All right, fair warning -
I’m going to be talking about a lot of things, so if you’re not into reading a woman overshare on the internet, it’s probably in your best interest to keep on clickin'.
I don’t really talk about things on social media or internet that are serious or important, and I have my reasons. One of the big reasons is, I have been struggling to find my ‘voice’. Not only my ‘voice’ as a growing human, but the ‘voice’ of my business. What I stand for. What I want you to think of when you think of my little shop.
I’ve tried to figure this out for a long time. Nothing has ever felt right. Maybe it’s just because I have a decent amount of baggage and insecurities. Maybe it's because I've never felt comfortable with who I am, or understood how I fit in. Believe me, I know how fucking cliche that sounds. And that’s a great example of why I never post shit like this. I don’t want to be a fucking cliche, and I don’t want to look back at something a year or even a week from now and cringe.
But today. I got my lady times (I did warn you I was going to overshare). I’m not one of those lucky women that feel nothing riding the crimson wave, and just have a craving for chocolate and french fries. I’m one of those truly blessed to have days of excruciating pain, bloating and mood swings.
Fucking groovy, right?
So today, I was really down. Really drained. Over thinking and spinning mentally, while physically doing nothing but curling up in a ball. I find when Aunt Flo comes to visit, I do feel my emotions more. Everything is hightened. My heart feels a little bigger, feels a little more (more cliches).
While curled in a ball, I read about the issues our country is facing. I read about people on both sides. The people who protest for and against. The people affected. The people that are having their days disrupted ... and the people that just don’t get it. These are the people that, behind the safety of their computers and phones, say things like
all of the protestors should just be run over by trucks.
Plowed down by trains.
Or say things like “they can get out to protest, but they can’t get out and get a job?”
It’s shit like this that hurts my heart and breaks my brain.
These people, without knowing it, are shining a light on,what I feel is, the true issue. Racism. Racism is the real problem. It exists in our beautiful country, and a lot of people just ... don’t get it (and I mean that in ever way). Or they just don’t know. Or care. People that are openly saying they would prefer people die in fucked up ways so they can have an uninterrupted day ... this is the issue.
Those people and their learned behaviour is our problem.
That is what I feel is being protested. People are tired or being treated like trash. They are tired of people, still in 2020, boiling them down to nothing but negative stereotypes and looking at them as less than.
For those of you who are lucky enough to not experience racism, might not fully understand. And that’s ok. You just need to be open to understanding, and to listen.
I am status Indian (legit still says that on the document, even though we've known for awhile, fuckers got the continent wrong). I have been treated ... not so cool ... a lot. My entire life. Now, if you’re thinking “bitch I’ve met you, and you don’t look native” (believe me, I’ve gotten this sort of shit multiple times) I’m only a half breed (Cher is god).
This has been a really hard thing for me my whole life. I was too white for the reserve back home and too dark to really fit in, in my predominantly white community. I’ve had people assume I’m Lebanese, Italian, Hawaiian, Greek ... but no one ever thought that I was a native from their own country (which is fucked to me, but whatever). So I know I have different life experiences that have given me a different outlook on all of this.
In elementary school we had an illadvised debate about whether native people deserve government support. The boy I debated against said vile hateful things like “why should he pay for Indians to gamble and drink?”. This is grade 6 guys.
I had a Jr High tormentor that literally followed me around for a year saying things like “don’t shoot me with your bow and arrow!”, “how’s your tee-pee?” and calling me a “wagon burner”. Side note - for all of you fucks that still think a boy treating a girl like trash when they‘re kids means that ‘he likes you’, I strongly disagree.
I’ve had people confused that I had a cold because they thought my “people didn’t get sick.” Yeah, we were just fucking tricking you with that whole smallpox blanket bit.
I had a professor in university accuse me of appropriating imagery from my on culture. Dude actually said to me “as a white girl, why do you feel like you can use these symbols?” When I explained that I was status and that the imagery was traditionally used by my people, fucker tried to backpedal so fast. He decided to explain himself. He let me know that I didn’t “dress native or talk native”, so how was he to know? When I apologized for not arriving to class singing Paul Ortega in my deer skin jacket, he got a little defensive. (which is kind of funny if you think about it) He then went on to explain how he couldn’t be racist, because his wife was ... at this point i stopped listening. It didn’t end there.
I complained to the higher ups , and had a meeting, with my amazingly strong parents for support. After I explained everything (and believe me there was more) we walked out of the office and made a follow up apt to try to get everything sorted ... only to have this comment said to my face by said higher up
“I would never have guessed you were native. I just would have said you’re pretty.”
*like oh my god, thank you*
I had a previous coworker show her true colours when she explained a job at my work would probably not be paid for because “they’re native so they are probably in jail or have no money”.
These are just a few examples.
Legit, had a guy at a bar over the recent holidays call me “butter girl”, and for you who are not firmiliar with the Land O Lakes girl, just go ahead and google that.
He said that to my face, thinking it was fine, in 2019.
Now. Most people I know would think all of this is outrageous and terrible. And folks, I agree.
What I’m learning is, there are a lot of people in this country that wouldn’t believe it’s so common. Or care that it’s so normal. And there are some, very obviously, that would agree with this sort of treatment.
Agree that certain people, are less than. Deserve to be mistreated. Deserved to be used. Forgotten. And fucked over.
This is the true problem.
We have a lot of work to do, and I think if we don’t take this opportunity to educate each other and have open discussions together about racism, we are missing out on a very powerful opportunity.
We will be fucking up if we miss this chance. And to be honest, I think we’ve done enough of that.
So, I guess to sum this all up. I’ve never had my feet solidly under me when it comes to understanding ‘who I am’ and what my voice ‘is’ until now.
I’m starting to understand what I need to do and say and be, so that I can feel good. So that I can love my life. Love myself (Cause lord knows, some of you folks have made it hard).