Karyn Washington

Screen-Shot-2014-04-11-at-5.25.44-AMWhen a mother goes into labor, even if she’s expecting –  she’s not. Her whole world for the past 9 months has been spent counting down the hours enjoying the up’s and downs of pregnancy, and in her mind she’s ready for the physical roller coaster ride she’s about to go on. Yet every doctor says that the minute the pain picks up the only thing most mothers feel is fear (even if it’s mostly mental). Doctors say, that even those who have relatively pain free labor’s go through a moment of pure panic that is almost unrelieved. So how do they get through it? Any mother will tell you it’s a moment where it just washes over you, the pain, the fear, it’s only temporary, it won’t hurt forever, so for now I’ll do my best to guide a fucking human being into the world through my BODY.  And, they do it. They make it through and then promptly forget the entire experience except to say, “I don’t think in my right mind I’d ever do it again”, but then they do.

That’s you twenties (and those other kiddo’s you swore you’d never have are your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, where it’s a whole other level of crazy, but at least it’s not your first again). They suck. I mean the whole title of this blog says it all.  And yet, it’s this beautiful and human experience that everyone goes through that looks hard because it is and and hurts because it does. Every person I know between the ages of 20 and 29 is going through something right now, some more than others, some easier still. Yet, every journey is different, there is no “right way” to survive your 20’s. Some will chose the natural way, while others will opt for the drugs to carry them through. Some may need the help of a coach or a mentor, and some will tough it out on their own with only a few helping hands popping in just to make sure you’re not dying. The pain comes in waves, every minute you endure it you’re closer and closer to the end. Sometimes it doesn’t always go the way you planned (that whole time up until this point) but it always ends. The only way to get to the end is to go through it, you have no other choice.

Which is why it was so crazy for me to see that fellow black girl and avid thought sharer blogger Karyn Washington committed suicide; the creator of For Brown Girls, a website I’ve frequented here and again. Her vision was to inspire other black girls to self-love and find their inner beauty, you know, the kind of blog your mother will just keep sending you links too because, for whatever reason they allow parents access to the internet for some reason she see’s a little of her daughter in every post. However, the news (perhaps sent to me by said mother) wasn’t even a little bit surprising. I didn’t gasp in horror and get all emotionally upset over they “why” of it all because sadly I understood. It’s hard. It’s hard being in your twenties. It’s hard being a woman. It’s hard being an African-American, and as much as people want to say it isn’t, those people are usually white men. But it’s not a race or a contest to see what faction of us has it’s the worse, all of them have they’re obstacles to overcome, but just imagine you had all three and you start to see what I mean. It’s exhausting. It’s numbing, and sometimes it feels like it’s too much.

Now everyone is talking about how the black community is handling mental illness, and where we’re going wrong. That’s a valid discussion to bring up , but it’s really just to divide a community already divided on so many other social issues right now. Mental illness on a whole isn’t talked about in this country, so to say that the black community is coping worse than others is only marginally true. Why aren’t we talking about why all of a sudden it’s so hard to be in your 20’s and how my generation is falling apart trying to climb through them? We’re not all Facebook creators and Snapchat founders, but now we’re all expected to be “the next big thing”. The pressure to succeed is higher, the job market is scarier, the price of living is astronomical and we’re dealing with debt so high we’ll never retire (no, seriously, go look up the numbers on that and tell me you wouldn’t be depressed). Not to mention our generation is now responsible for fucking up dating. That’s right, you heard me, we took the concept of the “one-night-stand” and turned it into a “hook up culture”. We don’t even know how to have healthy emotional attachments TO OTHER PEOPLE. We’ve isolated ourselves and we have parents that have helicoptered their way through our lives so that we basically have no coping mechanism.  We’re so fucking depressed out of our minds that prescription drugs are becoming illegal. ILLEGAL! The prescribed ones. Those of us that have jobs are working a minimum of 45 hours a week making less thank 30k a year all the while competing in a global economy that basically think Americans are a joke. Just imagine being twenty in the middle of all that.

And she was a woman, and she was black.

I wasn’t even a little bit surprised at all because I’ve been there. But at some point you have to let the pain overcome you and in the back of your mind you think “on the other side of this is a life… I grew…myself, with very little help from anyone other than me, totally and completely organically because my body can do that” and then you push. You push and you push and keep pushing until you’re all done.


One thought on “Karyn Washington

  1. Pingback: Karyn Washington Should Not Have Died - Chocolate Covered Lies

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