After reading the news of For Brown Girls creator Karyn Washngton’s passing, I immediately went to tapping away on the keys of my laptop. The late 22-year-old’s story of dedicating much of her daily life to empowering Black women, and even the possibility that she ended her own life, felt eerily familiar and close to home.
this is me all winter.
peep dis nu-age doowop tho
I pulled my grades up, and I’m super excited about it—aiming to finish the semester strong. Looking more into my next graduate program, and all the steps needed to acquire my LPC so I can be a licensed art therapist. I’m up writing a case study for class. Day-dreaming, I’m actually thinking of taking that art therapy degree further and going for a doctorate of psychology later down the road. So I can combine my all of experience, make one super clinical practice that incorporates art therapy, clinical research, and counseling psychology to help further empower women of color and children of color. I could write more children’s books, and fill my office with them. And still be a visual artist, still making imagery that uplifts and inspires women of color. Covering my walls with glittery shiny paintings, hoping to make patients feel warm, welcomed, and safe. That would be cool. I know it’d require more school, more training, and more funding down the road—but hey, a girl can dream for now. And why not dream big?
Ever since I graduated from college, it’s like money has been this constant overbearing weight in my life, and I hate that one little piece of paper has so much power. I hate to say it, but it does. I never had to really worry about it while in school, my only concentrations were getting good grades, making meaningful connections, and making art. I took out loans and such, but my focus was different while there. Now, that I’m out of school—the first thing I had to do was find work to try to pay my own way, and be a young working adult…It stresses me out so much, all I want to do is speed up the process of my growth and higher education so I can make more of it. Just so I can help return the favor and provide for my family as they have for me.
I’m tired of always worrying about it, thinking about it, wanting more of it. But bills need to get paid, student loans need to get paid, groceries, gas, car notes, insurance, class registration fees, textbooks, taxes owed since I work for non-profits, medical bills after being sick, prescriptions, the pets need to be taken care of…this household, this tiny family unit needs to be taken care of…Some days I just want to give up and say forget it, it’s too expensive to live, and it’s only gonna get worse… and today it just got worse. I come home—and my family member quits his job, leaving the rest of us in immediate distress. I don’t know what to do or say at this point, my mind is racing… all the things that need to get paid for, all the money I don’t have to help pay for it. I work two part time jobs that pay minimum wage, and I’m trying to go back to school, all just to rack up more debt to hopefully get one stable career—which, isn’t a given. It’s not certain I’ll even find something after graduation, but I’ve got to try.It feels like it’s my only chance. My only way to help, to do something and give back. Send me strength, I feel like I just got hit by a truck with this news.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, if it did, sometimes I think I’d feel less stressed about life. Life is a constant struggle, but I don’t think you should just give up because you’re tired or things get hard. In those times, I think it’s important to remember why your struggling, what your goals are. I just needed a space to write out my feelings. I feel sick thinking of all the financial strain this one decision just caused, and how it’s going to affect my household. I wish money grew on trees somedays. I wish I had so much money I’d never have to worry about not having enough ever again, for my family, my friends, my loved ones, for people who need it… I feel like who ever said money can’t solve all your problems, or money won’t make you happy clearly were in some sort of mental state where money wasn’t this looming ominous force in their life. I wish it wasn’t so much in mine somedays or that I could block it all out, but such is life…