Let me start off by saying "Happy Thanksgiving!" for the thankful aspect, but not for the history behind it. I feel like as a Black woman I've always had to find a way to celebrate holidays in a way that was meaningful to me and not necessarily the traditional reasons. I had to find a way to make the holidays speak to me.
For instance, I celebrate Thanksgiving but I use the day to practice gratitude and thanks while recognizing that there is a dark history attached to Thanksgiving. On Independence Day, I celebrate the idea of freedom and the opportunity to gather with family and friends. I couldn't really celebrate independence because it didn't extend to Black people. We celebrated on Juneteenth, which until recently was a holiday only recognized by Black people. Christmas was even more complicated. I had to toggle between White Jesus, Black Jesus, White Santa and Black Santa. Duality is a constant theme in my existence.
Let's be honest. There's some discomfort that comes with duality (especially when trying to accept that two things can be true at the same time). Many people want things to be Black and White (and we see that hasn't worked out for us). They want people to be this or that. Life has taught us that it is not binary. Life has taught us that we have to be open to change and be flexible. When we aren't flexible, things stop working, things break and the opportunity to grow is deferred. I believe that our inability to accept change and be flexible blocks blessings. I'm not trying to block any of mine!
So, I'm coming out! I've been in the house for the entire pandemic. I've been militant about practicing social distancing. I've done this because I was/am afraid. I lost my maternal grandmother due to Covid and it made me respect the seriousness of the virus. I was worried about the safety of my son, who until recently, wasn't eligible to be vaccinated. Now that vaccinations for children his age are accessible I have decided to attend my first in person event (since March 2020) on December 18th, 2021. I'll be vending at The Black Market in Nubian Square, 2136 Washington St, Roxbury, MA between 1pm and 6pm!
Am I anxious? Yup. Do I miss vending at the Black Market? Yup. Are we still in a pandemic? Yup. Am I going to The Black Market despite my discomfort? Absolutely. Two things can be true at the same time. I can have fear and still push through. That's what courage is. Courage comes from two things being true at the same time. I can't promise that this will be the first of many in person events for me, but it is a start. It is a step forward and towards a blessing.
Black Market, Black Santa and I hope to see you there (with your mask on!) because I'm coming out!