Yesterday I did an interview for Politics done Right with Egberto Willas, and I have to tell you, that it was weird to hear a Black man call me an Activist, with the sound of respect in his voice.
Largely because the last Black man that I interacted with was Orville Lee, who is constantly surprised when he realizes that I am not the same quiet and timid person I tried to be when he knew me.
“Water is fluid, soft & yielding but water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield … what is soft is strong.”
I went to Pathfinder Youth Center Society hoping to change my life, hoping to pull away from childhood games that involved hunting rabbits, while really keeping the EVER SO VERY LONG LIST of grown adults I knew for a fact abused children and got away with it too long.
The list inside my head is so long that it’s taken years for the full weight of the truth to land on my shoulders, and today I did an interview for a podcast that has about 10,000 listeners, and that’s the largest access I have ever had access to, and I am a little overwhelmed.
Not at the response, at the fact that this happened at all. It only happened because I was asked to be a speaker by the folks of W.E.O.C or “woke,” for short. It stands for Writers and Editors of Color, and it has some of the most amazing writers and content creators on the planet. Like me they take this shit seriously.
And I mean, S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y.
And it’s because we all know what it feels like to be told that our voices don’t matter, that our behavior is all that matters, that it never ever matters what people say or do, but only how WE react to it.
Apparently, we’re still not allowed to punch colonizers in the face or hit them with frying pans when they take advantage of the vulnerable, and so instead of punching them with our fists
I was asked during this speaking engagement what keeps me going, and I WISH I could say that it was the readers, and yeah y’all are a part of that, but a lot of it is really the fact that teaching myself that MY voice matters to ME first before it matters to ANYONE ELSE in the world, is a high that I can’t get from shutting up.
I really like talking about how I feel, and I know what it feels like to talk about how I feel to myself all alone, and I am not going to lie, I LOVE to hear the sound of my own voice. It’s like the sound of Angel’s singing if I am being honest, and I only say that because I am tired of being told to tone myself down, in order to make other people comfortable.
I am the Loud Mouth Brown Girl BECAUSE people tried to make me be quiet BECAUSE people kept telling me to tone it down and hush up, BECAUSE people kept silencing me and telling me that although my ideas were “great” they weren’t feasible, so long as I wanted credit for those ideas.
I’ve spent my entire life trying to prove to people that I am smarter than they are – I may not know complex math or science, but I know that I’ve seen things in this universe no one else can ever possibly understand without having first lived my life. So with that being said, that must mean that scientifically speaking, I must have a perspective no one else has.
Which means that my voice must matter.
If MY voice matters, then the voices of the people reading this website must matter to, that’s the only logical explanation that I can come up with for how I got as far as I did in four years.
In a couple of months I will be celebrating 5 fucking amazing, beautifully weird, majickal, strange, eye-opening, truth-filled years, and even though YOU don’t all know my full truth, I do. That’s what matters to me.
This journey was always about seeing what Loud Mouth Brown Girl could become, if I just decided to let it stop being about revenge, and let it become something that resembles my healing process, in an effort to show others that you can smoke weed, feel great, bad and everything in between, and call it healing, in a productive way.
I have worked really hard over the last four years, doing the thing that “I” want to do, constantly and consistently being interrupted by people who want me to go faster, who want me to hurry the fuck up so that they can have what they want when they want it. And here I am sitting here writing this realizing, I’m pretty content in my bubble right now.
This isn’t because life is perfect, or better than it used to be, it’s because I am getting comfortable finally with the changes that come with aging. My whole life I’ve been like my friend Rachel, a scientist. Quietly observing, trying to figure out who I am supposed to be and at thirty-eight it’s absolutely NOT who I thought I was going to be.
So what I am trying to say is, quit worrying, it’s all going to work out <— that’s what he said to remind me that we know who we are, even and especially when the world keeps telling us to be something or someone else. The truth as you know it, is the truth that YOU know, but it’s not the truth that everyone else thinks is true, so do whatever you can to make your voice matter.
Even if you have to be like water.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall