The first time I saw a naming ceremony in person was in Tallahassee. A young couple presented their first born son to a community of elders, peers, and children and charged us to be his collective guiding force, protector, and reminder…
Here’s some Sunday morning tea; my truth that I’m compelled to SPEAK. I am often envious of the seemingly fabulous lives of single Black Girls. I know social media only shows the highlight reels of life and there’s much we don’t see. And, I must say that I am extremely grateful for my husband and two children. It just seems the single Black Girls, especially those with no children, have more fun; more time to invest in their self-care and development.
It seems they have more freedom and less responsibility; more opportunities to be out and fabulous. It seems they have stronger sisterhood circles because they have no basis upon which to compare or divide themselves or their time. Married women with children sometimes create distance between each other based on their husbands’ interests or professions and the ages and interests of their children; because your friends have to fit your family. Single Black Girls without children get to “just be” it seems. Even those with just one child seem to have more opportunities to “just be.” I am saying some version of “seems” repeatedly because I don’t know if this is true at all, but this is how it appears and this is how I’ve imagined my own life being if circumstances were reverse. I’m certain single Black Girls have their own specific trials, so don’t look at me like that >>>>>. We all do. These are mine.
Having been married for almost eight years now and in a relationship for thirteen, I’ve found it more and more difficult to have depth in new friendships formed and to maintain it in ones that I’ve had because of the responsibilities I have to my family. There’s very little just girlfriend time for me, and most of my friends that I have lived nearby through my entire marriage are single. The one season I’ve had of establishing and nurturing meaningful friendships with other Black Girls since I’ve been married was when we lived overseas. It was the first time I was a part of a community, a Black community, that was predominantly sustained by married Black Girls with children. There were certainly some fabulous single Black Girls in our circle, but we were all able to be fabulous with each other because our means supported such a lifestyle. There was plenty of time and opportunity to be alone or just with each other without our families having to sacrifice greatly from our absence. The single members of our crew even offered more support by providing care at times for our children, while the rest of us were able to have reprieve. Even now, when my single girlfriends offer this time, it’s the rare opportunity I have to spend alone with my husband, so that’s always how it’s used. Living overseas allowed me to have it all; time for myself, time for my family, time for my husband, and time for my friends. I’ve not had that before or since leaving, which is one of the reasons I still mourn my departure.
I miss having time and opportunity to be selfish and just consider myself sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with that in moderation. Selfishness itself has such a negative connotation when it’s essential for survival. I miss my freedom and investing in my self-awareness and care. I miss myself at times. This isn’t me being ungrateful. I’m nothing but grateful for all that I have. This is me acknowledging the loss of a part of myself that I still miss; that I’m still grieving as a result of my own choices to be a wife and mother. Whenever there is a gain, there consequently is a loss.
So, I smile when I see the pictures of the seemingly fabulous lives of single Black Girls flooding my timeline and I imagine my single self inserted into those pictures. I adorn the image in attire fit to slay and I send her on amazing trips to exotic destinations. The picture is only interrupted by the request for milk or a play date and I am jolted back to the reality that my life isn’t just for me, as it seemingly could be if I were single.