Real Name. No Gimmick.

Welcome?

Yes. That feels like a good place to start.

We’re undergoing some surgical enhancements around these parts. Some nips and tucks here, a few injections on the backend there (about those multiple emails to subscribers while I beefed up my archives—my bad), and a brand new face.

Speaking of said face, let’s start with the name.

Straight to the point. No explanations required. Shouts to My Third House Life for carrying me out of the Skinny Black Girl era—your service is appreciated—but going forward under a version of my given name feels good. Especially considering that my first-ever post, “A Funky Introduction” on Confessions of a Skinny Black Chick at Blogspot dot com in 2007, was a nod to an A Tribe Called Quest lyric.

Now, the content.

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Notes to Self on My 39th Birthday

You know all those “poor Millennials who never got the world they were promised” memes you post as a coping mechanism? That entire idea loses its charm when met with “Okay, but you’re 40.” Nobody cares, ma’am. Figure it out.

Yes, there is more to life than working, putting a roof over your head, and paying bills. But you love to let these practical matters go to ruin while diving headlong into existential nonsense.  Focusing on the tangible >>>> crafting the perfect life narrative.

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Today? I’ve Got Nothin’

Back in the day, before everything was terrible, I wrote about politics. Often. If the 2008 iteration of The Skinny Black Girl still existed, you’d see my gushing Millennial love letters to Barack Obama and the world he wanted to build. He caught me at just the right time. Twenty-five. The granddaughter of a Selma, Alabama native who moved to Cleveland in the 1940s for a better life. A recent graduate of one of the oldest HBCUs in the nation, raised on A Different World and The Fresh Prince,[1] with a full-throated belief in Black Excellence. I’d seen Roots. Watched hours of PBS’s Eyes on the Prize in freshman lit class (taught by a real life Freedom Rider). Sat stunned and wrecked in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina as the U.S. government abandoned people who looked like me.

But on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, I thought America was done breaking my heart.

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On the Third Anniversary

It’s been three years since I had my fallopian tubes removed (a.k.a. elective tubal saplingectomy surgery). 

Other than the initial consultation with my doctor (she trusted me to make decisions about my body without question — shocking behavior), the process was unremarkable: a few hours in a hospital on the really good drugs, a few days of rest and taking it slow, and tiny twin incisions on my lower abdomen that, three years later, are almost gone. ¡Voila! A vision made real: no bebes, ever. 

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The cost of quiet is loneliness.
Part of the bed I made, so I can’t shy away from lying in it. The silence that usually feels like freedom occasionally threatens to suffocate me.
It shows up as a voice in my head screaming for something. I scroll my phone — click through streaming, podcast, and audiobook apps — searching for stimulus to shut out the nagging. Until I check my Digital Wellness app, see eight hours spent on my device, and realize that elusive thing I’ve sought all day is connection.

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And.

You are what you are, playa…

I will start by acknowledging that I am a hit dog, hollering.
 
If there is one internet meme that I loathe more than any other (That’s a long list. I hate 95% of the internet.), it’s “[x human behavior] is a defense mechanism/trauma response.” Especially when the behavior in question is hyper independence.
 
Let me, Your Resident Hyper Independent Friend, tell you a secret: you don’t have to tell me my life has been traumatic. I was there. Some people can move through the world with no memory of the moment that irrevocably changed their lives, I’m not one of them. I can summon it — and the shock, pain, and sadness that accompanies it — with a tap of my finger. I’m doing it right now.
 
I was all set to spend this post raging until I had a chat with a former blogger friend of mine (still a friend, the “former” applies to their blogger status) about how “therapy 101” it all sounds. “[x behavior] is a trauma response” is a sentiment of discovery. An “Ah, I didn’t know this about myself.” No wonder it warrants a shrug from people who are intimately familiar with their dark corners. Well, obviously, we say, rolling our eyes. I’ve been through some shit.
 
Instead of raging, I’ll describe what comes after that discovery.

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