Let us plan to come out the other side of COVID-19 better human beings

Disclaimer: I am not a guru. I do not have my shit together. Sometimes my bra and panties do not match. I am however 47 years of age and pretty enlightened for a human being. Most of my life I’ve watched people, observed them, loathed them, loved them and tolerated them. My people meter is pretty okay. I’m going to get on my soapbox and pontificate, please read on and I hope you enjoy what I have to say.

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85 / 365 / Unique . . . First off shout out to @rhonda_uno_cinco_mac because I got this idea off her post. . . . I am unique in every way. That's not a flex, that's fact. . . . I remember when I was 5 yrs old, my Dad had this painfully truthful talk with me about how the world would treat me as a dark-skin Black Girl and a Black Woman. That was the first time I ever seen my Dad cry. And at 47yrs of age, every thing he said came to pass — unfortunately. …but he also told me how special I was, how brilliant I was, how unique I was and how excellence was my birth right. He said my Blackness didn't exclude me from having a good life, I was just going to have to fight so hard to have one. . . . Mf'ers y'all better believe I fought like hell to be here and I am staying. Planting my flag of peace and self-affirmation as I type. . . . "Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the difficult challenges I face." — Carol Moseley Braun . . . . Many people see me and try to box me in with their colorism and their implicit bias, but I am more than the marginalized perception of Black American Women you have in your head. So much more than that. . . . F*** with me and find out. . . . . . . #cherisheveryday365  #cherisheveryday365_march #project365  #photoadaychallenge  #photoaday2020 #photoaday #photoadaymarch #MommyFab #EfabulousHB  #ChiTownGirl #marchismybdaymonth

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“Pause for the cause” … I remember saying that on the back of the #9 Ashland bus on the way to Whitney M. Young High School, my sophomore year. I used to say it all the time when I wanted someone to pay attention to one very important point I had to make. Pause – stop what your doing. For the cause – because what I say next has meaning and value.

That’s where we are in life right now, in March 2020, the era of COVID-19. We are paused. Life as we know it has paused. For the cause of STAYING THE F*** ALIVE. Yeah, that’s muy importante.

While our lives are on pause and readjusting, I think we (including me and you and the whole wide world) should take some time to focus on how to be better people. In this time of reflection and solitude, we should take some time to face the demons we can conquer and to maybe let go the demons we’ve been coupled with before this pandemic began. While this is a time of grave uncertainty, this is also a time of extensive, internal opportunity to get to know who we are on a deeper level.

I’m not saying come out of this Deepak Chopra. I’m suggesting come out of this pandemic and quarantine season, loving yourself more, being more appreciative of your life and the things you have, loving your family more, valuing your life, recognizing your value and what you contribute to society, being in tuned with your creative talents and championing the dreams you may have buried deep inside. That’s what I’m suggesting you do with the ample time you have on your hands.

I can remember years of being alone after my Mother and Father died. I used to sit and stare out the window drinking myself into a depression. My alcoholism was well concealed and I would drink alone, furious that my parents left me in this cruel world by myself. I can remember writing letters to lovers and to friends, they were all pleas for help. I never sent them. I just kept writing, crying, drinking, sleeping, lamenting, screaming, crying, working, pretending, lying and living. All that alone time helped me face who I really was. Many times I made pro(s) and con(s) list about where I was in my life and what I had to offer the world. I eventually let my alcoholism go, a traumatic event happened and I no longer took solace in bottles of gin or vodka. I came out the other side a more self-actualized person and very honest about who I really was, not who I was pretending to be.

So for me, I see this time away from the world as a reset button of sorts. And it’s working. I’m starting to see the emotional clutter I have clinged to for years, from when my marriage was falling apart. I’ve noticed that I put all the needs of others in my house before mine and that’s why I have no clean “stay at home” clothes readily available. There are handbags falling apart in my closet that I’m clinging to because they represent my time in New York when I felt so beautiful, sensual, free, and alive. And I sit with these quirks, quandaries and quagmires hoping that I will have a breakthrough. Hoping that another Erica will emerge and she will be more loving to herself, stronger, more resilient, less judgmental, and kinder to the situation in which she finds herself in.

And I hope you find a better version of you in this quarantine season. Who do you want to become? Who do you wish to be? What is going on inside your head and your heart? I would love to know and I would love for you to find out and have your own break through.

God Bless.