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Ain’t No Telling What I’m Finna Be On

Updated: Feb 18

I am not a monolith. Black men and women are not a monolith but for today specifically not Black women. You can never assume who a person is in general. There are several situations I have dealt with in my lifetime where I have been ostracized because I didn't do things the way most people did them. We all go through this at some point right? However, it has been a bit more debilitating for me because it seems like for a long time I couldn't relate to pretty much anyone in my eco-system, not even my immediate family. To know EXACTLY who you are without a sense of belonging, is debilitating. It is a double edge sword because people in general do not know very well and I don't share a lot with people in fear of judgement. If you grew up how I grew up and experienced half the things I have, you wouldn't want to open up to people either. People have made me feel so indifferent that I chose at a very young age to just stop talking. The less people know about the better and now you're just left to assume. The assumptions are always wrong by the way, like insanely wrong. I consider myself a confident person so I it was hard for me to admit that I had some type of insecurity and it was fueled by the people around me. Overall, I know I am not the only Black woman who feels this way and I just want to vent about the most common situations I run into.

All my life I have battled being who is palatable for the people around me other than truly being who I really am. I got made fun of for being smart out of all things as if I grew up in the gang infested streets of South Central. I still to this day get made fun of for not being hood, do y’all see who raised me? How would that even happen? All the people making fun of me grew up in the suburbs and came from decent families which is wild to me. Nevertheless, I dumbed myself down to fit in but I wasn’t going to go as far as not graduate early which was a goal of mine since I was a child (kudos to me). This followed me into adulthood, it was so hard for me to admit that I actually am really intelligent and usually the most intelligent person in the room. I wouldn’t say none of my peers were as smart as I was but I will say I have never met anyone that had a worldview like I did until recently.

With the help of social media I found other Black women that are critical thinkers, I mean real critical thinkers not people that are too deep for their own good. Where are the free thinkers? I consider myself a free thinker and I am very media literate. This does not mean to rid away of tradition. I love my COGIC, sanctified, and Holiness background. I could never forget my foundation. My foundation is the only reason I don’t have a face tattoo; God knew I needed to be grounded in holiness. I have always had unpopular opinions and taste. However, there are women and men that exist that have the same interests as me, who knew? I thought I was the only Kanye West STAN on this side of the Mississippi River (this is my blog you don't get to judge me). There are women that really read comic books and care about origin stories like I do. I color outside the lines not because I want to rebel, it’s just who I am. I have been called weird my whole life but what if I’m not weird? What if I’m just not afraid to NOT be a monolithic Black woman which we are inadvertently groomed to be? I can't be the only one that feels that way. It should be clear by now that I don’t care to fit in but it confuses me that my most positive characteristics are really what sets me apart.

This is year I really had to take a step back and really do some transparent soul searching. I have had many downfalls with friends I loved and considered family, the common issue was betrayal. Why do all my friends assume I will betray them? The things I have been accused of I would never think of doing but yet has came into question. This has to be a ME thing because this is happening way too often. What about me has shown that I am capable of this? Maybe someone in their life has? We all project onto others in some way. Once again, I’m not a monolith; whatever you would do or what your other home girl did, is not Shaniqua. I am very direct, just believe what I say at face value. My friends now get me but I have struggled so much in this area and now I know who I can and can't be friends with. If a disagreement turns into an end of friendship then I needed to dismiss you a long time ago. There is absolutely no one in my life that is worth lying to. I am genuine, no hidden agendas, and most importantly betraying someone takes too much work. I am just too lazy to do it.

People I thought were my friends have completely talked me out of salvation. Why? I have made some questionable choices in my life. But to be honest, we are all doing the same things; I just was the only one that got caught. I know now I can take that burden, they couldn’t. I have never been the person that could be in the pulpit and minister to the people of God knowing good and well I was hanging with the wretched the night before; but most of my peers could. Why spend so much time telling me how uncalled I was, or my spiritual gifts are an elusion? I know now that it’s possible for people to be jealous of your integrity, jealous of how God still has his hand on your life even though you don’t deserve it. I am still mad at myself for allowing someones words to alter my perception of how God views (that person was miserable and still is). I really don’t have the gall to stand up in the pulpit and be nothing but Holy but the opposite has become common in the church. Not for me because I am not a monolith. Also, I’m just not a liar.

Growing up I never saw my future with a Preacher or Pastor, not that I could not be attracted to one (I have tried). As eccentric as I am I needed to be with someone who I can get along with when we aren’t at church. After I confirm that you’re a believer then I have other questions. Like at the end of the day, do you think Rick & Morty is hilarious? If not, you’re not the guy for me and the list goes on. I am making the process harder for sure because it’s better and undeniably just right to date your equal. I have faced the consequences of choosing the latter but I’m already here now. While people around me are waiting for a man to choose them I was literally trying to teach a male child how to pee in the toilet, I had much more difficult things to worry about. Not every girl in the church wants to marry young and have sunshine band babies. I had a sunshine band baby then decided to wait until I got older to bless a Black man with my companionship. In true Shaniqua fashion I have a very unconventional relationship. Once again, I am not a monolith.

Let people enjoy things (within reason, don't be dumb). Stop projecting your life and boring conventions on to others. Some people are just fine in being who they are and others play the part to avoid judgement. I can tell when someone is not being themselves, I can tell when people are putting on show to fit in. I am unique and my eccentricity is what I love most about myself. Don't box yourself into who everyone around you thinks you should be. I could never be boxed in, I am too abstract to fit in one anyway.

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