“I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” -Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
This is not going to be an ode to being or knowing a ‘bitter’ Black girl. What I want to do as you go through the rest of this year is to remember the two pieces of wisdom of Audre Lorde. Who is she you ask? Click here to find out.
In the depth of her life and words, I have found these two quotes uproot bitterness. They have dynamite in them and make me own the stuff that I have done, and been done to me. These quotes remind me this life is mine, and I have the power to change what I will–and give power to what I want! That is a power all its own.
Being bitter is a choice. Not a reality.
I cannot change the fact that ill-bogus-ridiculous shit has happened to me. Neither can I ignore that ill-bogus-ridiculous shit may happen to me in the future! But what I can control is how I react to it, and what effect I let it have on me. I choose to accept what is, what was, and what can never be. And that helps. Ergo, enter the first Audre Lorde quote: “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” I refuse to let life just happen to me, and I respond as if I have no power and am helpless!
I cannot change the fact that some things happen to me simply because I am a woman–a Black woman. Enter here the second Audre Lorde quote: “Women are powerful and dangerous.” This quote, written by a Black woman, reminds me I am more than the categories I intersect! I am more than what the world defines me as! I am more than what other people will see me as. It reminds me that I am able to overcome what life throws at me–I am not helpless.
What a word! What a thing to remember! I am not defined by the things that happened to me neither by the things I failed at! This means, my dear Torches, being bitter is a choice!
Being bitter is a choice.
I have chosen not to let life beat me to the point to which I not longer see the joy in it–only being able to greet sunrises with venom. I refuse! Black women are not bitter by default–we are unheard because the world believes we are unworthy of feeling anything else!
Dearest ones, decide today to find the joy–even if you have to fight for it.
[image from Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org)]