Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Seeing Yourself

The Huffington Post is one of the online publications that I’ve gotten into the habit of reading lately.  They publish the “funniest tweets from women” every week and it’s really good for a laugh. 

I usually browse through the home page to see if anything jumps out at me and then head for the “Voices” section of the site.  The voices that are currently listed on the site are:

Black Voices
Queer Voices
Latino Voices

I’ve noticed that I always click on “Fifty” first, then “Black Voices” and finally “Women”.  I very rarely click on the other options – I’m not Latino or Queer.  I am a parent but my kids are grown and gone and I can no longer relate to the issues that parents have with young children.  Nor do I care.

Back to my topics of choice:  Fifty, Black Voices and Women. Since I tend to overanalyze everything I thought about that for a few minutes.  Why that order?

I am an over-50 Black woman.
I’m also a woman who is over 50 and happens to be Black.
I’m also a Black over-50 woman
… you get the idea, right?

When I see myself and I think about who I am I almost always relate it to my age.  I think about being in my fifties a lot.  Like a lot, a lot.  I’m not sure when age became such a big deal to me.  I do not believe that “age is nothing but a number” I do however, believe that “you are only as old/young as you feel”.  I don’t know if I feel over 50.  What is that supposed to feel like?  I feel good.  In fact, I feel great.  I look amazing … so there’s that.  I want to know how other 50-somethings deal with being in this stage of their lives. 

Nowadays, I can’t seem to go a day without hearing about racial tension in this country.  Now more so than ever.  Since I am a Black woman that is something I cannot ignore.  Since I have Black children that I worry about constantly I certainly can’t ignore what is going on in the Black community.  Sometimes it’s frightening, sometimes it makes me mad and usually it brings tears to my eyes.  When I was younger, I almost never thought about being Black and what that means.  Now it seems I don’t have a choice.  Being Black is definitely who I am.  It is not, however, my burden.  It is my joy.  I embrace the #blackgirlmagic and all that implies. 

Being a woman in this country is tricky.  Women have so much power but for some reason we just don’t get that we are more powerful together than apart.  Women who are petty and who gossip and tear each other down constantly, make my head hurt.  I’m struggling with why I read the Women section last.  As I refer to it now, I see things that can best be described as “fluff pieces” centered around dating and still being single at 30 (gasp!) and being told to “cover up” at the pool (double gasp!) and an article on how the Obama women were in Bali wearing sarongs … (wtf!) There are some significant pieces: the effect the proposed health care bill will have on women, for example.  Most of the articles just make me shrug my shoulders and say, “who cares?”  I’m not knocking HuffPo.  They produce what the majority responds to, I guess.  

This is less about HuffPo and more about how I see myself and what I feel is important for me.  I am an Over-50, Black woman.  I care about staying strong and fit in body and mind as I get older so I can have a better quality of life.  I care about whether I’ll be pulled over by the police and killed just for being Back and I occasionally care about having a date on the weekend.

How do you see yourself?

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