In Lizzo’s platinum single, “Truth Hurts”, the opening line states, “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great?’. Although that is a different topic, for a different post, I have a question for women. Why as a black woman do people ASSUME that I am always the strong one, and that I am ALWAYS on point?
The truth really does hurt. Sometimes I am a hot mess.
I am tired of being strong, and I am tired of carrying the weight of the world along with the baggage of others. Not too long ago, I literally had somebody approach me and say, “I know you’re under a lot of pressure and personal strain, but can I have ____?” REALLY? My godmother used to always tell me about people in life who act as graveyards. They take, take, take and never give anything but sorrow and hollow memories. Self-care is not just something we as women should practice. It is imperative for us to live. Self-care makes you intentional about your sanity and maintaining some sense of control over your life.
The stigma that black women are strong is flattering to an extent. I am still an imperfect, flesh-having human being. With the exception that my skin is durable because it has had no choice but act as Teflon. I have bad days, I have to take deep breaths to keep my attitude at a reasonable level, and I have to occasionally set it off the keep the devil’s wicked schemes at bay and keep a smile on my face all at the same time.
It’s a balancing act that I do not want to have to perfect, but I really do not have a choice. My advice for men is to take care of the women in their lives’ emotional state. It is extremely tiresome to be the most disrespected being on this earth and still have to mother it. To all black women who need a personal day from work, take it. That deep breath you’ve been holding in, release it. That spa-day your muscles are aching for, work it in the budget. And that book that’s been on the shelf, read it and better your self.
Turn your mind off for a few minutes or an hour, turn your phone off, and disconnect from everything that attaches itself to you the minute you walk out of the door.
You deserve it.
Madalyn McKnight is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. A rare blackbird who has the range and a young black professional with impactful words! Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @singsongblackbird and twitter @singsongblckbrd