Friday, April 8, 2011

Only the Lonely?

This week has been a roller coaster ride for me...I discovered the country down home stylings of YouTube entertainer AARRONE99. I worked incredibly hard on multiple academic projects, had parenting challenges galore, and ended the week with a speaking engagement at which my principle audience was...Missing In Action.

Let's start with Aarrone99. She's a self confident, outspoken, beautiful and intelligent woman who shares her observations and experiences live and uncensored. Her videos reflect her dispensing big girl/grown woman wisdom,requests for dating advice, her personal likes and dislikes as well as style and presentation tips. I say all of that to say, that Aarrone99 was not just entertainment this week, but a memory as well. Her posts reminded me of the types of conversations I had with my girls from back home, about how we were raised, the communal knowledge of women, standards of beauty and self love. Aarrone99's videos had me laughing and crying, and kept me company as I was up late night working and writing. Despite the humor, at the end of the day, AARRONE99's videos serve to remind me, and anyone who watches them that "everything and everybody just wants to be loved."

But then...well, for those of you that don't know, I'm a single mama, and raising up two young men "the way they should go", ain't easy on regular when folks decide to cut up at school BEFORE nine a.m., you just kinda KNOW what type of day its' gonna be. With some reinforcements from the community (i.e. MALE community members), lots of communication, and a little bit of good old fashioned "fear of God"- style parenting, we got over that hump.

But, the best part of the week was that I was able to make some major progress on a project I was working on, as well as being invited to present my research at an education conference at the end of the month. On the other hand, I was seriously thrown for a loop, when after preparing a presentation for a student group, the group members who needed the information I was presenting failed to show up...Like I said, ups and downs... Reflecting on everything, I realized that I have been a seriously hard working sister! Which brings me to the flip side of all this stuff...the LONELY.

Lorraine Hansberry has a quote, which has given me SO much insight into my life, my purpose and my reality. In To Be Young Gifted and Black, she explains:

"Eventually it comes to you; the thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely."
When I read this I immediately identified with it. I consider myself to simply be Zenzile...but when I write it all out on paper, or look at my schedule, or think about my responsibilities, as a single woman, a mother, a doctoral student, a blogger, a mentor, a community member, a daughter, sister, aunt, public speaker, editor, writer, job seeker and future business owner, I KNOW, that I am exceptional, and I understand, because of the hierarchy of demands to secure survival and existence that I am oftentimes lonely But, does it have to be this way?

Tell me LJL family,is an exceptional life only for the lonely?

Are exceptional people/lives/experiences like candles, shining brightly yet so warm that no one can get close, forever a beacon but never touched?