When I see this image, I think about the post I wrote called “One Day I am Going To Be The Mother of Daughters And Sons Who Believe They Can Do Anything, Be Anyone.“
I wrote this post on inauguration day, specifically because as I sat and watched the Vice President, Kamala Harris, take her oath of office, I remembered that when I was a child I wanted to be an astronaut.
That was my secret dream that I have never shared with anyone, never talked about before. I was fascinated with aliens, I loved the idea of visiting space, and all though X-Files was way too creepy for me, I still loved the idea that out there in the world were or are real life Mulder and Scully FBI agents investigating the idea of life off of earth.
I knew then what I know now, I am never going to be an astronaut, it’s just not in my destiny, not during this lifetime, but that’s not the point.
The point is that the universe diverted my dreams and fantasies, forcing me instead to focus on real life atrocities so that I could become the woman I am working on becoming.
Do you remember the last time you had a job interview and they asked you to tell them about yourselves? I have never known how to answer that question, not until today, not until now.
I am Devon J Hall, a daughter, a sister, a cousin and a niece. I used to work in the church sector of the world, helping people get into recovery programs and homes. It was my job sometimes to cook dinner or breakfast, and other times to clean toilettes, unless I could get a nursing student to do it for me.
It was also my job to run youth programs, a task that I volunteered for, but wasn’t very good at, if I am being honest. I didn’t understand young people, because I was still emotionally developing. My emotional development was student by sexual abuse and trauma caused by white men who figured no one would give a shit about what they did to me, specifically because I was a brown girl.
When I was five years old I had a dream that one day I would be sitting outside a publishing house, a copy of my diary in my hand, ready and willing to tell my story to the world, and when I woke up, I promised myself that I better have an interesting life, or else I wouldn’t have anything to write about.
Several years ago I was arrested for having a panic attack on an airplane, and I had to scream, yell, cry, beg, and teach all at the same time, because while I was terrified, I had to make sure that the cops who arrested me knew just how wrong they were. I used the names they called me to start the Loud Mouth Brown Girl brand, and when I was thirty-seven I published my first unedited book of essays, just so that I could say I had published a book.
It wasn’t the book that I wanted to publish, it wasn’t the book I thought I would publish, but it was absolutely the book that I needed to publish, just so that I could teach myself, that I could be anything, do anything, be anyone.
There are people who have read that book and told me that I am a part of their healing journey now, others who say that I am their anchor and that I keep them going, which is interesting because I almost never feel like I can, or like I want to keep going. I often feel like a complete fraud because even though I publish inspiring encouraging essays, I often feel like I am failing in all other areas of my life.
I am grossly overweight, and unhealthy, I smoke too much, and even though I keep saying that I am going to quit, I am utterly afraid of the shit that I am going to have to deal with, because I am emotionally incredibly weak. I am also very petty and rather vindictive. I cut people out of my life with one fell swoop and once they are gone I make the conscious fully aware choice never to give them a second chance.
This makes it difficult for me to connect to other people, specifically male people. I am often triggered by their bullshit, mostly by the fact that they exist, and no matter how many times I try to explain that the thought of even looking at a man makes me sick to my stomach, there are people who will still say stupid shit like “you just haven’t met the right guy yet.“
In spite of my fears of men however, I am not gay, I am however bisexual, and I accept this part of myself without shame. I am an advocate for Cannabis use, and I, now being on the side of the table where mental health issues affect my life, advocate for different types of therapy for people who suffer from mental health issues.
I also advocate for the legalization of all drugs, there for taking money away from the drug dealers, gangsters, and cartels, and putting it into the pockets of the citizens who depend on public funding the most.
None of this is something that I could say if I wanted to apply for a job in the mental health, or the drug addiction sector, because that’s not how people in those sectors think. They don’t want you to be open and honest, they want you to kiss their ass and tell them they are doing a good job, while they screw people out of funding so that they can put it into their own pockets. I know this for a fact because I have seen it
All of this to say, that I am where I am, because someday a young Brown woman is going to come up behind me and do something truly great, I believe this with every fiber in my entire being. Maybe it will be a white woman, or an Asian woman, perhaps a Scottish woman or a woman from Benin, or Lesotho, places in the world that I didn’t even know existed.
The point is that everything that I do matters, because my existence matters. When you go through experiences where you’ve nearly died, or when your brain walls come crashing down and you start to realize how many times you could have died, you start to really think about how insignificant your presence is to the world. Simultaneously you realize that there is nothing about this planet, not one single micro molecule, that doesn’t matter, because without that tiny single molecule being exactly as it is at any given moment, you wouldn’t be here, and the world would be an entirely different place.
It’s not just chaos theory, it’s the butterfly effect, it’s what makes the universe what it is, and it’s the most important lesson that I could ever impark on someone.
What you do matters. Whether you are a Doctor, Nurse, Teacher, Actor, Philosopher, your existence has a purpose on this planet, and while it may differ from those around you, that doesn’t make it any less important. I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, almost as if my younger self is reminding me through osmosis that shit is only shit for so long, and that there are actually fun moments in between the rivers of shit.
There is cannabis, which led me towards creating this website, which led to me creating a podcast, upon which I talked about cannabis, wherein I met the women of Educanation, wherein I eventually joined the BudSista’s and learned that I was not the only one talking about Cannabis, which taught me that I wasn’t the only BROWN girl talking about Cannabis.
One day a young Brown or Black woman is going to have her own Cannabis farm, and she is going to change the world with her product, because she’s going to look at all the information that was compiled before she existed, and she’s going to learn how to do it right.
It doesn’t matter if I ever make it big as a writer, it doesn’t matter if I end up being famous or not, because that’s not the fucking goal. That’s the prize.
The goal, is to make sure that my voice is counted so that the women who come after me know that their voices deserve to be counted, and on and on and on it goes.
Kamala Harris said recently “I stand on the shoulders of those that came before me,” that’s not very profound, it’s not even knew. Thousands of people have said the same words before her, but it doesn’t make them any less true.
Each of us are resting on the shoulders of those plugging ahead of us, they are doing the work so that it can be easier for us, and we have absolutely no right to do less than they would do, and they wouldn’t give up.
It’s not the limelight that matters, it’s the mission, and once you start peeling back the layers of your life, once you start to realize what your purpose is on this earth, the rest just falls into place.
You don’t need millions of people to love you, love yourself first, that’s the most important kind of love that there is, because when we love ourselves, we take care of ourselves, and once we learn how to do that, we can share that information with those that need it, and so on it goes.
Happy Friday everyone,
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall