I’ve been tapping away at this corner of the internet for a mighty long time, 2006 to be exact. I’ve never been much of a faithful blogger, stopping for months at a time and showing up when I had something new to talk about. And it was okay since it was just me writing my story out into the universe. But this time was a bit different. Unlike before when I went on a hiatus, people now were looking for me. Some sent me a couple of notes checking on me, making sure I was okay. I want to thank you for those notes – it really means a lot that people were thinking about me.
If you watch or listen to the Add Water and Stir podcasts (now on iTunes!), you know that I’ve been quiet because I’ve been struggling with information overload about the trials of being a black person in America. A couple of years ago, the media was full of stories about how bad it was to be a black woman – we were too educated, too angry, too fat, too picky, too everything that is not feminine and beautiful and wonderful which meant that we were underserving of being able to find a man. Then the media (finally) became interested in the killing of unarmed men and every other week it seemed that we were learning the name and circumstances of another tragedy. Twitter was blowing up with hash tags such as #IStandWithJada, the young woman whose rape was put on the internet and #YesAllWomen decrying the pervasiveness of street harassment. Everyday brought a new heartbreak.
Add this to the normal ups and downs of being a new mother to a little black girl and I fell into a downward spiral. Here I am charged with this awesome task of raising her and everyday it seemed like the world was telling me that that work would be for naught. I had to put up a barrier to keep myself mentally healthy and my berth was wide. If it wasn’t funny, ratchet or entertaining, I wasn’t trying to watch or hear it.
It took me a few weeks to understand that seclusion is not the answer. Some bloggers that I really admire have written through their pain, creating reflective, transparent, and beautiful writing. Their words helped me to realize that as this blog continues to transform into a space where I share my parenting triumphs and fails and to advocate for adoption within communities of color, the best thing I can do is to keep writing.
The best way to overcome so many negative images about the black family is to continually provide positive ones. So I’ll keep plugging away at my corner of the internet, providing a positive image of black people building a family, loving, learning and doing the best they can.