Never Enough: A Promise

I sit here with a blank page not knowing what to say or where to start. I’d fight for you, I’d take a literal and proverbial bullet for you…but that’s not what you want nor what you need. Rather my fight should be focused on disrupting a system that favors me over you.

The problem is, I don’t know how to fight that fight. But I’ll try. I can’t undo what I’ve already done. I can’t unlearn nearly 40 years of acculturation into a system that favors people who look like me. I can’t teach myself about thoughts, words, phrases, and actions that may be problematic if I don’t know that they are in the moment I display them.

However, I can make a promise.

I promise to unlearn as much as I can in the years I have left. Though, it will never be enough.

I promise to learn the truths and many perspectives of others. Though, it will never be enough.

I promise to read. Though, it will never be enough.

I promise to dedicate my time, talent and re$ource$ in order to try to pay back the harm my people have caused. Though, it will never be enough.

I promise to pay closer attention and call out symptoms and actions of systemic racism when I see, hear, feel, and read them. Though, it will never be enough.

I promise to decrease the time needed in reflection to notice the issues previously stated in order to responded closer to the moment at hand. Though, it will never be enough.

I promise to help educate my people. Though, it will never be enough.

I promise to raise a privileged son whose eyes are as open I can get them so that he may continue along this path of waking and disruption. Though, it will never be enough.

My promise will never be enough. I will get it wrong and mess it up way more than I will get it right. I will find grace and let go of perfection in the journey of becoming better today than I was yesterday.

It’s too late for our wilting friendship to blossom. The damage of my ignorance has been done. Today, I find peace in my heart and an abundance of gratitude for your impact on my journey. I promise to learn from this moment and do better tomorrow; even though it will never be enough.

photo credit: Cymone Wilder On Drible

No Longer Yours

To all those whose expectations I have been trying hard to meet,

Thank you, but no thank you, I am no longer yours.

You tell me to act like this, dress like that, find your voice but keep it quiet. Be yourself but only on a diet. Say these things in this way just as prescribed. Your thoughts, words and full self can be too much and cause others to feel insecure at your side.

I am no longer yours.

If I am to succeed in your definition of success then here is the path you have thoughtfully shared. The problem is our definitions do not align and to walk the path you described dilutes the gifts and talents I provide.

I am no longer yours.

Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your well-intended guidance. I appreciate your efforts to refine this mess. Thank you for the lonely silence when my “performance” was always less. Though, all I have ever felt is compounding distress. I no longer wish to sit on this tight rope wearing your expectations as a dress.

I am no longer yours.

I am finally brave enough to say I have had enough and it ends today. I like my flaws, no I love my flaws. There is so much beauty and strength to be found there. And if I am to live as designed by my creator then walking my own path is where I must reside.

I am no longer yours.

On my own path I’ll likely be alone. There will be many obstacles to over come. But it will be my path, my success, my journey or none. It will be hard work to carve out my space and completely worth it in the end to see the accomplished smile upon my face.

To all those whose expectations I have been trying hard to meet,

Thank you, but no thank you, I am no longer yours.