Last year, I shared on Facebook that I stopped watching the show Atlanta. Loved it, till the scene where a guy was shot in his back by a drug dealer. Surrounded by the woods, the drug dealer let the guy run away, but no sooner than the moment he thought he got his free, he wasshot in the back, with what I knew had to be a rifle. Now, don’t quote me on that scene. I could have a few details wrong. Maybe had the show Atlanta been a comedy fail, I could have kept watching it, cause how could something so stupid, be so real. But there was a believablity in the stories, the characters quirks were endearing, that made it more than a worthwhile watch. Then again, it also made that gunshot scene more real to me.
On that Facebook post, I also shared that I have 3 cousins that were killed by gun violence. And some years ago, while working as a youth advisor at my home church, I was asked to sing at the funeral of one of our beloved teens who was dragged, by car, to his death. A young man who reminded me so much of my younger brother…looked like him, silly like him, couldn’t tell either of them nothing bout nothing.
For this reason, I don’t deal well with the imagery of violence, and I sure can’t cope with the sound of anything that even resembles a gunshot. I’m no stranger to the sound of gunshots or fireworks, but a couple of nights ago, my hood (and according to my FB timeline, most hoods) brought in the celebration early, and often, and unceasingly, and loud. Yesterday was even louder. And even though the rain came through today, I’m 1000% certain, that tonight, the heavens can hear. But I wouldn’t know, cause I wasn’t mentally prepared to sit in the house and play the gunshot vs. firework debate, so I type this now, sitting in a whole nother city, away from the celebratory sights and sounds of snaps, crackles, pops, and booms. Yep, I made today, not a celebration of independence for this supposed land of the free, but a celebration of my personal freedom. Today I got all the free I could find.
First off, a couple of weeks ago, I bought a Groupon massage that was originally scheduled for late July. Then the lady emailed me asking if I wanted to reschedule for the 4th. I responded, confused, wondering why she wanted to reschedule for August 4th, or if she meant July 4th. Surely she couldn’t mean July 4th. I responded the 4th was fine. Then she sent me the confirmation email and I knew she meant July 4th. That worked out perfectly! After my morning workout, I headed home, showered & dressed, and packed my overnight bag for my impromptu freedom staycation. After the massage, I bought a Hueys veggie burger, drove to this house, took a 2 hour nap, went to Walgreens to buy a Sally Hansen gold polish and a Maybelline pink lipstick, stopped for sushi, back to the house, and now computer work + a hot mug of tea + my Angela Winbush Pandora station. A full day of freedom. And navigating this world, fully aware of my blackness, I revel in opportunities where I can create my freedom.
I didn’t wake up with the intention of writing a blog post today. But, I feel someone needed to know this today. I pray that you too, find your free. However that looks, wherever that takes you, whoever it involves, however long it takes, however long it lasts, however much it hurts. For the sake of your clarity, and sanity, get yo free. This part below is specifically for my fellow Black Christians, of the female species. I see so many of us bound by church culture. It bothers me. Always.
These are for you:
If it’s paying a babysitter. Get yo free.
If it’s skipping Sunday morning service, to spend time with your kids. Get yo free.
If it’s telling someone that he/she wronged you. Get yo free.
If anger is your first reaction. Get yo free.
If it’s listening to hip-hop, while getting ready for work. Get yo free.
If it’s believing God is not a he. Address God, as God. And get yo free. (I do it. And I’m free from how people feel about it).
If church has become a chore. Get yo free.
If you’ve been in the church all your life, and you still ain’t met yo free. Get yo free, mane.
In all seriousness, you’re more effective as a Christian, when your life, your moves, and the work you layout before the world, is reflective of an individual who is indeed, free.