On Being 40 and Unbothered
Today is the one week anniversary of my 40th birthday. I looked forward to turning 40 for at least 5 years. Some of my best girlfriends are over 40 and they told me that once the year came I would be different. Things that used to bother me wouldn’t bother me and I’d find freedom in saying what I said and meaning it. They were right and I’m glad about it. Today also marked the end of the Trump presidency and the beginning of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris trying to restore some faith and hope in our democracy.
The last two weeks in our country have been the culmination of 4 years of frustration, anger, confusion and constant suspicion of those who supported a man who made it his job to sow division and hate. I’m not talking about people who supported the Republican platform, that’s a different post; I’m talking about the people who put aside all of the hateful, misogynistic, racist, bigoted words and behavior in the name of unborn children and disdain for people who don’t love the way they think they should, and continued to support him because he “tells it like it is”, “he cares about Christians”, “he’s a real patriot”. I’m talking about the people who can’t say that black lives do indeed matter, that all people, whether they are gay, lesbian, or transgender deserve love and respect, and the way to truly end abortion is to end poverty. I’m talking about the people who say that I can’t possibly call myself a Christian and be a Democrat. I’m talking about the people who have a dime above a biscuit but are afraid of being taxed more (you have nothing to worry about). I’m talking about the people who think racism is a thing of the past or who want to cry, well I’ve experienced racism because for a small fraction of their life they were the minority.
You see, I’m at a point in my life that I don’t need or desire to be quiet (not that I was before but now I just really can’t hold back). I don’t need to make people comfortable with my blackness. I don’t need to tiptoe around the fact that it doesn’t matter how hard my husband and I work, we’ll always be further behind economically than our less educated, less intelligent white peers. I don’t need to not bring up that my black son will be vilified simply because he wears dreads or that my black daughter will be sexualized before she even gets “the talk”. I don’t need to follow up, I am a Christian who loves Jesus, with, love the sinner, not the sin. I know that in this newfound place of peace and truth some people will be hurt or offended. Well. Welcome to being a 40-year-old black woman, raising black children, married to a black man. Being hurt and offended by racism, white supremacy, and hate wrapped up as evangelism by some, has been the soundtrack of my life. It’s time to turn the music off.
Until next time…