Black. Female. Childfree.
My list of identities will never contain the word “mother.”
Black. She/Her. Cis. Hetero. College-educated. Cancer survivor. Blissfully married. 30.
That list of identities will never contain the word mother.
It’s the pandemic, you’re tempted to rationalize. It’s climate change, you muse.
Ah, it makes sense now; it’s all that racialized trauma.
You’d be right. But this decision transcends the external and lies deep within.
From the word Black, you’ll bring expectations to this piece by association. I expected that.
Black. Woman. American. If you can, strip your eyes of the film of caste, of indoctrination, or association. Shed that burden. This isn’t a commentary on the political. This is personal, and it is my story.
It’s one I’ve been creating for all of my existence.
That I would be thirty, college-educated, married, and happy is not an outcome I ever thought I would compromise on.
I am not surprised by my life. That I would be thirty, college-educated, married, and happy is not an outcome I ever thought I would compromise on. The threads of this tapestry were handed to me gently on random weeknight evenings after homework; at the finish line of relays run at national championships; in the pew of churches with brown Jesus adorning stained glass windows in northern New Jersey. This weaving of my future was an unapologetic endeavor, a process started by the strong hands who adeptly wove their own without a blueprint. It didn’t feel like destiny then. Those whispered reminders, dinner-time encouragements, and sweet affirmations given freely to a first-generation daughter of Caribbean immigrants. No more, no less.
It could have been the biracial couples on our block; the LQBTQ+ parents and caretakers; the breadwinning wives, and stay-at-home dads that lived on my little street in South Orange… but the idea that I could enjoy a kind, beautiful life was never inaccessible. The dream was as tangible at my public school as my private, single-sex college preparatory high school, then PWI college. It simply was. The…