just SO MANY assaults on our individual & collective Black psyches. While I continue to consider exactly how to celebrate being 42 point 5 years old, I began thinking about the things I've learned in the last 42.5 years. A list 40 strong ain't really good reading, though they exist, & truthfully I may be too lazy to sit still long enough consider 42 whole things so I decided on a list of 21. Feel free to comment & add yours to the list cuz we all out here learning & growing together.
1. Thong underwear is NOT for daily use.
2. Underwire bras are the devil. Your breasts have committed no crimes so they should not be held behind bars.
3. Denial is a waste of time. Whatever you're pretending ain't real will fight HARD to prove to you it's as bad as you pretending it ain't.
4. No 2 relationships are the same. Go out & create yours in the image of your REAL needs.
5. Wear colors. They change your outlook.
6. You teach people how to treat you but that includes YOU.
7. Fuck tame.
8. Handwritten letters & cards still matter.
9. A good lippy can boost your day.
10. All the rules you've been sold are waiting for you to break them. Get the "crazy" hair color, or whatever you've been denying yourself. That ain't gon' be the reason you're unemployed.
11. Don't take humility so far you don't remember your own greatness.
12. Don't let your greatness confuse you into believing there's no work to be done.
13. Learn to make something. The process is therapeutic & it might prove to be a source of income.
14. Food trends shouldn't guide dietary choices as much as paying attention to what the things you consume do TO YOU or FOR YOU.
15. He ain't thinking bout your thighs. Or your pooch. You're the only 1. & if you really ain't feelin' it, well, do something about it.
16. Deprivation will make you miserable. That includes food, sex, those shoes you want, space, etc...
17. Shame is born in your own mind & anyone who would dare actively shame you ain't shit & you immediately have permission not to care what they think.
18. Maturing is BEAUTIFUL. Don't resist it, but know it ain't the same as ackin' old. Ain't nothin' cute about that.
19. Never. Stop. Moving.
20. Drive can be a dangerous drug that robs you of joy. Don't let your drive drive you into the ground, forgetting to enjoy life along the way.
21. Think back on what you enjoyed as a child & bring it back.
I think I'll work on the other 21 things. Maybe I'll share, maybe I won't, but I feel good about even being in a position to capture my life lessons. That in itself is a blessing. & while there are no guarantees, I hope to be able to do 31 things I know at 62.
Watch me move.