Let's Get Our Priorities Straight!
I didn't know blogging was so much work! Just to let you all know, I won't be able to do those long posts like yesterday's until I get through finals. Y'all know how that is.
Anyway, today I'm starting my Black Women's Issues "department" where I will talk about anything and everything that affects black women. Right now I feel like talking about focus and priorities. I think that's a good starting place.
As little girls grow into women, they are increasingly bombarded with this message that they've got to get a man and that they're nothing without a man. For some reason, at least to me, this message is more intense when it comes to black girls. We hear it everywhere. At church, marriage and how to be a "marry-able" woman seems to be the most popular sermon topic. And if I remember high school correctly, the only girls who got boyfriends were the ones who already had boyfriends before. No one wanted to deal with ( or "school" as one of my exes told me) girls who were new to the dating world. I can tell you about all the ways the media adds on to this, because that's all I have been studying lately, but I guess that's another post.
The point is women are taught at an early age that their worth is only as good as their man is. This is especially dangerous to black women because we've all heard the stats on how we are the least likely to marry and when we do marry, we are much older than our sisters of other races. You know how when you are looking for something, you can't find it to save your life?And when you aren't thinking about it, that's when it pops up? That's how romance is. I know it's been said over and over again, but it's worth saying again. I know I forget that alot.
In the meantime, black women should concentrate not on being "marry-able" but being lovable...not for someone else, but your yourself. Rather than chasing the elusive "perfect relationship", black women would benefit from aiming to have more girlfriends, "sisterfriends" ( and brotherfriends, too). Develop a circle of people that really care about you. That way you are not obsessing over something that, honestly, isn't promised to you. Black women are told that we have to be everything-the high powered exec., the loving wife, and the caring mother. But nothing tells us that we've also got to be a compassionate friend. I think friendship is really devalued these days, but for some people, that may be all they end up ever having.
If you have the time, read Sacred Pampering Principles by Debrena Jackson Gandy. Although sometimes she gets a little too new age for me, she gives lots of great advice on how to take care of yourself and show yourself the love that you're expecting to come from someone else. She drives home the point that you can't take care of everyone who depends on you if you're not taken care of yourself. Even though I've read this book cover to cover, taking time for myself is still something that I have trouble doing. It's easy to get caught up in everything you have to do to the point where you forget yourself.
Black women HAVE to learn to take care of themselves. We die every year from heart attacks, cancers, and various other diseases that undoubtedly are rooted in an overabundance of stress and demands.
We've also got to learn to put ourselves first. This doesn't mean that we should be self-centered, but we should value ourselves enough that we are the first person we expect to fulfill our needs.