I continue listening to this book on #audible after hearing about it on #RatchedandRespectable from the author, Councilman Will Jawando.
As I continue to read, My Seven Black Fathers, to its conclusion; I am unpacking my own complicated feelings with the lack of relationship with my own father and my inability or unwillingness to trust men in general. I think my distrust stems from that lack of relationship. It is a persistent feeling of being unsettled and always being in a code shift mode. Never feeling comfortable in my own skin around family and people of color nor anyone else for that matter. It is overwhelming feeling of anger when you are in the corporate sphere, and in an order to function successfully, you have to do and interact with people you generally would not interact with and systems and processes that you wouldn’t generally have to do if you ran shit.
I’d hate not being my authentic self but in order for me to survive and to get my check or not mess up my bag I have to kind of become smaller and that’s hard because I’m a big girl. It is remarkable to me that Will, the man and author, was allowed to change his reality. He always had someone that allowed him to express or put into words his desires and dreams. He was so lucky because his own biological father had chronic clinical depression and because of pride and the depression, he cut his own son off from his entire heritage. But, through other male mentorship, he was reconnected with his entire Nigerian heritage which I think is so dope!
He was allowed to be his authentic self and become self aware, further learning that showing vulnerability is not really a weakness it’s a way to become stronger. He learned who he was, how to love himself and it allowed him to be easier to talk to people and to have this immense level of love and empathy and compassion.
In spite of all of the little racist actions of his teachers in his formidable years he was consistently and brilliantly surrounded by love without strings attached. He got to know the true meaning of love first starting from his his mother and her purest intentions of getting him an education in Catholic schools even though his first racist interactions were in the schools. His stepfather as well as extended family members and coworkers in his mothers work. He was allowed to explore religion and expand his faith realistically in again excepting some of the hypocrisy of such but not let it hinder his walk with Christ.
It didn’t really take not necessarily a crisis of faith but just being allowed to believe in something that seems to shape this authors faith and relationships. Instead of completely hardening his heart against his father, he sought to understand him and do the exact opposite of how he embraced his Nigerian culture and how he approached the relationship or any relationship. And it definitely affected his own parenting style not to repeat the same mistakes of his father.
He could have been petty like myself and held the depression against him but his capacity for understanding and empathy and love allow him to develop a relationship or some type of relationship with him and having the ability to correct it all before his father passed away. I hate living with regrets but that’s my only regret letting go of the pettiness and being able to develop a relationship with my own father . It’s easier for me or I find it easier to cut people off without any problems because I realize before I can get close to people and have them hurt me even more I have emotional walls up preventing me from developing strong emotional connections with people. I always have in the back of my mind if the relationship does not serve me or the greater good we are done or it will only be superficial. The further I get from my 20s I realize from a financial or emotional standpoint I have more to lose and I can’t bounce back like I want, so I’m very reluctant to have any type of emotional ties to people at this stage in my life. But this is not living, and I have to figure out a way to be able to bring down those walls and create relationships.
In spite of some real emotional trauma and his dreams of playing basketball in college were dashed, the setbacks did not define him or he stayed down. He kept hustling!
I will write next chapter, being me or strive to be a better version of myself. I want to finish the rewrite for my Black Woman Down Screen Play and I want my Podcast to move from hobby to my job.
Dream, Hustle, Succeed, Repeat!