words

In Case You Forgot, I’m Black

In elementary school, I was oblivious to racial issues. I was in classes with mostly white people. All of my best friends were white; they were my sisters and brothers. When I was in elementary school, I rarely heard about or dealt with racial issues.

It wasn’t until middle school that I knew something was different. There was a boy who always called me horrible names and made fun of my dark skin. Who does that? At the time I wasn’t aware, but what I experienced was racism.

When I was a teenager, I loved going to the mall and stores with my mom. One notable shopping experience happened when I was 14 or 15. My mom, my sister, and I had gone to Kmart. Because I got bored easily, I usually wandered around the store alone while my mom shopped. Usually I stayed in the book section, but I was curious about makeup, so I went to that aisle to look at all the different products. You know that weird feeling you get when someone is staring at you? I had that feeling. When I looked behind me, I saw an employee turn the corner really fast. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but when I made it to the next aisle over, the employee confronted me. I’ll never forget him. He was an older white guy with grey hair around the sides, and he wore round glasses. He demanded that I open my purse. I immediately started crying. . I didn’t know why he wanted me to open my purse, but I opened it anyway. I had lip gloss, my wallet, and a book in there. He demanded that I show him a receipt for my lip gloss–My half-used lip gloss. Through my tears, I told him that it was mine and that I didn’t have a receipt because my mom bought it from the pharmacy near my house. He huffed and walked away. I ran to find my mom and stopped wandering around stores for quite a while after that. I mean, I was so scared! I didn’t even tell my mom what happened. I was THAT scared. I thought I’d done something wrong.

Fast forward to later in high school. My group of friends was more diverse, but still included a lot of white people. Often, I had friends call me names like “Oreo” or “Black-white girl” because I “acted white.” I usually laughed with my friends about it, but I’d go home and cry. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I felt like I wasn’t acting the way I was supposed to. I didn’t like the stereotypical black things and everyone pointed it out to me. In the same breath, those who called me the previously mentioned names also called me “clear.” They didn’t see me as black. What does that even mean?

All of this, among other things, led me to self-harm. I just didn’t want to be here anymore. I mean, my friends couldn’t even go a day without pointing out how different I was. I felt like a freak.

I’m now 27 and confident in my skin. I know who I am. When people tell me they don’t see color, I speak up. When people say something racist, I speak up. When people say things to me in an attempt to joke around because I’m not a “typical black girl,” I speak up. Yes, I’m black. Yes, my hair is kinky. No, you can’t touch it. When the cashier at Walmart decided that I didn’t deserve a proper greeting, but instead asked for my WIC payment information, I spoke up. When the random woman in the mall walked by and said,  “She is from Africa, look at the baby back there,” I spoke up. When the greeting card store employee followed me around the entire store, I spoke up.

I may not always share my personal struggles, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t deal with racism. I feel like people forget that I’m black. I do experience racism. I do experience judgment. Just because you’re white and you’re my friend doesn’t mean that every other white person in the world treats me the same loving way you do.

I don’t even know why I feel that I need to disprove the claims from many of my white friends who think I don’t experience racism. It’s probably because every time I post an article about racism, I get asked “Well, how does that affect you?” It’s probably because every time I post a status update about racism, I am told “Brittany, I love you, but I am tired of hearing about this all the time.” It’s probably because every time I post a picture about racism, I’m told “Hey, that is reverse racism!” Getting an insider’s view of what it is like to deal with racism in America is not an easy thing to digest. You’re not going to always want to see it. Be happy that you don’t have to live that every single day.

Hey friends? In case you forgot, I’m black.

150711_2038771549596892_3460294669791537778_n

Pregnancy, words

Not Yet Maxine!!!

Wow, WHAT A DAY!

Maxine gave Marvin and I quite the scare!

 

Today started off like any normal Friday. Me jumping for joy because it is the end of the work week!! (not really, but I was happy!)

I got to work and realized it was bike day. This means the kids were allowed to bring their bikes and trikes to daycare today so they could ride them in the parking lot during outside time. No big deal. Sounded like a lot of fun!

All of my kids who brought a bike, knew how to ride their bike, so I sat in a chair and watched them. They were having so much fun! At this point, school-age children were out helping to push the little ones who could not pedal themselves around. Once the school aged kids went inside, a lot of the kids were stranded! I decided to help out two of the two- year-olds (since I only have two hands) and pushed them around the parking lot for a while since their teachers were not helping them out. I was free, my kids didn’t need any help! That was tiring, but hey, the kids were happy! That’s all that matters! Soon after this, it was time to bring everyone inside, so I put the bikes by the door and took my class inside for lunch.

 

 

Then I had a contraction. Not just a Braxton Hicks contraction. A REAL CONTRACTION.

 

I thought maybe it happened because I was hungry. I mean, I was very hydrated already and I didn’t think I overdid it outside. I ate a wrap and drank more water. I sat down while the kids were eating.

 

About ten minutes later, I had another contraction.

 

At this point I knew it wasn’t just me being hungry. The kids finished their lunch, I took them to the next classroom for their nap. I put their cots down, (so I would not have to hear attitude like I have been all week from the lead teacher in that classroom…I so didn’t need more stress) asked the other teacher in the classroom to sign my kids in and went to the assistant director to let her know what was happening and she told me to go ahead and leave and get the help I needed.

 

I sped home, quickly yelled for my husband, and we sped off to labor and delivery. On the way to the hospital, I had ANOTHER contraction. At this point I was eerily calm on the outside, but internally HYSTERICAL.

 

Once we got to the hospital, things calmed down. I had one contraction while I was there, and luckily, no more after that. Maxine’s heart rate was excellent the entire time we were there and my mom got to hear it too for the first time!

 

The doctor said that I may have overdid it at work today with all the bending and pushing and lifting that I did today, and also, that I need to take it easy. Limited lifting (sorry kids!) and to stay hydrated. I swear I will float away by the end of this pregnancy, I drink so much water!!

 

I drank a huge cup of water while I was there, and have been sucking down these big cups of water since I left L&D and I have been just relaxing like the doctor said.

 

I have never been this scared in my life! Maxine, we love you and can’t wait to meet you, but you need to finish baking first!!

 

 

I am so happy that baby and I are fine.

 

I hope that I don’t have to be back in labor and delivery until AFTER 37 weeks!

words

A Relaxing Weekend

This weekend, I went out of town with my family.

It was the perfect getaway! I relaxed outside, I played pool (very badly) with my dad, I visited the next county, and there were so many breathtaking views!! My family is the best, and I have no idea what I would do without them.

I can’t wait to visit next year with my husband (if he agrees) and baby in tow!

[1]

IMG_20130420_085800_562[1]

IMG_20130420_193647_244[1]

IMG_20130420_193631_033[1]

IMG_20130420_162828_434[1]

IMG_20130420_195705_110[1]

IMG_20130421_101820_791[1]

IMG_20130421_101831_634[1]

I had an amazing time. Every single amount of stress was lifted off my shoulders. I wish I was still there!

 

 

 

*All photographs are taken by me with a Motorola Droid RAZR M*

speak

drop

when you know it is there
you can't do anything
you fall
       you cry
             you try
                     
why is it so hard to go on with your life?
each passing moon
       each rising sun
                each turn

you can't do this
you can't feel anything
    
                                                numb.

Where do you go from here?
          Where do you love?
                      who?

Why do you try?

Is it worth it?

Are you sure you can be this person?

Why are you crying?
Why are you bleeding?

Stop

Don't do this

You can fix this

You can make it better

are you sure this is what you want?

I'll miss your broken smile

words

Comfort

image

Driving down back roads at night will always comfort me.
I grew up in Smithfield, Virginia.
It’s the place I go when I feel sad.
It is where I go when I need to relax.
It is where I go when I miss my parents.
Whenever I feel stressed, I drive.
I prefer back roads in Smithfield.
I know them like the back of my hand.
They are instant stress relief for me.
Driving under the stars.
No streetlights.
Only my headlights, showing me where to turn next.

Relief.

Could Smithfield be more comforting?

Work

Today at work…

… one of my tables had a pancake missing (they got two instead of three.) The coworker of mine who ran the food out told the table that I rang the meal in wrong and then pulled me to the the table as I was walking by with a heavy tray of plates to tell me that I rang the meal in wrong.

She was like “Brittany you rang in the 2 pancake mama’s pancakes, not the three” I told her “This is rang in correctly, I will go get the other pancake.”

She’s been working there longer than me, shouldnt she know that the mama’s cakes comes with three pancakes and that the grandma’s and sp pancakes comes with 2?????? SHIT.

I was LIVID. BEYOND LIVID. I wanted to beat the living shit out of her.

 

1. who DOES that? do you really hate me that much? so much that you want to make sure that I get a $0 tip? I DO WORK ON TIPS BITCH YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT YOU ARE A SERVER AS WELL.

2. instead of telling a blatant LIE about me TO me in front of the table, how about doing the professional thing and letting the kitchen know they shorted the plate one pancake and take it out. Is it that hard? That’s what I did!!

 

I had to have the manager go out to try to smooth things over. He told the table that I did, in fact, ring the order in correctly and that the other server was out of line to say that.

 

 

I definitely HATE some of my coworkers…especially when they destroy my tip.

 

 

ESPECIALLY  that one bitch.

School, words

School

It is now that part of the school year where everything is due and finals are coming quickly!!

Image from google

Zumba-I’m doing great with everything in that class…except for attendance. That is a problem in every class though this semester. My fibromyalgia pain has had me down and out a lot. Even as I type this I have pain in my arms and hands. Bad pain. I am making up some classes though. I will be going to Ms. Dee’s night classes to make up for the absences I have thus far. I can handle zumba twice a day. I am determined to make up these points!!!

Business Statistics-Well I bombed the second test…kinda on purpose. He throws out one test grade and I picked the one I wanted thrown out. Everything else in this class is easy and Jack Goodwin is a fun fun FUN teacher!

Calculus-Lordy Lordy I hate this class. The teacher is behind so now she is pushing everything to be done too fast. We have one test left before the final according to the syllabus. Lets just say, I am glad she throws out the lowest test grade if you take the final. The other day she had the nerve to tell us we should understand a new thing in calculus because it was common sense. You do NOT tell a student that!!! Luckily, I have my super smart sister LaVonda to tutor me in this class. She tutors me via Skype from Atlanta. I would definitely be failing calculus if not for my sister. She definitely needs to teach the class part time at a community college for sure.

Those three classes are face-to-face…I have two online classes as well.

Western Culture II-This is an awesome class. We post on the discussion board…well I just read it and take the docked points…and we write papers. So far this semester I have received 100% on all three papers. We have two more left and then a final exam. Last semester when I took the first part of this exam it only took me an hour and a half to do all four discussion questions for the final and I aced it! Hopefully it is like that again this semester.

Economics-Well this class is cake. Simple as pie. Write a few papers, take two tests, and done! Easy as that. I just have to finish up the course. I will probably do that soon.

I’m sure my brain will explode by the end of the semester. Crunch time stresses me out! It is just a lot of work in a two week span. Finals are over April 28th though!!