On a random night in December, I found myself pissed off. It happens.
I decided to head out into the neighborhood, work on the long exposure photos and see what I could get. I'd just figured out what I was doing wrong. Mind you, it was raining, it was a little cold. I didn't care. These days, anger is worked out in walking and photography.
I live in a neighborhood that's 90 percent Black folks. To see a Black girl outside with her camera and a tripod on a rainy night isn't a usual event, but you know, you have to be ready for the questions. An older woman walked past me and asked what I was doing and I showed her some of the images and she was so sweet - she had good things to say and was happy to see I was doing something for the neighborhood.
The brother who owns the barbershop -- came out to see what I was doing. He wasn't sure who I was until he walked up on me. Again, Black neighborhood....Black girl in the rain with a camera (covered in a ziplock). There'll be questions. If you're really about your business, then sometimes and in some situations you have to explain yourself.
Then there's the rest of your life.
The moments you're just trying to live and there doesn't need to be an explanation.
Which brings me to the idea of not having to explain myself when I'm not in the mood for it.
There comes a time when all your fucks to give fly out the window. You reserve a few for yourself, but when you've gotten through some hard times, there's a moment when you realize there's no time to focus on other people's shit.
It's time to focus on your shit. The world is moving at an increasingly faster pace. Focusing on ourselves isn't something that comes naturally to all of us. We help people, we do our best for others, we support, we encourage and we look out for them but we don't do all of those things for ourselves. We tend to be on their team and not on our own. We tend to hope things will somehow fall into place but they don't - unless we focus on it.
Sooner or later, it starts to show. We're over extended and people continue to have expectations of too much.
You end up having to explain all of the "nos" and why you don't want to do something. After a while, even the explanations become too much. It all feels like it's weighing down on you.
Then one day, like the tide shifts at various points, there's a moment when you realize there's no longer a need to explain yourself. Not unless you want to, not unless the person is near and dear. Even then, I've tried to explain myself to some over the years and have come to the conclusion there's no point. I'm going to do what I need to do, do what I've been called to do, do what I want to do and tell my story along the way.
There's no need in apologizing for who you are and the way you choose to live your life. I don't have the expectation that anyone will agree with it. I don't think that people will always understand it... but there's magic in not caring about what everyone thinks. There's a freedom to it.
While there are a select few whose thoughts I'll always care about, just because I love them and they're amazing humans, I realize there's no way to make everyone happy. I've decided that I need to make myself happy.