Nigeria - Children - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Three articles have touched me over the last few days. Mostly because they seemed to have crawled into my subconscious and pulled out my own voice which has been quiet lately. Quiet because so many recent events have deeply frustrated and saddened me.

From the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown to political, religious, and medical unrest all over the world. My voice is gone and has been replaced with a hoarseness that squeaks “I’m tired”.

Tired of feeling helpless and not knowing what to do and how to help. But these articles below came at just the right time to help articulate how I’ve been feeling the last few days…

Affected – Karen Walrond, Chookooloonks

Excerpt- “Friends, the truth is, I’m tired. I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing a story of some unarmed black person gunned down or otherwise killed, and being horrified, but even more horrifically, not all that surprised.  I have never faced that sort of violent hostility in my life, and I would never intend to imply that anything I’ve ever experienced even comes close.  But I’ve faced enough … racial skepticism, I guess you could call it, so that these stories sadly never surprise me.”

In the aftermath of the shooting, Karen’s piece was one of the first I read that truly seemed to communicate exactly what I was feeling. Poignantly articulated, I too feel her tiredness and angst about this racial skepticism we always seem to face. I’ve faced it all my life and still battle against it within an industry which ironically is supposed to be one of the most open-minded of all.

It also reminds me of these U2 lyrics from one of my favorite songs, Crumbs from Your Table – ”Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die.”

Taking it one step further, the color of your skin should not decide whether you live or whether you die.

Where’s the dream? – Pam Mandel, Nerd’s Eye View

Excerpt – “When I read about Ferguson, I find myself thinking of a friend who, on first glance, is a strapping black dude. He’s over six feet tall and he’s muscled. In certain geographical regions and inside certain small minds, this is enough to categorize my friend as a threat. He’s big. He’s black. Therefore, in some places, he’s a crime waiting to happen. This is some racist bullshit.

Blunt. Direct. I loved this piece by Pam. Looking a certain way shouldn’t automatically classify you as a danger waiting to happen. I know some of the smallest people who can hop on your back and violently take you down within a second, and I know some of the biggest teddy bears out there. I loved how Pam called it like it is. Racist bullshit.

In between the moving parts, we write – Leigh Shulman, The Future is Red

Excerpt – “I have reached a certain acceptance. I stop thinking of each piece as an interruption to the last but see them as pieces of a whole. This is my life. There is nothing here that I didn’t choose. There is nothing that doesn’t bring me joy as long as I refuse to allow competing priorities to rob me of the beauty of each.

When I sit with Charlie howling, I am there one hundred percent. When writing, I block out the world with music and headphones. A tap on the shoulder calls me onto the next thing. It’s requires extreme effort to refocus my attention with each shift. I try not to worry, try to eradicate frustration and doubt. How? Practice, force of effort, perhaps a lowering of standards.”

I wanted to give Leigh a tight hug after reading this piece. Because I could relate to every single paragraph she wrote. We’re both full time freelancers with families and children. And I love her full  transparency in this piece as well. About how she’s currently balancing it all with a newly minted baby. I wish more superwomen were truly transparent about their behind-the-scenes so they don’t keep setting impossible standards that others see and try to emulate.

After having my daughter, I wrote this blog post about why I’d never embrace that impossible title of superwoman again. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone anymore.

I just need to keep living my own truth according to my own standards.

Other articles worth reading below:

–          A Mother’s White Privilege – Manic Pixie Dream Mama.

–          The Bloom of Cancer – Amy Gigi Alexander

–          What’s Wrong With ’1,000 Places to See Before You Die’? – Robert Reid

Have you read any powerful articles lately? Please share them with me below. Thanks!