Hi folks! Long time, no write, huh? It’s been a WHIRLWIND of a semester and for the sake of NOT having another long post. Here are my life updates in a nutshell: 1) I graduated on May 13th with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and a Certificate in Maternal/Child Health, 2) I moved back home, 3) I’m jobless, and 4) I start studying for the MCAT…TOMORROW. This first half of 2019 has been…challenging but nonetheless…towards graduation, I faced victory after victory, despite every obstacle thrown my way prior to May. Despite all of my doubts, tears, and stress over my Masters thesis….here I am. I made it, and my thesis? Well, it’s on it’s way to being published. This still goes without saying…once again, I’m jobless. But, that’s a post for another day. Before I jump into today’s post, I’ll end my update with this- I don’t know where life will take me as I prepare to go after my dream of going to medical school…but I’m determined…to run. Run after everything I’ve been neglecting- rest, peace, love, dating, TRAVELING. I’m ready…to live life on MY terms…not at a full-time job I hate, suffering under education, or stressing. I’m ready…to live freely.
In order to truly “live” freely, this brings me to today’s “Ted Talk”.
Generational curses. They’re an um…tricky thing. We get older. We think we have a handle on life. We think we’ve finally reached “maturity”…until we’re thrown off of our feet-battling demons and situations that just seem to be never-ending. Cycles…that’s what everyone calls it. Whether it’s a family history of drinking, an addiction to pornography, an endless chain of abuse, domestic violence, drugs, failed marriages, and anything else you can think of. Cycles. They must be broken…in order to be free.
I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating my life, the choices I’ve made, and the relationships I see in my family. And it’s never been more apparent in my own life like it has been recently…that it’s up to ME…to break free from the bondage that I see. Emotional abuse. Turmoil. Suffering. None of the aforementioned is FOR me, yet how do I break free from something when it’s the ONLY thing I see? It’s simple. I woke up one day…and I said this to myself- “No matter what…this stops now! And it starts…WITH ME!”
I battled with this…a lot. My thoughts circling: how can I love my family, yet not want to be LIKE them? And the only answer I could reach was this- I commend my family. For every trial. For every mistake. For every tribulation. For every triumph. Because the way I see it…one misstep or one error that wasn’t DESTINED…could’ve meant me NOT being where I am presently. And for that…they will always have love from me. For that…they will always have my loyalty. However…their life is not mine to live. Their life is not for me. And that’s okay, I’m learning. I’m also learning that the choices I make…they may not understand. Or maybe in the future..they won’t be as “accepting”. And that’s okay, too. Because they only judge from their own life experiences and what they’ve been “raised” to believe. And, that’s what progression is. That’s what “breaking free” means- creating new paths, leading new ways, re-writing stories. You could ask anyone enslaved or trapped by means of systematic oppression that and they’d tell you their story.
Bondage. Merriam Webster has a definition that says: “a state of being bound usually by compulsion (as of law or mastery)”. As a black woman, I will always be bound. Bound to a patriarchal oppression, white supremacy, and male domination. Historically, I am expected…to do everything, “endure” in silence, and “love” relentlessly. It’s what black women know. And it’s all around the black women I see. This year…I say, “Nah. Not me.” This stops now…and starts with me.
If you’re reading this, you could be battling your own generational chains and wondering…well Dia, how do we do it? How do we break free? I don’t have all the answers. And I know that’s not what you were expecting, but it’s the truth. It’s my honesty. But here’s what else I know…it’s going to be ugly. You’re going to have to dig up your roots, confront everything you once knew, analyze everything your parents taught you, and then look in the mirror…and face YOU. Answer this: Do you like what you see? Is this a life worthy of blending IF you decide you want to be married? Is this a life you want to lead IF you decide to bear children? And even if the former don’t apply to you….the most important question to ask- IS THIS A LIFE THAT WILL MAKE YOU GROW? MAKE YOU HAPPY?
IS THIS LIFE….ALLOWING YOU TO RECEIVE EVERYTHING THE UNIVERSE HAS IN STORE FOR YOU? IS THIS LIFE….GRANTING YOU….FREEDOM?
Whoever is reading this right now…I don’t know what you’re dealing with. I don’t know what you’re imprisoned for. I don’t know if you’re suffering or bleeding silently. Maybe after you read this…you’ll get empowered and it won’t get better (Damn Dia, what?). That’s reality. I can write all day...supply hope, empowerment, and whatever else you all may need…Truth is though…sometimes the cards are just NOT aligned for everyone. Sometimes it’s not until God or the Universe decides to do the re-aligning. Sometimes (maybe most times)…it’s up to you. Will you dig yourself out today? Will you fight?
Whatever the case may be, read this…and cling to hope…believing that one day…it will stop. One day….it will get better. One day…it will cease.
It stops now…and it starts…with you.