Backstory to catch you up: I have Sarcoidosis. It is an autoimmune disease. I’m living with it and trying to manage it. I’m also a divorced working parent. My stress levels are extremely high. Couple that with my depression and anxiety and you got a person who routinely barricades herself in the house and eats sunflower seeds whilst staring off into space. –> And I’m okay with that. Thanks.
In October, I almost gave up blogging. Why? I was simply tired. I had stop believing in the power of my own voice. Black American women and others suffer erasure in Western society after age 45. I am 46 years old and I feel increasingly invisible. I feel invisible when I’m sick from Sarcoidosis. I feel invisible because of racism. I feel invisible at work due to ageism. So, it hit me at 2:15pm on an October afternoon, whilst I sat at work — Why are you still blogging? Black American Mom Bloggers who aren’t watered down version of Oprah don’t get brand opportunities? Who are you helping? Are you even passionate about this anymore?
I was asking myself all these questions because if I couldn’t find my “why”. I told myself if I could not find the reason I started this, if I could not relight the flame – then I was certainly going to let blogging go and shrink into myself. Perhaps pick up drawing and art again.
I was really discouraged. All the blogging opportunities being thrown my way were for “exposure” and not paid. All the bloggers in my local area were younger, whiter, and seemingly more interested to brands for paid assignments. And I was desperately trying to remember why, why am I doing this?
Then mid-November I remembered that I started blogging as an act of self care and a way to process my divorce to help my mental health issues. I remembered I started blogging because there weren’t older Moms who looked like me on the internet. I remembered I started blogging because I wanted people to see the real face of Black American Mothers. That we were not the racist tropes of a welfare queens. I started blogging to show that we are not the racist stereotypes of unfit mothers.
Black American Mothers are indeed loving, caring, concerned, evolving, under siege, stressed out, overwhelmed, resilient, kind, brave, and we are doing all we can to protect our children from racism, colorism, white supremacy, and the toxicity of patriarchy — whilst trying to enjoy our own humanity.
I also had to let go the notion that I should be comparing myself to my nonBlack, SAHM – blogging counterparts. I cannot move like non-Black Mom bloggers move. They are getting opportunities in abundance, but a lot brands don’t invest in Black American Moms and faces because they don’t value our business. I don’t have a husband that is flushed with capital to support my endeavors. I’m not a stay-at-home-Mother. I work a 9-to-5, run my own business, parent, manage a chronic illness, whilst still trying to write and create on Earth Kitt’s internet.
I was holding myself up to the standards of people who don’t have as many obstacles as me and I was doing myself a disservice. I was “doing my own head in”.
It took me all of October and most of November to let go the notion that I should be comparing myself to other nonBlack or other Black Mom bloggers. And so I started to write again and I feel empowered to go into 2020 with a new mindset. I enjoy sharing my humanity with others. I know there are mothers and other Black women without children that I can reach with my words, my empirical experience, and with my creativity. That’s the WHY — sharing my humanity to help others not feel alone.
And so I’m back. I’m unapologetically and unashamedly ME. And that’s ENOUGH. I shall move the way the universe lays the path.