To my surprise, I’ve actually been following through with a good majority of the goals I’ve set for January. 2019 is the year that I’ve made the conscious decision to venture out of my house more than the 2 times a year I typically would. Some negative force in the back of my head always convinces me to just stay in my bed and sulk. That was what my 2018 consisted of and I am determined to not make that a pattern of this new year. I know I’m not alone with this struggle and often times, depression or anxiety can be the root of it. With the help of online therapy & some TLC, a lot of these issues can be unpacked and even resolved. With that being said, a few days ago I found myself inside the warmth of Bordertown Coffee for the Chai & Chill open mic put on by Black Table Arts. I’ve honestly been wanting to go to these events for the longest time but that voice would always stop me…that’s a thing of the past.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect coming into the event but the moment I walked into the full house I could instantaneously feel the loving, welcoming & accepting energy that seemed to be present within everyone in attendance. Energy so warm I could feel it pull me in for a hug me as I found a seat at the head of the room with 3 of the now closest people in my life. I don’t want to make this a full review of the event because that’s not the purpose of this entry, but just know that the Black love & creativity was ever present.
The hour and a half that I spent in that cozy room made me feel so…whole. Y’all have no idea how long it’s been that I was just surrounded by Black energy and thought provoking conversation. For someone like me who spends majority of their time in the house & alone, this is such a necessity. There was one moment that nearly brought me to tears and even as I’m writing this out, I can sense that feeling coming back. If you know me, you’ll understand that I’m a pretty damn emotional woman and that’s just the way I’ve always been. It wasn’t until recently that I really started embracing and accepting that. Anyways, one of my friends that came with me to Chai & Chill decided to perform at the last second despite being nervous and it being her first performance. I didn’t even know what she’d perform & I’ve only had the pleasure to hear a taste of her work once or twice in a 15 second Instagram video yet I knew greatness was to come.
So she goes up to recite a piece that I could instantly tell was about a subject that weighs heavy on her heart and mind. It flowed so effortlessly and thick, like honey or molasses with hint of Henny. If I had to describe her, that would probably be how I’d do it. Sweet but with a strong ass kick that you can’t help but love. Watching her open up to so many people as she has only done with a select few was so fucking beautiful y’all. We’ve been friends for a good minute now and to see her release all that hurt I know so well was therapeutic to not only her, but myself as well. As she allowed the pain to exit her body and transform into healing, the room seemed to be captivated. I couldn’t help but wonder if she too could feel herself becoming the woman she always told me she had dreamed of being.
To be honest, I don’t even know why I decided to focus on her for this entry. Maybe it’s because I felt like she needed it. Maybe it’s because I needed it. Either way I felt compelled to share this moment. Feelings of gratitude, release & love filled me then & now, and as we all know, I love to overshare from time to time. Lastly, don’t be afraid to love your friends and to love them fiercely. Romantic love is not the only love that matters and it took me entirely too long to figure that out. We need to start loving our friends and ourselves just as much as we thought we loved that boy in high school.
I say all that to say this: go into this new month with a sense of gratitude. Be grateful that no matter where you are currently, by the end of February you will have grown in some way. Transformed. Just as my friend had. Just as I had. Take a risk no matter how small, because you never know who you’ll inspire. If you’re really lucky, you just might inspire yourself as well.
A Carefree Black Girl