When I was 8, I went to a cousin's wedding in Lansing, Michigan. My mom and I stayed after the wedding festivities to sight-see. One afternoon, we were walking to the public bus and it flew passed us to the bus stop, a good distance away. My mom told me to run! I took off jogging, casually. Frustrated and annoyed, I stopped running. I turned around and proclaimed that I was tired and our efforts were futile. She told me to keep running. Rolling my eyes, I took off in a light sprint and the bus driver was gracious enough to wait for us to catch up (this clearly wasn't anything like the brutal NYC transit operators who could care less about you). We winded-ly climbed on the bus and to this day, my mother uses this story to lecture me about the benefits of not giving up--of not quitting.
Although my mother would never want me to stay in a toxic situation, that experience has shaped the narrative around my vigorous fight against being labeled "quitter."
Disclaimer: For mature audiences only
I was sexually assaulted on a first date when I was 24. The events of that evening landed me in Harlem Hospital at 2 am with a concussion and a bruise on my forehead (among other things). During the hours in which I took up residence in a private emergency room, I was coached by a nurse on how to proceed--to take legal action immediately or to not take legal action...to complete a rape kit or to not complete a rape kit. It was overwhelming. I also had to take 17 pills, mostly anti-viral meds. It was intense. There was a moment when I looked up to the ceiling and silently bemoaned. "Really God?" I said, as the quick air from a painful chuckle slipped through my lips. I felt like I was in an episode of Law & Order: SVU. I felt defeated. I felt stupid. I felt isolated. And all because I said, "yes." The details of what transpired that evening are not important to this post. What is important, however, is how the lingering trau…
Recently, my little brother got engaged. 🎉
But can I just say, Hashtag Triggered?! 😑
I was very thrilled that he finally proposed to his now fiance and that I absolutely love her. She is so sweet and brings goodness into his world. I'm so excited for them. However, during my last trip home to New Orleans, a family member was chatting with me about it and asked about my relationship, and then proceeded to say,
"I thought you'd be next." 😣 B*TCH, ME TOO! DAMN!
I did not say this aloud as I was in my father's house (#shondo #imchurchy), but everything in my body tensed up. Every hair stood up on my boiling skin and my heart began palpitating as I attempted to calmly explain why I wouldn't "be next" while simultaneously trying not to burst into tears in front of company. I started rambling about my burgeoning career--about "our" careers--and attempting to refocus the conversation while wanting to jump into the large pot of red beans simmer…