Results of Heartbreak

Well…

I didn’t think I would make it through this week. I know it’s only Wednesday, but I feel like I’ve lived 7 days in three. I’ve dealt with so many varying emotions that everyday since Saturday I found myself crying. My baby girl was hurt was all that kept reoccurring in my mind. I couldn’t get over it. It made me anxious. It took my breath away and I literally wanted to pull her out of school and teach her from home. My husband and I discussed it. He pointed out that pulling her for the actions of another child would teach her that she was wrong. I pointed out that she spent more time at school than at home, so it was unfair to have her somewhere she did not feel comfortable. We agreed that teachers were not at fault. We agreed that no one knows how to handle these situations and we agreed that this was much more than bullying. We agreed on most things, but disagreed in how to resolve it as parents.

I realized something in the past few days that I learned in marriage, but not in parenting. We, my husband and I, are two completely different people with different backgrounds who view things absolutely different. I feel like tools and self-esteem needs to be established to handle such things as someone telling you they don’t like you because you’re black. I also believe these tools aren’t learned at the early age of 8. My husband feels that these things will happen in America and our daughter basically needs to learn early how to deal and react. We are not on the same page at all. I see his point of view and I believe he sees mine, but our backgrounds shape our ideas. He isn’t from this country. He is from a country where class is the major divider, not race. He is from a diverse family. He has never felt the sting of someone putting him down solely because of his race. I am an American. I was raised by a family who did not agree with integration. I cannot sugar coat that. My parents, grandparents, and anyone else I remember being around in the early years of my life believed that African Americans should love, support, and educate their own.  I was raised in a bubble, where I could not watch “Leave it to Beaver” or “In Living Color”. One show promoted the good white people too much, while the other presented negative depictions of black people, which was a no no in my household. I never felt the sting of racism as a child either, but I was taught that it would be inevitable if I chose to be around white people. So, you see, our backgrounds dictate how we feel we should deal with this situation and what I’ve come to realize is that in order for us to come out of this, we need to find balance. Marriage and parenting do not work without balance. If we can take positive from both of our experiences and formulate a plan that will benefit our daughter, then we are moving in the right direction.

I’ve also learned another important lesson in this and it involves people either not thinking before they speak or not recognizing that they have some prejudice. I won’t list the various things I’ve heard, but I summarize it to victim blaming, dismissing, and the belief that children just say hurtful things that may seem racists, but they are really just being naughty. Let me be frank, I know racism when I see or hear it. I know it because I was the kid who heard people speaking negatively about a certain race. I know these things don’t come from the sky. I remember quite clearly the venom that I would hear and then told not to repeat in the presence of “others”. Children do not get these ideas from nowhere and the sooner people begin to accept that the better.

Another thing, cut the bullshit with the whole “I teach my kids to be colorblind” or “I’m colorblind”. When I hear those statements, it makes me think that the person does not value my culture, my race, or the struggle that may come with who I am. I am not colorblind (actually, I am, it’s quite rare for a girl). I love hearing and knowing about other peoples backgrounds, race, and culture. To deny our differences does not make racism go away. It’s the most insane statement and it makes me question the person behind it.

So, now we work towards balance. My husband wants to impress upon my daughter that she needs to find her voice along with her realizing that there are good and bad in every race. I, on the other hand, am focusing on her learning that she is of value and that the things people say about others that look like her are not accurate. It has also become increasingly important that my children are not fed this idea that they represent the black race. Black people are not cattle. We are human just like everyone else. Black Lives Matter, Ben Carson, Oprah Winfrey, Ice Cube, or Eva from 54th and Crenshaw do not speak for me or one another. If one more person tells me that black people can’t expect equal rights until the black community addresses black on black crime, I’m going to scream. My daughter, myself, and anyone else of the diaspora have different experiences and upbringings, we share skin color, not blame. In other words, it is my duty and my mission to teach my children that they are black, to be proud from which they came, but they are also human first and no one can take that away from them.

Love and light y’all

 

 

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18 days as a Vegan

Okay, I set out to do this vegan challenge purely for my own selfish reasons. I thought it would help lean me out and I also have this issue with our food supply and how animals are treated. When I say treated, I mean how they are given antibiotics, how they are housed, and how they are treated. Yes, I’m one of the weird people who believe in energies and I seriously don’t want to eat some cows sadness. That may be a bit too much for some people. I’ve never been anti-meat. I actually (up until a few days ago) believed that people were meant to eat meat. Like, HELLO we have teeth, duh. I just think we eat too much of it and we don’t care about the treatment and care of animals.

 

Okay, so I’m on this whole vegan trip and I’m looking for recipes because I can’t be a junk food vegan. (Sidenote: Paleo was my gateway to this lifestyle, right? So, if you’re paleo, then you do NOT want crap in your body. You turn boxes, bottles and cans around to read ingredients. Have you read the ingredients on the side of a bag of vegan meat? Yeah, I’m not down with eating that stuff) On day 12-14 I found myself feeling a little sluggish. I was a bit perplexed because when I first started the vegan challenge, I felt like I was superwoman. I quickly figured out that being vegan does not simply include eating vegan approved chips and homemade guacamole. I wasn’t getting enough nutrition, so I hopped on the internet, Facebook to exact, and typed “vegan recipes” in the search box. All of a sudden I was whisked into the world of vegans and found some awesome recipes. Okay, that was very cool, but then I clicked on something from “Mercy For Animals”. Listen, if you don’t want to go vegan or at the least vegetarian, DO NOT click on ANY videos on that site.

I clicked on a video titled, “The Reason Why We Don’t Eat Eggs”. I thought the video was going to include some man or woman in glasses telling me the philosophy around why eggs aren’t good for animals. What I did not expect was to see a video with baby chicks having their beaks snatched off their faces, male chicks being killed for no damn reason, or chicks falling thru machines and being killed by hot water. The only way you can come away from a video like that is disturbed. I was in total horror. I couldn’t even share the shit on my page. Like, I was messed up for a bit.

If you would have asked me if I was going to remain vegan before viewing that video, I would have said, hell no. Now, I’m all in. I’ve been doing it and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Since I looked at that video, I haven’t even been able to cook meat for my family. It makes me nauseous to even think about touching the dead flesh much less cooking it. That crap was not correct. I can’t believe we support companies that do that to beings on this planet. I’m not the PETA type. I have friends that hunt, but not for trophies. They actually take the animal and don’t waste it and they don’t do it in excess. It’s just insane what’s going on with our food.

It’s so funny the rabbit holes we all go down when we start trying to live “right”. I got sick with thyroid disease, which led me to the Paleo diet. I wanted to heal from my childhood and the Iraq War, so I went to therapy, which led me to yoga. I start practicing yoga and learn about ahimsa and living yoga off the mat, which led me to veganism. Now, I’m thinking what is next? I will write this…I encourage anyone and everyone who is on the fence about this lifestyle to try it, preferably leaning more towards raw foods because I feel amazing and more than that, I know I’m not supporting companies that don’t give a damn about my life or the lives of the animals they have in their care. What happened to the farmers who named their animals and cared for them? What happened to do us as human beings that we do not care anymore? I guess I’m getting off this ride, well…I kind of miss sushi, so we will see.

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Granola Bars (they didn’t last long)

Oh, one more thing, Vegans, what is nutritional yeast and does one really need it?

Love and light y’all.

Yoga and stuff

Thoughts, poses, and quotes that have gotten me thru this week…

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. ~ Buddha

 
At the end of the day you are your longest commitment ~ Meagan 
  

I am most at peace when my vision is blurred

When my heart is my guide and my mind is free

When my eyes leave out prejudgment

and only God speaks ~ Andrea H. (Me)
Love and light y’all.