I get it. There will always be days in our lives when we just want to be cap them off immediately, so that we may start afresh with the next sunrise. Who has not been there? From setting first foot on the floor upon rising, one thing happened, and it seemed like the day was destined to get progressively worse. If it didn’t get worse, it sure as hell didn’t get any better.
After rising, you stub your pinky toe. For the next five minutes, your attitude is as foul as a bag of assholes. You fumble to the bathroom and relieve yourself, only to find the cardboard innards of what used to be the toilet paper roll staring back at you—and it’s laughing. You’re running late for work, late for class, late for…wherever. Or you’re on time, but the sky is falling and everything is getting soaked! That includes, but is not limited to: Your weave, which is now a mop. Your perm, and you from experience that know your hair’s immediate future is disastrous. Your presentation for your team meeting. Your term paper. Your make-up, which turns to war paint, and you’re the only visible member of the tribe. Did I forget to mention that you forgot to eat breakfast? Before long your stomach howls, everyone you encounter drives you up the nearest wall and all day long, you’ve got your bitch face on. What gives? Why has the universe decided to bully you?
The truth is, you haven’t been chosen by the heavens to be bullied—you made yourself a target! YES, GIRL! I liken this to the “please don’t pick me” moments we’ve all experienced in America’s wonderful public schools. There you were, minding your own business, doing everything the teacher expected her darlings to do. The class was on full-throttle discussion mode, eager beavers whose heads would have exploded had the teacher neglected to call on them for the 8th time in a row. You listened, but you didn’t study. You completed the worksheet for homework as you were instructed, but you didn’t read the passage that went with it. Very bright. And, of course, the teacher continued to ask questions—because that’s what she’s paid to do. So there you sat, hoping to skate by, but the longer the discussion dragged on, the more nervous you became. There came a time when you prayed to God that she didn’t get to you. Each question caused you to become more fidgety and though barely detectable to your peers, the teacher sniffed you out like a bloodhound bitch.
Before long you begin to think, Ok, I’m going to look busy with my work. I’m just going to look down at my notebook and not make eye contact. She won’t call on me then. If I can’t see her, she can’t see me. And invariably the teacher will eventually ask, “So what do you think about that, Black Girl?”
“Well, damn.” you think to your 12 year old self.
See how it works? You coast along in life until one day, you’re not on your A-game. It’s a day when you wake up and you know instantly that, “you’re not feelin’ it.” Your life detects it, and even though you try to play it cool, you ain’t foolin’ nobody. Just yourself. Doom and gloom ensues and there goes a day you’ll never get back as long as you live.
But there’s a trick to this: Instead of hoping not to be picked on, you can deliberately change the course of events. Consciously think about how you want things to go and then act accordingly. Don’t focus on how “shittily” things have gone or how you’re afraid they might go. For example, your twelve year old self might ask the teacher a question about the lesson that she doesn’t understand, instead of hoping not to be asked one. How could that change the course of events? The teacher has heard you speak, and even though you deliberately duped her, at least she thinks you’re engaged in her master lesson on iambic pentameter. All the while, you may not have given a single shit that day… but the heat is off you (for today). Mission: Accomplished.
How can this play into the hands of your adult self? Well, you might, upon realizing you’re already drenched in rain, decide as you run for the doors, to make a splash of every puddle on the way, big and small. You don’t have to behave like a lunatic—just remember what it feels like to be a kid again. (Please tell me you splashed in puddles as a kid!) And as you proceed, silently declare that you shall give not one shit about any of the day’s preceding events, as all is officially well.
Two choices, two paths diverging—take the one your ‘black girl autopilot’ is too afraid take. It likely leads you to more happiness and a solid lesson to boot: I can alter the events of my day—and by default my life—right where I stand. I can make a conscious choice to feel the way I want to feel–To be the way I want to be.
In short: I run this shit and don’t forget it.
Now, what if you chose to live each day this way? Yeah…
That is all for today, class.
-Shared With Love