I have always tried to be all of these things. When I hurt, I mean when the disappointment, the betrayal, and the anger ran so deep. When I hurt, I was strong. That strength began as me trying to distance myself from my emotions. I had never heard of a strong cryer back when I was 11 years old. That year of life marked the beginning of lessons learned that would enhance my existence. I cried a lot. The more I cried, the angrier I became. The angrier I became, the less I cared. The injustices I began to witness daily were a constant reminder of the unfairness in this world; a constant reminder that before I was anything, I was black. After black, I was a woman: a woman who would have to find a way to navigate her marginalization if survival of my sanity was to occur.
I would lie in my bed and think about what that survival would look like. Would it be drug induced? Would it be bitter and angry? Those were the only two that I clearly envisioned. The one that was difficult to picture was the one I wanted. I wanted peace. I did not just want peace. I wanted someone to share it with. What would that look like? Every relationship I had ever witnessed was troubled. Even those who stayed married, if they were ever married, were not happy. Not by my definition. My thoughts drifted into whether what I yearned for so desperately was an ideal or if it could be possessed in this world.
I thought I met him. I thought I loved him. I thought he loved me. I thought that a few more times. I smile when I consider what I refer to as my advocacy for love, but not just any love. I never wanted god love. Humans are not gods, so no man could deliver that. I wanted a feeling that could not be described in words. I wanted to know. Every time I thought I had that, it turned out to be something else, something horrid, some imitation of love. But my heart would not be fooled by a mockery of something so pure and so beautiful. The frustration of years passed have begun to set in and I wonder, why don’t I have that? I followed all of the rules. I work for everything I have. I did not let any man I encountered destroy that which is me. And oh, how they tried!
I find myself wondering. All of the things I have set out to accomplish, all of the characteristics I diligently work on that I want to be a representation of my being are legit in more than a sense. So why do I offend? Why am I so offensive? My education offends. My decision making offends. My demand for the utmost respect offends. These offenses have somehow created an obstacle between me and my desired peace. Maybe it is because while I was receiving the message of integrity my ambassadors of peace were receiving one to destroy it.
Be man. Be all of the things that woman is not. Be a strong, independent, and intelligent black man. --- Words from older black women I admired.