I woke up around 7AM and before I could press the reset button and start over...
I sat at the end of my bed and said aloud:
“Damn! All those dark skin jokes got the best of me...they won…and here I am.”
Seriously...What the hell is wrong with being a barer of dark skin in America?
I promise we’ve been called ugly from our existence by our peers and strangers. The words “handsome, beautiful, pretty, and fine” aren’t sewn into the fabric of our being at a young age unless it’s coming from a family member...but they don’t count cause they have to say it to you…at least that’s how I felt as a child.
Look at me sitting here with my 10 year old self…
Fifth grade was rough on you…that’s where you learned you were a member of the “you’re so black you’re blue” crew (then everybody laughed). I didn’t get the joke at first but my own black people would remind me from 1993 and beyond! It’s the joke that will never rest in peace. A joke that didn't make me feel handsome or attractive...a joke that made me feel unworthy. I remember I used to tell my dad about it and he would say you're as black as me and there will never be anything wrong with that! Black is beautiful and it's important that you know that! He would play this real dope record by Curtis Mayfield off the "Curtis" album title "We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue" that I would listen to when I felt down about my complexion.
In 1993 at Woodbury Elementary school...I bared witness to the inaugural dig of the foundation of my lack of self-worth. It didn't help that I was husky as well. There were these two girls that use to have an arsenal of jokes to take me out from the time I got to the bus stop...to the bus ride to school...to the bus ride home after school. Me and my man Melvin use to get tore down on a daily by Ebony and Shameeka and I had ZERO jokes to defend there toxic slander of my appearance...I just had two fist that I loved to put into action but that wasn't the answer for girls. I use to wonder how they came up with these clever things to say about me that had everyone dying in laughter?? I was an easy target for the popular guys who came after me with jokes and I wanted to fight them too but my mama wasn't playing about school and if I got kicked out for fighting over words I knew I would be in trouble. I wasn't trying to face that...but those damn words were like a million knives cutting me everyday and I had to deal with it from 1993 - 2001.
If I showed you all the scars would you run?
What started out as just a plot of land in 1993 was now a skyscraper in 2011...a skyscraper that I had to tear down and replace as soon as possible. At 29 years of age I was hurt, lost, and wearing a mask that everything was fine in my life but I was so empty. Living in that skyscraper was so dangerous because I was willing to deal and put up with almost anything in dating just as long as they would stay...even if it wasn't right and destructive...If they stuck around it was good enough for me because my worth was built on knowing someone wanted me. Knowing that they saw my scars and dealt with them...but I couldn't see that my insecurities were being used against me creating more scars.
I sat there for an hour thinking about all the things I had to do to tear this skyscraper down and be something different than what I was. The time had come and I thought to myself...
If I show myself my scars would I run? ....I chose to answer with "No"
Shall we begin? ....I chose to answer with "Yes"
How is it that I can treat everyone so damn good and not treat myself with the same type of care? I've heard and seen so many peoples insecurities and made them feel safe and comfortable in my presence. I'm the holder of deep dark secrets, the shoulder to many tears of pain, the comforter of peoples most vulnerable moments...
Yet I can't look in the mirror at the darkness in my face or the millions of cuts on my bleeding heart that long to love others...and see the worthiness in loving my reflection. It was sad and pathetic and in that moment I hated it but it was everything I needed. It was time to say goodbye to who I was and evacuate the skyscraper. This was the my last goodbye...no more feeling sorry for what happen in the past...it was a choice and a change of mind because I didn't want to feel the way I had been feeling since 1993 anymore. No more mask wearing...no more representatives....just a new outlook...a real reset!
The first statement I made was"
"I'm responsible for dealing with my insecurities! No one else is...I AM!"
This statement was so important because I couldn't continue to let what happen in my past have an affect on my current and future relationships with people. It's unfair to them to place my insecurities on their shoulders to deal with in love and in friendships. I am not here to burden anyone or expect them to coddle me due to my insecurities that I haven't actively dealt with. Whatever it takes...I have to deal with my insecurities because that alone is the key to my self-worth.
Another part of me wanted to be accepted by people and I would do numerous things I didn't like doing to be accepted and that problematic. I came across a really great quote by one of my music heroes:
"Not one drop of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me" -Quincy Jones
This quote was a life changer! I began to think about all the things that made me feel whole as I realized that those things would help me build my self-worth. So I made this list of everything I needed to do:
1. Make a list of all the things you love and try to do two of them twice a week
2. Don't make time for things you don't like doing
3. Travel to see your friends since they don't live in your state because they make you feel loved!
4. Travel out the country because the world is much bigger than your corner and great new experiences replace bad old ones.
5. Work out and get your body to a place that you like it to help build your confidence.
6. Black is beautiful...Clearly women love Idris Elba and you're as dark as him.
7. Make others acknowledge your craft (family and friends must acknowledge music as a job and not a hobby)
8. Take yourself and this list seriously and let's see if others follow suit.
9. Make Quincy Jones' quote a reality by next year!
Making the list was the easy part...It's the application part that separates actual change in self-worth from cheap talk!