So its officially the last day of 2018.
I hope you guys enjoyed your holiday and are ready for the new year.
I know I am!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over this Christmas vacation and one of my main take aways for the year is that generational norms have to be broken in order for us to have better relationships.
In the black community, there are several things that you are taught as a child that now looking back, I understand why its so hard for a lot of us to function as adults.
Your whole life you’re told to not speak unless spoken to or to not speak on what goes on in your house; but then you don’t know why you’re 30 with a communication problem.
You battle with self esteem as an adult not realizing that some of your earliest memories of you learning how to view yourself is warped because the adults you were taught to depend on called you fat, too dark, nappy headed, etc.
An adult would pop or yell at you for “being rude/disrespectful/ getting smart” with an adult when really you just have a difference of opinion and instead of trying to hear you out, they would shut you down; but now they call you a follower and try to play you and say you don’t think for yourself…
This year has really challenged me to look at myself and figure out what was going on with me.
Why do I have trust issues?
Why don’t I know things that I feel like at my age I should know?
Why do I have a hard time maintaining friendships?
Why does the thought of being in an actual relationship give me anxiety?
When I started to really be brutally honest with myself, I realized that a lot of it stemmed from my upbringing. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the people who raised me. I know they did they best they could and I appreciate all the sacrifices they made for me, but they are human and flawed. I realize now that there are things that I wish I would have been explicitly told growing up and things I wish I hadn’t been told because it shaped the way I saw myself and currently move in the world.
Once I realized this, I had to then unlearn these things (well I’m still in the process) and then based on that new found freedom, reteach people how to treat me, which has been…. Interesting lol.
It’s been the hardest with the elders in my life.
Like I said earlier, growing up, you’re made to feel like elders can do/say WHATEVER they want and a difference of opinion is equivalent to you being rude or disrespectful, but its NOT.
Its interesting how the dynamic changes as I get older because now that I’m an adult, there are just certain things that won’t fly with me.
You can NOT just say whatever you want to me and not think about your delivery.
You can NOT comment on my weight in a derogatory way (even though you don’t see it as derogatory).
You don’t get to say around my nieces or nephew that someone is pretty for a dark skinned girl or that boys don’t cry.
I know some people might read this and roll their eyes. I't’s cool if that’s your response. Its awesome if this isn’t your experience, but unfortunately, there are a lot of us that went through this to some degree.
Going into 2019, I’m determined to continue the reset of expectations. Expectations that I have of the elders in my life and their expectations of what should be expected of me. My prayer is that as we all continue to grow we will eventually get a place where this isn’t a thing. That the elders understand that words are powerful and while we need their wisdom, delivery and open mindedness is need as well.
Am I completely off base or do you understand where I’m coming from?
Tell me in the comments what you think!
Sorry to be so serious, but I needed to get that out lol.
I hope y’all enjoy New Years and be safe!!
See y’all later 💋