On June 13th, I hung out with my friend, Tarra. We ate fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, and lobster brie omelets. We discussed our deceased mothers and newly found biological families.
Tarra is a singer and actress. She’d just finished a show and needed rest. I was preparing for the Atlanta reading and needed to calm myself prior to attending. So, we also spent time at the beach, running through opened doors and moving with the ocean’s waves.
Somewhere during the day, she confided that she was thinking about who wasn’t at her shows, who didn’t support, who didn’t reach out. She knew she should focus on who was there, who did support, and who made time for her. She admitted this was something she should work on.
I agreed. But I also added, “It’s hard.”
Two days later, we had the Atlanta book reading. Even though it was an awesome event, not one close friend reached out to ask how it was, not even Tarra. Please do not misunderstand what I’m saying. Friends did contact me. They texted to tell me about the terrible and wonderful happenings in their life’s bubble. They just didn’t ask about this very important gathering I’d been talking about for months.
Like Tarra, I began to think about all the close friends I have and why they wouldn’t simply text and say, how was the reading?* I started to text each one and ask him or her personally, but quickly tossed that idea. I really don’t like to ask people to be who I want them to be. I’d much rather simply be aligned in thought, action, and behavior. Plus, I knew it was something I needed to work on, not them.
After processing my emotions for several days, I came to a few conclusions. The first is, like my friend, I needed to focus on who was supportive and who showed care that day.
The first is my husband, Dwight. He is always there in some way. Even when he can’t physically be present, he calls, jokes with me to lighten my mood, and wishes me well. He texts or calls after every event and asks me how it went and how I felt about the outcome. I appreciate that.
The second is the group of women who made the event possible. Bree spent her time, money, and energy planning a successful reading. The other three women traveled from other cities and states to share themselves with strangers. In my point of view, this is miraculous, and it’s definitely not something they had to do.
The third are people who attended. I didn’t do a head count, but at least 40 people came. Included in the audience was my stepmother, stepsister, a former Georgia College student and her mother, and a blogger I’d met for the first time (shout out to Yecheilyah).
Though my feelings were initially hurt, reminding myself that I did have support that day has shifted my energy about the situation.
That’s my first conclusion: focus on who shows up in ways you value.
I’ll share my second conclusion tomorrow.
*Since writing this but before publishing it, someone I consider a friend did text me and ask about the reading 🙂
We’re continuing the self-love train with kelley from black-burgundy: hella black…
Kesha is an exhibit currently showing at the (downtown) Jacksonville Public Library.
Check these out:
As you can see, the exhibit displays intersections of gender and race, hence the title, Kesha.
However, some works are clear portrayals of the impact of systematic African American oppression.
Shout out to Shawana Brooks for an amazing concept.
This is a very small sample of what the exhibit offers.
If you’re nearby, then plan a visit. It runs until late April.