If you haven’t watched the Netflix series Luke Cage, you’re missing out. It may be the blackest thing that I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m not talking about it being dark. I’m talking about it being a testament in being black in America, and still thriving. Even when everything around you seems to be crumbling. All you want to do is walk unnoticed around your neighborhood, but you are given the task of being the superhero.
Granted, I’m no superhero, but I do think that I’ve been tasked with being a little bit more than just the house on the corner. It’s weird you know. Having a feeling of needing to be supportive of people who may never speak to you, or even thank you for being supportive of them. It’s easy to look away. To only worry about my house. My grass. My yard. It’s much harder to worry about, genuinely worry about, the well being of others who aren’t connected to you in any other way except the fact that they are alive too.
This summer has taught me many things. The creation of the Union Avenue Community Garden was in my spirit for so long. Even before we moved into our current neighborhood. I wanted to be able to eat off of the land, and share that with the community. For the most part I did. We had theft. We had folks who didn’t understand what a community garden was, and thought it was just there to take from as they pleased. This made me upset. Then it made me sad. Then it totally made me realize that this is part of the journey that I started early this year. It’s not all going to be rainbows and unicorns. Ever. We’re in the process of fencing off the space, but because we don’t legally own it – yet – we can’t. I have a scholarship program that I want to start, and monthly classes. We’ll sell the produce that we can’t possibly eat to start funding the scholarship, and community trips .
Then there’s the plight of being a parent to a teenager. Lately these days I feel like I’m moving backwards. Butting heads. Dealing with slick talk, and general disregard for rules. Becoming confused as to how my teen is so perfect outside of the four walls of our home, but not so much when he crosses that threshold. I’m out of ideas outside of slathering him in blessed oil and laying him on the altar (which doesn’t seem like a bad idea most days) and crying out from my soul to heaven. I know that most people see a well behaved 16 year old, but I just get dead eyes until something is desired of me, and then I’m the best mom in the world again. It’s almost like being in a bad relationship, but in this instance you REALLY know that the person does indeed love you, but just doesn’t know how to show it. The example being set to the bottom three is not ideal either.
Houseful of Nicholes is moving at a pace that I wasn’t ready to accept. It’s going fast, and it’s waiting on me to jump on and enjoy the ride. We’re makers around these parts, but you don’t get to enjoy much of that because I haven’t shared like I should, because I always feel guilty for doing it so much. That’s why you’re here though, right? To see and read about things that I’m doing, or going through. No matter how much I try to think along that vein, I always think that I’m not doing it right STILL because I should be living in the moment, instead of being IG famous. Decisions, decisions. Of course, I’m traveling more, making more, cooking more, and sewing more than I have been in the last two years. We’re going to finish our basement ourselves, and I want to share that. Not necessarily to show people HOW, because I’m pretty sure that we’re going to make mistakes, but that you CAN if you have the trust in yourself and the courage to move forward.
Lastly, there’s the plight of wanting to talk race, socioeconomic infrastructure, and all of those hot button topics without feeling ashamed for doing so. Being able to talk about the PTSD of this election cycle. The pain in seeing so many people who hate people that look like me who speak out when they’re being done wrong. Being able to do that without feeling like I am stepping on toes or making people shift in their seats. Then I realized, that growth is never comfortable. Growing feet hurt in shoes that are too tight because they need a larger pair. Growing awareness hurts because it pushes people out of a zone of comfort that they had grown accustomed to, like that favorite sweatshirt that you’ve worn since college that suddenly becomes too tight to pull over.
Hopefully as I grow and press forward, you’ll stay along for the ride. Sometimes it gets lonely.