It takes a good 10 minutes to go through my nightly skincare routine. I love every minute of it. Cleansing my skin, massaging the creams and oils in and taking the time to notice my cheeks, forehead, and chin is therapeutic.
I stare at myself.
I notice the sunspots and freckles. The pimples. The ingrown hairs on my chin (hellloooo 30!). My skin is smooth. My complexion is rich.
I am happy with what I see when I look in the mirror.
An ominous vibration gently rocks against the nightstand. It takes everything within me to ignore it.
The day is over. No more calls. No more texts. No more tweets and no more posts. Whatever it is can wait.
I tap tap tap eye cream underneath my eyes. I sigh, I breathe and I quickly run to my phone.
A glaring headline pops up on my Twitter stream
“Black mothers in the U.S. are dying in childbirth at three times the rate of white mothers.”
This is not news. Is anyone else surprised?
Even so, I spend 10 minutes scrolling through the depressing and heartbreaking statistics and reasons for why my Black sisters keep dying while and shortly after giving birth. I can’t stop reading and I am more irate by the second.
I manage to pull myself away from my phone and fall asleep.
Quality sleep is rare for me. My brain doesn’t truly rest. I can’t stop thinking about that article.
I wake up with it on my mind again. My eyes are red and I just look…exhausted.
My children’s cheerful voices, demands, and grunts temporarily take me away. Moments later I am greeted with a tweet…
“Virginia man found not guilty in racially motivated attack on black woman by reason of insanity.” (source)
I quickly flip through the article, fight back the tears and focus on my family.
Black Twitter is roaring.
I’m finding it difficult to focus on anything. I take a few moments to step away and breathe. To walk out my frustrations and anger and confusion. I text friends who are just as upset as I am. We struggle with comforting each other. We try and we fail.
But, I suppose there is always SOME hope, right?
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 6, 2017
When I’m not being inundated with info about how we’re dying or how those who viciously attack us never seem to get reprimanded, I can rest easy knowing we’re desirable enough to have even a Prince want us.
Can you feel my glare from where you are?
Yet, it’s incessant and it’s loud and it’s my norm. I couldn’t run away from this if I wanted to. I could decide that “Nope, I’m not even going to think about the plights of Black women today. Today race won’t matter. I will live my life as if race wasn’t even a thing.”
And yet these articles would be on my radar before I even leave the house.
Expressing this reality isn’t my attempt to get people to feel bad for me and apologize.
Apologies are nice but they don’t always help how I feel and they certainly don’t help the situations.
I’m just tired.