Finding Myself Outside of Black Womanhood
There comes a point in everyone's adulthood when they have to face one of the scariest questions of their life—"Who am I?". No, not the same question we've asked ourselves since puberty. But an in-depth search into your soul to observe the world for what it is and discover your role within it. Matter of fact let me rephrase the question. Who the fuck am I and what the hell is going on?
Seriously, all my life I've had to live a reality not just as a human with a vagina, but a human with a vagina and a massive amount of melanin. Although vaginas are magical and melanin is black gold, they come with the hefty price of oppression and psychological disruption. Dealing with that for a lifetime has clouded a true view of myself outside of labels I can't escape. I'm not about to get all Facebook woke because I think we all know the effects of misogyny and white supremacy. So let's skip the part where I have to rant about how the world is literally set up for me to be fucked up and get to how that actually affects how I come to terms with my adult self.
No matter what group you've been placed in by society, there are layers to you that no one can organize. Even though the groups we belong to have cultures that shape us in some type of way, everyone has that special spark that makes them unique. But how can you shine when you're constantly reminded to behave a certain way. If someone doesn't follow the herd of sheep they're called a coon, self-hating, weak, dumb, arrogant etc. Why? Because we are the society of shaming. The moment I came in this world as a black woman, I was thrown in an intense ass game of social tug of war. The "woke" folks and extreme feminists pulling me on one end and the nonchalant, educated but dumb folks pulling me on the other. Meanwhile, I just want them to let me go so I can order some tacos and chill. I can't make decisions without being judged in some way, shape or form.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for standing for our rights and giving a big "fuck you" to The Man, but dammit I'm tired. At what point am I allowed to be a 20 something who gets to find an ounce of inner peace at least for one minute of my newly found adulthood?
When people ask me to write something about myself, the first thing I think of is black woman. I don't actually put it down, but it is literally the first thing that pops in my head. Some of you might think this is a good thing. I'm self aware and know who I am. But how true is that? Knowing who you are only based on labels that are imposed on you isn't really knowing your true self. Sure, I can say all the bullshit adjectives like funny, friendly or kind, but what does that say? There are a million funny human beings walking around but what makes me special? The crazy thing is, a lot of us are scared to be special. Why? Because special might mean we actaully think period blood is disgusting. Special might mean we actually think money does matter in a relationship. Special might mean we believe being black doesn't mean you have to defend every black person. We've become a society of shaming to the point where a lot of us have been conditioned to think a certain way because we know nothing else or, even worse, we know but are afraid of being dragged on social media.
I've literally pondered the question of my idiosyncratic identity for years and I always have to remind myself that it's okay not to fit the mold set for me by society. I don't want to be your definition of real woman and I don't want to be your definition of a black queen. I honestly just want to be Rachel who understands that society needs to change.
One part of society thinks I'm too black and not ladylike, while anoher part thinks I'm not radical enough and not down for the cause. At some point, I stopped giving a fuck. It makes no sense to hide my views and personality because of what others think. That is the key to finding yourself through all this bullshit. It's bad enough to have life's woes as a new adult, but to top it off with the burden of being a double minority is murderous.
This doesn't mean I'll stay silent when a man gets away with rape or another senseless case of police brutality occurs. It just means that soul searching should go beyond labels. Finding your individual reality and inner peace is just as important as loving and supporting your peers. So, I'm just going to grab my coconut oil, drink my water and tell society...