I spoke to a friend today after a long time. You don’t realize how much it matters until you do realize. How much courage and peace it gives you to keep moving on with hard choices and difficult times. Do it. Even if they don’t ask you to, they need you to, they want you to.
I have been looking to make sense of recent events. I have been struggling with so many questions these days; most of you who know me know this. Those of you who don’t know me know that there has been a series of events that have shaken me over the years. Not much shakes my belief in who I am. I don’t take too much serious about life. I believe in what is right in front of me. Anything I cant feel, smell or taste doesn’t matter much, in my opinion. If you are not here, you are not one of mine, and you are not necessary.
I have never connected with people on the outside of who I think are my inner circle. Especially not with those I see on screens. I enjoy them, that’s the purpose. I’m all in, in the moment, and then I’m back in the real world because we don’t have the luxury to linger. We have real shit to deal with, and that looks nothing like the movies.
Some would say that that’s not an accurate statement in my case, but I would argue that Marvel is an absolute real universe that exists, and you cant change my mind about it. You wanna try? I Can Do This All Day.
To my original point, being the realist that I am, when I heard of Chadwick Boseman’s passing, it shattered me beyond my own belief. You would think that this was as a mere Marvel Comics “fan” who is raising two boys to be the same. Well, one is kind of a deviant and prefers DC, but not all our kids can be perfect like us, am I right?
Every time I speak of him I surprise everyone because no one understands why I have such a strong connection with this person that no longer lives among us and never did live amongst me and mine. I couldn’t understand it either. It makes no sense. But it hurts. It hurts to the point that I try to avoid social media and other places where I might find his face. It’s too painful to look at; that’s a strange reaction from someone who has buried a son and a nephew. Actually I should just say two sons and countless other loved ones whose faces are etched in the depths of my heart from where there is no escape for them or me. Nevertheless it’s this stranger’s face that tugs at my heart, it’s not just one thing about him though, it’s his life, his words, his story.
I don’t mourn strangers in this way. I understand death comes to us all. Every living thing has to leave this world. His death has made no difference in my life, just as his life made no difference in mine. These are not cruel words; this is how I have always viewed those who are not a part of my life in an immediate way. I have faced enough to know that grieving the dead should be exclusively for the ones who lose the person; it’s not our business to cry for those we didn’t know. Strange logic, for sure. How else would you know its mine.
His story. That’s where it is. I saw somewhere that one of his colleagues in a beautiful tribute to him wrote in his remembrance, “So it seems that it was life that gave up on Chadwick long before Chadwick gave up on life.” There, right there. That’s it. My life is nothing like his. But I live with something invisible similar to him. I have to think about how to navigate my everyday all the while wanting and needing to make my mark in the world.
People wonder why he didn’t tell anyone about his cancer. I wondered too, but then I think the answer is quiet obvious; his work would be tainted. He would become the guy who achieved so much “even though” he was sick. That minimizes you in so many ways. It shouldn’t, but it does. Its hard enough being colored in this world, adding any other personal attributes that the world considers negative is likely not a wise decision. I wouldn’t know enough about that struggle of course, but I did survive high-school and college years with a chronic illness and chronic pain without telling anyone outside of family and few close friends because I was a brown girl in the United States, and I didn’t need anymore eyes on me. So I get it on some level, I showed up when I shouldn’t have. I lied and said I have a family emergency when I should have just said I’m not feeling well.
Boseman’s silence about what he went through makes people like me think how challenging it must have been for him. How was he not tired and exhausted every second of every day. If I have any hope of getting out of bed in the morning I need to be on all kinds of meds. These medicines however necessary are not a good look on a person; the swelling, the tiredness, the hair-loss, nausea, headache, I could go on.
Today my right hand refused to cooperate (RA is fun that way) so Im mostly typing with my left hand. The left elbow is starting to act up. Now I have a pillow under my elbow and I am still typing with one hand. You see, the danger in telling you all this is you have the choice to either believe me or not. Now I feel exposed. Life is giving up on me and I am not ready to give up on it yet. That’s where it hurts. That’s where his story matters to people like me. Some woman sitting in a completely different part of the world trying to type remembering that this guy fought a losing battle with so much heart and dignity, and won it, while She is failing at typing.
All I have ever wanted to do was write. When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis I was told that it will affect the wrists and fingers the most. Then years later my sciatica became a huge problem and now I cant sit for more than 30 minutes at a time.
30 years later I am still writing. I gave up so much in the process of learning how to be a person who has to live with these illnesses, the one thing I will not give up on is ME.
Basemen was my age, 43 years old. I found that out the day I found out that he had died. Like I said I don’t really keep track of people I don’t know personally. Also, age makes no difference other than the fact that I too will keep trying, be invisible until I die at some random age while everyone else is oblivious to the pain I am going through.
He wasn’t invisible. He was seen. He was heard. Maybe that’s why the heartache is so great. We would want him to know that we had his back. Maybe he didn’t tell people because he didn’t trust them or maybe because he knew he could handle whatever he was up against.
That clicking of the keyboard or that work that he put in, which is way greater than anything I’m doing or will ever do. I am in no way comparing my pain to his. I’m saying what he did comes easy to others (the results aren’t half as brilliant). People like us have to work much harder. Then to be judged by the same standards and sometimes even ridiculed for not being good enough is a painful process. If only those people could see how much effort it takes to literally just position ourselves on the desk to get our day started. The fear in letting them in is that your work is reduced to “even though” or its “good enough” for your kind, the sick and the weak.
I think the message would not have been as impactful for those of us who are in these kinds of predicaments had we known, we wouldn’t know that there is glory in this too. There is pride, love and self worth all the way to the end. Whenever death comes for me that’s the kind I want.
I bet the kind of pain that he endured in return for this triumph must have been brutal. Every-time I try to move and feel the crackle in my bones I think about how he hid his “crackles”from the world, I feel some kind of way I cant really put a name on; I feel like that pain can never be repaid. I feel like that’s a burden our society is going to have to live with. We don’t let our sick feel alive. We kill them before they are ready to die.
For the likes of me he is one of the rare who took the myth of “look at me I’m sick and I’m still standing” with him to the grave. He proved that there is another way. You don’t have to be reduced to how you feel or what illness has befallen your body.
This is my connection to him. My connection to him is of gratitude, its of someone who has gained courage to be a complete person outside of my circumstances. My connection to him is of someone whose footstep I’d like to follow. Someone who showed strength and grace just because that’s who they are, not ‘because of’ or ‘in-spite’ of something.
I don’t know how much of this matters but I had to write it down. It was weighing on my heart. This issue of whether we should make people listen and take note of how we live or just ignore the rest and be with our selves doing our best, has been a prevalent one with people with chronic illness and chronic pain. I have been trying to balance both point views.
Suddenly I am seeing things from a whole new direction. I don’t know what that changes. It does make me appreciate a lot more about my own life and the people around me. It makes me appreciate the fact that I am still sitting at this computer and typing.
So to that courageous and humble soul I say: thanks man, may your soul find peace and love. May you keep connecting the heavens and the earth to help people to be seen. Ameen
#RIP #restinpower #connectingtheheavens #myconnection #theworldisasmallplace #chadwick #chadwickboseman #marvel #blackpanthar #wakandaforever #ripking #wegotyourback #chadwickbosemanforever #neverforget
Long Live The King: In the most beautiful moments that he created on screen.
Long Live The King: In our hearts.
May you find more love and peace than you ever could down here.
#chadwickboseman #wakandaforever #longlivetheking #foreverisntlongenough #towhomitmayconcern
Being sick is hard on everyone. These days with Corona on the loose, everything is way more difficult.
Chronic Illness and Chronic pain has been my constant companion, whether I wanted it or not. In a changing world, this old friend gets even more intolerable. People however, stay just as ignorant.
#everythingisfine #everythingisnotfine #lifewithRA #life_with_chronic_pain #invisibleillness #invisibledisability #professionalscribbler #towhomitmayconcern
Shall we get into the kind of exquisite dialogue I have had with my wonderful male colleague? Who, by the way, is no longer my colleagues because of said dialogue. I was told work would be delivered within an hour. When it was not, I asked what had happened. I was asked to define “working hours” it was the middle of a weekday. Im sorry, what? You want me to tell you what working hours are? What kind of intimidation tactic is this? His exact words, “yes, I said I’ll deliver it in one hour on a work day in working hours. We have to first define what working hours are.” Seriously dude. Why is there a confusion? Working hours are the normal freaking working hours. He lives in the same city so you cant say theres a confusion over time zones.
So I need all of you just sit tight while I complain about how hard it is to be a woman doing business in this world. I know, there are worst catastrophes to talk about but today I choose to highlight this one. This is not something that should go unnoticed. There have been days, nights where I have stayed up wondering if I should just quit and get a job because where am I really going to get trying to fight and push and shove my way through this mess of men always trying to push me away. I mean, my gosh. Have all of you just completely forgotten that we are just as much human as the men, or were you never taught that? This was never a part of any lesson, ever? Was it? The things I have had to listen to and I am expected to put up with is horrifying. I sometimes ask my husband, who also runs his own business, if he had to deal with some of the things that I am dealing with, and he has no idea what I’m talking about.
Im not known for my cool-headedness and my calm demeanor. Many times when I tell people its hard to run a business or be a working woman in this world, Im told its because I’m too aggressive. Damn, right, I am. I am not going to go into that same old discussion of, “no one would say that to a guy,” but no one would. I’ve met plenty of assholes getting away with assholery in the name of being tough bosses.
Oh and the amount of men have tried to explain MY job to me is unbelievable. The amount of men that have tried to explain to me how writing works who have not picked up a pen or typed a word in their lives is amazingly high. Now, all of a sudden every guy is an expert on how to attract women to the subject matter we are talking about in my website; womens issues. Apparently I don’t know what I’m doing and they can help me do it better. They all seem to know what women want. They really really do.
Ask me how many men have asked me, “are you sure you understand what your audience wants?’. Actually don’t, its just going to frustrate you. Usually I don’t have an answer for them, because what women want is the exact opposite of that.
Oh and like anyone employing another human being you dare ask the hard questions no matter how polite you’re being they WILL get offended. A woman’s job is just to be impressed by their abilities and skills and hire them without asking any questions. On may occasions I have noticed they will start a conversation or an email with “dear sir” but as soon as they hear my voice or see me sign off with my female name they feel its completely okay to call me by my first name. I am still just as many years their senior. I am just as much their boss or going to be when they thought I was a man. I, btw have no issues being referred to by my first name. Im just pointing out the hypocrisy. However, that kind of respect is only reserved for the other kind of bosses, the other kind of seniority, not the female kind.
In the end I would like to say #notallmen, but you know, still, a lot of them. What kind of experiences have you had with bosses? I’m currently facing more than one kind of bias. We will talk about the other kind some other day. Tell me what other biases you guys face at work? Maybe that will be my in to tell you my other ‘fun’ stories from work.
Also, my people, you are staying safe right? I hope so. I need y’all alive and healthy.
#letsmakeadifference #wearehereforyou #happytohelp #telluswhatyouthink #lifteachother #femmerang #femmeرنگ #towhomitmayconcern #professionalscribbler
Ready to go live in a few hours. Cannot be more delighted by how we have made it to this point. To all of you who have helped me get here…I’ll buy you something pretty some day!
womenmatter #wematter #longroad #suniscomingup #bondedinsisterhood #bondedinwomanhood #letsdothis #professionalscribbler #towhomitmayconcern
I recently read somewhere that this is the time to connect with people that care about us; This is the time to be around them more. Somehow as some of us feel we are more able to spend time with our loved ones because of all this technology at our fingertips, some of us think that we are entirely cut off. While we might be on our phones or computers all day long, we might not be that great at using it for communication.
This makes me think of coffee or tea, depending on where your heart truly belongs. A good cup of coffee can cure any ailment. You will feel that’s not true if you are not addicted to this pure joy.
When you first open your eyes in the morning, look around to see the sunlight beaming through the window no matter what your night has done to you, you know your coffee/tea is going to take care of you. I have heard it being compared to a warm hug. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants. You smell that beautiful aroma that tells you the day has just started, and you are still as strong as you were yesterday. Get your ass up and try again.
No warm hugs for you today.
Isn’t that what friends do on a bad day?
A warm hug. Yes, that too. Im, not the hugging type. I need someone to tell me to stop being a baby and get it done. I need someone to tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself. Who can do that better than the bitter, sweet, hotness that is my first cup of coffee?
Oh yes, I have made actual human friends over cups of coffee too. The few that I cherish have been over the beverage of our choice. That is why it’s hard to imagine now having friends without this beautiful liquid.
What I’m trying to say and failing at explaining is that have you noticed how many of our friendships and hangouts depended on coffee, chai/tea(same word, different language)? We have forgotten how to communicate since we don’t have the option to sit down over a hot beverage. I have a cup of coffee next to me as I type, and I feel like I can’t get through writing this without taking a few sips of this magical serum. This is what we call coffee culture. That was my point, I think. When I started drinking coffee, it was those late nights and early mornings that every student has to deal with. Then came work and married life where you have to work and deal with those pesky life issues where people want from you, and their wants mean you need to be alert after that children. Now coffee is a matter of survival, honestly. Just give me an IV at this point. This is not about fun and sitting around with my friends, sipping on something, and discussing my problems and current events. This is how I open my eyes. I hope and pray the kids don’t wake up before I finish my first cup. Then the rest of the cups are taken in between trying to help them with homework and finishing my work like right now.
Somehow some genius saw the value in it for people like us. They decided that those of us who need it to survive could go-to place to catch a break. Now coffee shops are places where we go to find our solitude and escape from the world…or used to go to.
When that world that we are trying to escape is the world we have to embrace fully, and the people we go to for solitude are unavailable, all we have left of the coffee culture is coffee. How do we talk to people without coffee shops and coffee? Just people? That’s a little strange, don’t you think?
I have found a friend in the beverage itself. Nevertheless, the smarter thing to do would be to make yourself a cup of coffee and video call a friend. Maybe remind them to make themselves a cup of chai or coffee first, too. Im sure its better than drinking alone.
care #letthemshowit #showit #theywillshowit #theycare #youwillknow #wordsarenotenough #iamhere #behere #showme #tellme #tellmeandshowme #therealthing #professionalscribbler #towhomitmayconcern
I am such a long way from this young woman. I remember this day. My beloved cousin was getting married, and this is a picture from one of the million functions we had for her. I was actually excited about here, after a very long time something mattered because I knew I could have fun MY WAY. I had earned my freedom. I had left the life I didn’t want behind me. I was embracing who I wanted to be, I was changing, evolving, becoming me. This me that y’all know and barely tolerate. This young woman had no idea how much harder it would be to become her own person. Maybe if she knew she would choose to stay tied up in the glass house crumbling piece by piece. Maybe climbing all these mountains and going on all these adventures wouldn’t seem worth the trouble.
Today, I can tell you I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m stronger, lighter, braver, and without any regret today.
That little girl who was shoved into situations she didn’t want to be in would be proud of this young woman in the picture, and this young woman would not believe that she would become me some day. So…kudos to us.