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Posted in Gem elsewhere on the Web on August 2, 2013
Happy Friday peeps! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? But, that should be expected by now. I’m good for falling of on blog updates. *sigh* You still love me doe, right?
A few months ago some one approached me here at TWGS asking to interview me about being a Black woman with a PhD in STEM (science, tech, engineering, math). As vain as I pretend to be, I actually really hate talking about myself lol. But I am a strong advocate for mentoring and inspiring young people (omg, yeah, I’m officially old *facepalm*) and it is an honor for some one to think highly enough of me to want to tell my story. So I make myself get over the awkwardness and allow myself to be on display, so to speak.
So I had the opportunity to talk with Anjuan Simmons, a tech master and public speaker, via skype for his 2° Show. I’d seen a few of his other episodes with other people, and I really appreciated this platform he’d created to highly some really cool people doing great things with their craft. He even highlighted one of my friends/mentors from my college days, Tokiwa Smith, who started a non-profit organization for exposing students to STEM opportunities. To my surprise, my interview with Anjuan was less like an interview and more like a conversation – even though I did most of the talking lol (which may or may not be how most conversations with me go anyway).
I haven’t watched the “final product” and I probably won’t watch it. It’s weird to hear/see myself recorded – to me I sound funny and awkward and I always think “OMG did I say that? I didn’t mean to say it like that”. I don’t even like watching the Sh*t Diva Dudes Say to Bougie Black Girls YouTube video. The few times it’s been played in front of me (by some one else) I watch it cringing and rocking back and forth. This is the problem with being a person who overthinks EVERYTHING.
Nonetheless, I appreciate having the opportunity to be featured on the 2° Show. Sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for having finished my PhD and being part of an elite group in this country (omg I am the 1% – dammit). So while I don’t always think of myself as some one noteworthy, there are others who do, and remind me that the path I’ve traveled is no small feat. And for that I am truly grateful. Much of my work is to inspire others to set their goals high and help them with the fools to reach them – because I certainly did, thanks to countless teachers, mentors, friends, and family.
Sooooo check me out!
Role modeling like a boss,
Posted in race on July 19, 2013
I feel… numb? Though numbness is supposed to be the deprivation of physical sensation, it still feels uncomfortable. Numbness may prevent the feeling of pain, but you can still be aware that injury has occurred.
That’s just one way to describe how I feel. It’s like I’ve been slapped across the pain and yet I am unable to respond. I know the slap happened, I feel a range of emotions and thoughts because of it, yet I am unable to speak, act or move in response. Everything is internal. The struggle and feedback isn’t making it’s way to the outside.
I also just feel tired. Tired of being angry and disappointed in this society, in *the* system, in human kind. I’m tired of having to feel helpless and ignored. I’m tired of convincing White America they should care about my people. I’m tired of being tired. When will the relief come?
For the first time today, I made a somewhat coherent statement about the George Zimmerman verdict on Facebook. So many people have said so many articulate and heart felt comments about it, and I just listen/read and nod in agreement. Sometimes I feel sad and cry, sometimes I feel rage and shake my head with disgust. I haven’t had a conversation with anyone about how I feel or what I think because I don’t know how to process it. It’s like I feel so much without feeling much at all – almost as if it were a dream or an outer body experience. But for all the reactions that I completely understand and agree with, there are many others I don’t understand and don’t agree with. From the people in the media space to people I know in real life, I have seen so many comments that say “I feel bad for Zimmerman” or “race aside…” or “Zimmerman had the right to defend himself” – not once acknowledging that an unarmed teenager, walking in a neighborhood he did belong in, was killed because of how he looked or acknowledging that this unarmed teenager also had the right to defend himself when being stalked by a man unfamiliar and unidentified. And I felt compelled to speak out against it.
its been almost a week since the verdict was announced and i am still unable to process my feelings. im still angry, sad, disappointed, and tired simultaneously. i have so many thoughts and opinions that i dont know how to articulate. im at a loss. not over the verdict itself – the law failed Trayvon Martin and other Black boys like him long before George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury of his “peers” – but over the response by many people in this country, many of whom i know. it truly offends and frightens me that people are so dismissive of many people’s reactions and feelings surrounding this case. Black people cant be outraged and disappointed that once again the justice system has worked to protect those who are not people of color. Black people cant be outraged because “this wasnt about race”. Black people cant be outraged because others are afraid the outraged will riot. this whole post racial/color blind/we-are-all-one-race-the-human-race kumbaya attitude is not IMPROVING our society or erasing the systematic and institutionalized racism (or sexism, heterosexism, and other isms for that matter) in this country. ignoring racism and racial injustice isnt going to make race/racism go away. telling Black people to relax and “stop playing the race card” because they are constantly being unacknowledged isnt going to make race/racism go away.
I’m tired of people saying “well are you surprised?” or “I can’t believe you’re surprised” – as if it’s unreasonable of me to have hope that justice just might prevail, and a Black person won’t go unacknowledged. No, I’m not surprised, but that doesn’t make the disappointment and hurt any less real and present. Again, the verdict is just one small sting in a long line of injustice and inequality against Trayvon and others like him. But the weight that this message holds is so great, it’s devastating that this goes on record to say “it’s OK to shoot Black teens because by nature they are suspicious, up to no good by default. They are animals to be hunted and stopped.” And for anyone who thinks that sentiment is a too strong and unfair – EAT ME.
I could go on and on, but I’m tired. I don’t want to. I can’t focus on work, I am not motivated to be “busy”. All I want to do is ponder, read about and listen to discussions about this case and try to make sense of the situation. I want to go to rallies, protests, and be part of something. Because I’m tired of living in a world that shows time and time again, that unless you are a straight White land-owning male, you don’t matter because this country wasn’t built for you. You can raise this country, build this country, make money for this country, fight for this country, but this country is not for you. And there is little going on today that would have me believe otherwise.
Wishing you the peace of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin,
~The Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired
Posted in miscellaneous on July 7, 2013
ITS MY BIRTHDAY!! Dirty 30 is FINALLY HERE!! Ahhh it feels good.
I’m thankful to wake up to another day and another year on this earth. Life hasn’t always been sunshine and roses, but all the obstacles, pains, and challenges led to triumphs and growth. I thank God for showing me how to take the good with the bad, and happy with the sad, knowing all things were for my good in the end. I thank the Lord for the wisdom my experiences have taught me. Thirty marks the start of a new decade that I am ready and happy to conquer.
As I said yesterday, 30 is a special birthday – it’s the “really grown up” age. And I made it!!! There’s so much that I’ve accomplished in this time, so many things I’ve experienced (good, bad and ugly). My high school self would have never predicted where I would be and the kind of person I would be at 30. I’m pleasantly surprised at the 30 year old me that exists as I do now. I think I’ve done a damn good job up to this point. And though I don’t always acknowledge it (to myself or others), I am proud of myself for who I am and what I’ve accomplished.
I am super thankful to be home, with my family on this day. Moms came through and helped me buy a last minute ticket to Cali. My brother and nephews also happened to be here. I had planned to spend my birthday in Portland, alone, pampering myself and preparing for my upcoming trip to DC. But there was something better in store for me. Though this trip is uber short (less than 48hrs), I get to spend it with some of the people I love most in this world (including my bestie, her wife, and their son, my godson). And in another 2 days, I’ll be with the love of my life, celebrating even more. Yep, I’m winning at 30 already!!
Thanks to everyone who’s been following my #30forDirty30 posts. Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, thank you for sharing with others. I appreciate all the feedback I’ve gotten and honestly, I feel really good about myself and some of the posts I’ve been able to crank out. I like to think that I’m a good writer, but these past few weeks have renewed my confidence in myself and it’s all thanks to those of you who have been reading and giving me feedback. Thank you thank you thank you! I have a few more posts to complete before the “challenge” is over, but I had to gives thanks before the end.
Again I’ll say FELIZ CUMPLEANOS to me!!! I hope everyone enjoys my day
With maturity and wisdom (and still full of youth),
~Gem the 30yo
Posted in self awareness on July 6, 2013
I meant to have this post up yesterday but work life was hectic and I was preparing for my great escape home – a last minute travel plan to spend my 30th with my family.
As 30 comes within my grasp, I can’t help but make a mental check list of all the things I’ve done or haven’t done up to this point. I wonder how my life would have turned out had I done things differently or set different priorities. Admittedly, I have looked at friends my age who have accomplished and attained things I wanted.
Not that I wish my life was different or think some one else’s life is better, it just causes me to reflect and access my life goals. Am I happy with what I have now? Have I done all I could do up until now? Is my life going in the direction is should?
I don’t know what it is about 30 that makes it such a celebrated or dreaded age, but I feel totally caught up in it. Maybe it’s the roundness and evenness of the number, or the fact that it marks the beginning if a new decade. Being a 20 something seems like an age of the young, not fully matured, frivolous. The 30s seems to mark true maturity and sensibility. While 30 somethings may continue to be young at heart and have a youthful exuberance, they put away childish ways and plan for the future rather than try to keep up with the past. No longer are they searching for who they are but are marveling in who they have become. To me, 30 is an age of acceptance and understanding.
While I’m not completely satisfied with all aspects of my life, I am happy and fulfilled. I am comfortable with the woman I’ve become and feel a sense of pride for all that I have accomplished and have yet to still do.
I welcome 3D, the big 3-0, dirty/flirty 30 and I’m happy to bask in all the beauty that this round, even number brings.
Posted in miscellaneous on July 4, 2013
Happy Independence Day, America!!
While my relationship with my country is definitely complicated, and I come from a line of people who have a very troubled past with this country who damn sure didn’t know “freedom” until arguably a few decades ago (or last week for some), I won’t go there today.
Today I will celebrate my Americanness. Ish is complicated but I love my country and I want what is best for her. So today I wear my red swim suit, red tank, and blue shorts and am heading to the river to go tubing! I get to relax, float down a river and enjoy this beautiful day with my PDX buddies.
I also celebrate that today marks THREE DAYS TO THIRTY!! And I just bought a last minute ticket home to Cali to ring in 30 with my parents and brother and nephews who are visiting out of town. Can’t beat that happy happy day!!
Again, happy 4th to all my countrymen! Have a safe and happy celebration!