I realized that this year I didn’t and have not tried to celebrate the last four years of writing this blog, and the reason for that is because I don’t know precisely when I started the blog.
I know that I started it sometime in January of 2018 but that’s just a guesstimate. The truth is that when I first started writing this blog, I was focused on one thing and one thing only. I wanted to name names and shame the men who raped me, beat me, tortured me, and abused me for twenty-odd years.
I wanted to make them afraid that my voice was loud and to show them that I wasn’t entirely afraid of them, I was also completely out of my mind with grief and insanity, and I went way too far. So I deleted most of those posts and I thought long and hard what I wanted this website to be. I didn’t really figure out until this moment, that I want it to be a place where Loud Mouth Brown Girls in the making can come and see that someone who looks like them, thinks the way that they do.
I know and I remember what it feels like to be alone, to feel like I am the only one doing anything. In 2020 I was the only one talking about Cannabis and Mental Health together, and then along came the BudSista’s, and each of us have taken a different branch of the cannabis community.
Necole Hines is dropping her Faded Living podcast soon, in which she will teach people how to cook with cannabis while talking about the plant with her guests.
Miss Khadisha Thornhill is Miss WeedWiki Speaks, talking about Cannabis, growing, cultivars, and basically everything involved in the plant.
The Budsista’s are absolutely killing it, with six hundred members and growing, the first year anniversary is soon, and I couldn’t be more proud to be surrounded by so many beautiful women of color who also happen to be Blackity Black Black!
There are so many of us right now taking it from different corners of the industry and it’s really amazing to be a part of, because in twenty or thirty years, we’re going to be where those who came before us are now, and I am excited for that.
More than that, over the last four years I have built up my network of amazing Black and BIPOC creators, and I am being introduced to new ideas and new people every day. There are opportunities that are available to me now that wouldn’t have been if twenty-four years of sexual abuse and trauma hadn’t interrupted my life.
That isn’t to say that I am grateful for the abuse, because I am absofuckingloutelynot, but what I am proud of is that through it all I found a little diamond that is turning into a guiding light for other people. I can say that because other people have told me that I am a part of their healing journey, or that I am their anchor, and they have no idea how powerful that is for me.
The very act of telling someone that they are helping you, can change the way a person looks at their entire world. It feels good to know that you are the only person in the world that could help someone solve a problem, or that your existence brings positivity to someone else’s life, it just feels good to know that what you’re doing with your time isn’t the waste that other people might tell you to think it is.
It’s rewarding to know that out there in the world someone read my words and thought “I could do that.” When Khadisha Thornhill told me that she started her podcast because of me? Are you kidding me? This woman is a fucking PRO FESSION AL! Her interview style is so genuine and relaxed, and she really gets into what her guests are saying, I want to be more like that.
I honestly don’t know where she finds the time to do everything she does, but she does it all so well and she makes it look effortless, and yes I am still in a place of judging myself by comparing myself to others, and no it’s not entirely healthy, but in some ways it does push me to be better, to work harder, to push myself a little further than I thought that I could go.
In more ways than I can explain I am focused on making LMBG a brand that the entire world knows about, and it’s not just because I want to be famous, it’s because it’s my dream to sit on my fat ass and get paid to write, and to talk about writing.
I have realized through creating this website that I have skills that have been sitting there unused for years, that I have talents that I am only just beginning to discover. Yes I hate being on video, but I like having conversations with people, I like experiencing the way they think and how they feel about topics that we can relate on, even argue about.
I like learning from my Black and BIPOC peers, I like knowing that the work that I am putting into the world has a purpose for me, and that it has an effect on others.
I wouldn’t have learned any of these things if I hadn’t decided that I was going to become a writer, I wouldn’t feel as good about who I am and what I want from the world, if I hadn’t decided to let myself go crazy for awhile. I earned that shit.
After more than twenty years of keeping my mouth shut about what happened to me, I absolutely earned the right to lose my mind, to be completely broken and shattered by what happened, I deserved the right to take an emotional mental health vacation from the world and to say all the shit in my head, whether it was true or made up, just so that I could get it out of my head.
I am not going to lie, I don’t remember much about the early days of starting LMBG, but I do remember that it felt really fucking good to sit down and to stare at a blank screen one moment, and then to watch the words appear in front of me as if by majick.
Majick created by my hands moving across the keyboard like a bird through the skies. Sometimes I feel like a bird tapping at the keys with my beak, and other times I feel like I am the wise old Auntie offering advice to all you youngin’s, and then I remember that as far as I have come I still have a mighty long way to go.
It just occurred to me, that whether or not it’s ever recognized as such, LMBG is now a part of Black and Mixed-Race history.
One day I am going to look back at this website, and I am going to smile – I’ve said this before – because no matter what I went through, you bet your ass I took a risk and started writing and trying to make it as a professional.
Now the headstrong side of me says this was the best decision in the world, but the wise old woman in me says I should have become a Tradeswoman, because Goddess damnit, writing for money? That’s like winning the fucking lottery. Literally.
Not everyone makes it, not everyone gets the opportunity to stand on a stage of their peers and say “holy shit I’m here,” but I will absolutely have that moment because I refuse to die without having that moment. I’m a stubborn bitch that way.
Some of the best friends I have “today!” are people that I’ve never met in real life, and I only met them because I decided to start a podcast and “extend the brand”, I only met them because I started forcing people to see me as a BIPOC Creator, because I made damned sure that they knew my name and the importance of it.
It only happened because I took a risk on myself and decided to do shit my way instead of doing shit the way the world thinks I should do it. No, I am not really pulling my weight at home, but I also know that I will do my absolute best to do whatever I can to pay back the people that supported me, because I never want them to think that it was a waste.
I am never going to be the person that people want me to be. I am going to anger people, I am going to disappoint people, but I am also going to always make a concentrated effort to surprise people. I spent my entire life up to last year doing things the way that other people said I should do them, and not one moment of that shit worked for me.
Never once in my life has been trying to pretend to me something I wasn’t worked for me, rarely in my life have I had friends who just accepted me for who I am. The few times that I did have those friends the universe ripped them away and said “not yet”, and you know what all those people who did support me had in common? They looked like me.
People who looked like me, were very rarely in my life, but when they were they made it a more enriched place to be, whenever I’ve been surrounded by people who don’t look like me, I’ve had to front about who I am, to protect their fragility.
I remember once telling someone that I was bisexual, she was a catholic who asked us to join her at church. I did so because I enjoy the catholic service, even with all it’s hypocrisy, I always have, it brings a sense of comfort to a world filled with chaos, because it’s what I grew up with. As we were sitting at dinner later that night she whispered “but you’re not really, are you?”
Yes, I am bisexual, and I can say that, because I am fully aware that as a child I was as gay as the day is long. My sexuality has changed over the years, become more fluid and more accepting, and even though I am currently celibate, it’s largely because I am so damaged that I know that I am not ready to open those doors again, not because I am waiting for the perfect “man.”
I don’t really care what vessel my future person comes in, all I know is that when they do show up, we’re going to have one hell of a time explaining the last however many years to each other, and I am excited to see who that person is, but I am not interested in that happening any time soon.
I am for the first time in a really long time, enjoying being by myself, and getting to know who this new version of me is, I am excited about being free of the drama and confusion of my past, and I have a passion for my life, even when I am miserable, that I’ve never really had before.
Yes over the last four years I have cried more than I’ve ever cried in my entire life, but that’s because for the last four years I’ve been coming into my own, and letting the past go, and letting it go hurts. I am used to the darkness, I am used to the misery, but I am trying to break that cycle.
None of this would have happened if that cop hadn’t called me a loudmouth brown bitch, none of that would have happened if CJSF radio hadn’t sent me to Winnipeg, (I’ll go back because it’s beautiful, the most beautiful place in the world.) none of this would have happened if I hadn’t quit my job six years ago in an effort to support my mom.
So yeah, you bet your ass I am proud of four years of being the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, and I can’t wait to see what the next four years bring.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall