In spite of my constant never ending belief that my life will get better, there are absolutely days that kick my ass, and remind me that I am in fact, only human.
Recently I have had an angel who reads the blog, following everything that I do. Her name is Debra, earlier this week I put the blog on hiatus because my laptop keyboard stopped working, then she sent me a laptop, and because there is duty owed on the damned thing, she’s paying so that I can have it delivered, because she knows when I say that I am broke, I have 0.00 dollars in my account. Less than that actually.
It’s super beautiful to feel like there is someone in my corner, who is handing me rope after rope so that I keep pulling myself forward and stop the “I want to give up” thinking, but yes, it’s also scary.
This amazing human is ACTUALLY putting their faith in me, what if I fuck it up? What if I fail? More importantly, what can I do to make sure that I don’t fuck it up?
That whole “retrain your brain” thing? It isn’t as easy as it sounds, we are conditioned from birth to believe that our “station” must remain our station, and that fighting to overcome challenges is a bad thing, because how dare you defy what the Universe has given you, so that you can have something different?
There are two different worlds in my head. The world that I see that has seemingly impossible characters who come to life to remind me that I can go anywhere and do anything, and then there are the people in my waking “non-fiction” life, who are a part of THIS tangible real world, who look at those of us who see the “other” and demand that WE believe, that we’re insane.
I’m sorry that you can’t see the world that I see, because if you could, then you’d realize that I’ve been trying to fit into the wrong world my entire life.
I am who I am, because when I had no one else to believe in me, “I” believed in me, and for a really long time this past few years, I’ve been listening to the voices in my head when all I have wanted to do is scream “Shut the fuck up,” at the top of my lungs.
These signs that are making themselves aware are not coming out of nowhere, it just took me a really long time to recognize them, because I didn’t believe in myself, largely because my abusers number 1 focus, was on making sure that I could not believe in myself.
It didn’t work, because I also had a lot of people – specifically the ones who read this site, and buy the t-shirts and hoodies, to remind me that there is value in who I am as an educator, and as a designer. I am many more things than I thought I could be, and along the way there have been many amazing women who came before me, who paved the way for me to see the words “I can do that too…my way,” so that I could believe that I really could.
Debra is one of them. Seemingly we have nothing in common, and in fact I don’t know much about her, but what I do know is that SHE is a woman who wants to see OTHER women, succeed. To see that, to have another woman take me by the hand and invest her time, her hope, AND much needed funds into MY future? That’s something I’ve waited my entire life for.
When I was younger, teens and early 20s my ONLY focus was on finding a man, because I desperately craved the stability that I didn’t have growing up, and as a child I knew that, but as an adult I seemed to forget that part of why I was searching for love, in LITERAL wrong places.
I started believing that I HAD to find a man if I was ever going to be happy, successful, and strong, but as it turns out, what I needed was to take stock of everything that I had learned so that I could organize my skills, so that I could use them to cultivate the kind of life that I REALLY want.
I’ve been trying to find a way to say this for years, here on this blog and I think this is how I did it, but check back in with me in 30 years to see if I was right:
What I Think I Can Do
What I am Actually In Control Over Right This Second
The Things that I want to do, but am not ready/skilled/prepared to do just yet
In my head these are the lists of things that I am constantly checking in with, and although I would love that third column to be all the things that I am doing right this second, I also want those things to be done right.
I keep thinking about the Fenty Fashion Show, that I haven’t seen it yet, but I am STILL so proud of Rihanna. Largely because she did what she did to get through from one day to the next until she was able to do all the things SHE wants to do. Now she’s designing fashion for women of all sizes. One day I’ll be sitting in the front row of one of her shows, or maybe she’ll be at mine.
Of all the lives that I COULD be living, I am living the one where I am THIS person, who has friends like Debra who don’t tell me that I am too much for them, or that I need to tone it down, and instead ask me to turn it up and let my whole self out into the world.
My international friends also don’t try to take credit for the work that “I” have put into this site, sure they lift me up and inspire me to keep going, but they let me, and remind me to take credit, for the work that “I” have done, to get where I am, and that is the most important thing about these friendships for me.
I am not lucky, I worked really hard to find friends who believe in me, by being my whole self, by deciding no matter how ugly or messy, I was going to share myself with the world, and you know what I learned? I am fucking terrified.
If things work out the way that “I” think they should, then I might be good enough to have a fashion show one day that rivals any other before it, and I am still afraid of what people who will try to tear me down, will think and say.
I am still afraid of the onslaught of hatred that the internet provides for the many, many billions, of humans that have access to it.
I am afraid that I won’t have the proper safety nets in place to protect my still very fragile mental health when the time comes for me to decide whether or not to respond to the vitriol that happens online.
There are a lot of people in my past life, who are in their own way holding out their hands, waiting for me to take what I have built in order to make their lives easier, and while it’s easy for me to ask “why should I?” the question in MY head, is “what have you done for yourself?”
I have someone in my family who doesn’t speak to me, unless there is money waiting for them on the other end of the conversation. They are super annoyed that I won’t save up my monthly disability check, and pay for them to come to Canada, and I am not the only person they aren’t talking to. If I am being honest, there are a couple of people like that in my life.
The thing is, if I am struggling now, and I can look back and see others like myself, the ones who are physically broken by trauma, who feel like they have NO ONE, but are STILL doing everything they can to keep moving forward…those are the ones that I feel a connection to when it comes time to decide who to help.
It’s not selfish, it’s knowing that I can’t stay in the same place waiting for people to realize that I am RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACES. If I am not in your life anymore, it’s because you didn’t give a flying fuck about me when I WAS there, it’s because I grew up and moved on, and I don’t regret moving on, just because you’re stuck in the same place you were 25 years ago.
It’s not selfish to want more for yourself, or to be curious about why it took so long. Understanding why it takes as long for us to get where we want to go, helps us to appreciate the journey more.
But on the days when you can, give it absolutely everything that you have. It’s not always about balance, sometimes it’s about preparation.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
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