I’m riding through the scorching pavements of Louisiana. It’s 2 p.m. I passionately, emotionally and thuggishly listen to Solange as she philosophically elaborates:
“I can’t be a singular expression of myself–there’s too many parts, too many spaces, too many manifestations, too many lines, too many curves, too many troubles, too many journeys, too many mountains, too many rivers, so many.”
I correlate this 5-hour journey with a personal, vulnerable journey. I patiently waited for my touchdown in Houston–directly alluding to my patience during moments where the heavy weight of the world seems to be a strain on my serotonin levels.
I reflect on my journey thus far–a 22-year-old woman of color who lacks certain privileges, yet still attributing to other privileges. I’d struggled with understanding why my journey had ended up this way–from being singled out in school for being black and articulate–as if they were mutually exclusive. And, on the flip side, I was brought up in a college-educated, middle-class, black family who told me to appreciate how knowledge could make a Difference. Identity crisis, much? Should I be proud of who I am and the journey that I’m on, or be an inauthentic version of myself to fulfill a short-term emotional value? The journey is teaching me that there should be enough for everyone.
The Houston-based art show–There Is Enough For Everyone–was curated by two brown men, J. and Mich. Back in 2014, they donated tents and backpacks to the local homeless population under the guise of their company, “Tenativ,” and completed a 150-mile walk from Houston to Austin for a fundraiser supporting homeless youth while living out of their own cars. With vision and empathetic determination to create an authentic showcase of scarcity and abundance of people of color, they created There Is Enough For Everyone to establish awareness of a raw cultural perspective to the general public. Why? Because The Difference comes from caring. Caring means you have to do something, and doing something is the most vibrant of opportunities. And the empathy that resonates has an impact.
I think about positive representation within my community–we are to be comfortable with oneself enough to be fearless. We are to unapologetically ride the wave of ups and downs. To destigmatize failure within black and brown communities and to be able to look at mistakes as development and pursuit. To have necessary allies. To embrace the parts, spaces, lines, curves, and journeys.
So next time your path seems too far down to reach the end, or steps taken on your journey seem to hurt like hell at times, remember that there is enough strength and courage for you and everyone.