One Young Person in the Face of Fear

I try to clean the apartment, you know…to find a sense of normal.

Emotionally, I am exhausted of carefully learning to navigate social conventions deemed civil only because they are upheld by the descendants of the same straight, cisgender, white society that demonized people like me.  I am tired of hearing these words over and over, tumbling from lips desperate to escape any association but can stereotype in the same breath. I am also tired of trying to find the balance between silence laced with submission for my safety and how unbearable it is to justify that silence in front of other people of color, with mental illnesses, in front of queer folk and women, in front of children. How many times must I validate my personhood to the world, how many profiles do I have to scroll through to ensure me and mine are protected from anything that could invite violence, how many times will I have to ask my white friends to speak up and acknowledge there are conversations I cannot have because I will not be heard?

I make soup, chicken noodle, and wait to hear about leasing a car. 

I cry every day for the people who are so desperate to not endure this pain anymore they take their lives. I try to figure out the best way to hold my friends, their hands in mine so they know there is a tomorrow. I check myself and allow myself to be checked because I want nothing more than every person who crosses my path to know the happiness and love I have been so blessed to find. There is so much guilt in trying to find the balance between safety and solidarity, so much rage in the countless people who think silence will solve anything (didn’t we try that), and so much heartache in putting one foot in front of the other to step out into a world that now knows how deep the wounds are.

I want to cry but I don’t let myself. I bite my teeth, smoke a cigarette, drink some coffee and remember that there is so much power in being present, visibly accounted for. I think of all the hard truths I do not tell my white and/or male friends, but ones everyone else knows. The ones engrained in me as a child, the ones I have learned to endure by watching other people endure.

I think about changing my clothes from yesterday, but my arms are too tired. 

And I know that are so many people hurting and afraid right now, that everyone is trying to get a grip on something, that sides are viciously being taken, and I lie back in my bed and remember January when I was dreaming about how hard I was going to fight to prove my creative worth to myself, and how much fun we were going to have as we progressed as world and we all benefited. I am reminded that in times of great distress there will be people who entertain to keep our spirits up, people who comfort so that we may heal and people who fight so we may live instead of just barely survive. Most of the time, we must be all three and it is all necessary. And when we as individuals step up to defend another, we have doubled the number of people present who believe people are people, no more no less. No, I’m sorry, not believe. Know.

I want to talk about the fear and the future, I want to go back to talking about goth stuff and how important change is, self care, how to argue, my new favorite eyeshadow, this amazing event we should all go to. And I think in the face of everything, I will.

I do not have the luxury of hiding. 

So I don’t. When people who see me tell me how important it is that I do what I do (visibly exist), I can’t leave, I can’t listen to those who tell me to stay safe and to stay silent. I know the power I wield in speaking, standing AND dressing up. (I needed to smile…) My heart beat is an active protest, my life a demonstration, and my presence alone is a threat to upset status quo. I do not have the luxury of hiding.

To my suicidal collective, please remember: if your heart is beating, you still have a chance. Fuck up the odds.

I am sure at some point in this I have come across callous, I was never very good at submitting to anything or anyone. I think we’ll be having more chats like this in the future. My own sad little thought that somehow gets me through everything, “Look at everything you have gone through this year alone…it was just to prepare you for now.”

Limber up bitches and keep your eyes fixed on me by “Joining the Strange Collective” at the top of this page. To get the complete guide to Living the Strange Life, follow me on YouTube, Instagram Twitter and Facebook. Those bad boys are underlined so get clicking. If you’re sexy and you know it…

Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous.

Until next time,

Zakkarrii Edison Daniels

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