The Luxury of Liberty & Justice for All
It is difficult to move through life constantly focused on the distractions. When we do a thing like that it becomes easy to soak up all of the unnecessary feelings around us. We become misguided.
It is far better to become silent. Then decide where Y O U want to be. Hone in on the intention and then go forth without expectation, while having all the determination in the world.
When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining and I was grateful. First, that it was Wednesday and that meant a day of independent study for my son and an at home workday that started at 9 am for me. It was only 7 am then and the apartment was quiet, clean and warm. Something else was stirring gently inside me though...Inauguration Day. Instant smile.
For the first time in about four years, I put on the news and allowed it to play in the background while I got up and got ready. I took out my, "I'm Speaking" Kamala Harris tee, my black tulle skirt, some fishnet socks, my black pearl collar and my cleanest pair of Converse. I indulged in a very long shower and thought of nothing until I remembered to say a prayer...A short one thanking God for the audacity of C H A N G E.
I remembered that just four long-short years ago change threatened to stifle me. I was uncertain and to be honest, I was also slightly afraid as to what would become of us all. Still, I got up everyday. Received good or bad news. People lived and unfortunately many died. I stayed inside and went out in a global pandemic. I struggled with my health, but I also healed every single day. I meditated, worked hard, mothered even harder and kept on moving.
I wasn't the only one. Everywhere, everyone is doing the very same thing in similar or completely different ways. It wasn't something that I knew for sure. It was just something that I felt.
My son is in the habit of waking up early on his own nowadays. He was struggling with that during the first half of the pandemic. I let him be. We aren't a household of urgency until it's called for. It's also nearing the end of the current marking period of his Junior year, which means he has to keep his grades up. So, after cleaning himself and getting dressed we have breakfast and I help him power through some of his missing assignments. Then, I work and before you know it, it's time to watch the inauguration.
I don't know what I thought it would be like. I just sat down and was prepared to enjoy it. It was wonderful to see the order and protection at the nation's capital after the mayhem of two weeks prior. It wasn't the typical celebration that you would have seen every other time before. The crowd was far fewer than ever before, but I think that's a part of what made it better. That and the actual swearing in of a new President of the free world and the cherry on top, the very first female Vice President to take office. Not only that, but she is of Black and Asian-American decent. I was quickly swelling with pride. Also, President Joe Biden was giving a speech that would hopefully bring back some semblance of order. Comfort was on it's way back. My mind was swirling with next steps. It was whispering, "Someone rescue those babies and families at the ICE detention center, help with prison reform, get families financially stimulated, hold people accountable for their actions!!!" Make everything right. Make it more solid for us all from here on out.
However, before my mind could go off on a major tangent, Amanda Gorman (the nation's first ever youth poet laureate) stood at the podium and recited the most beautiful poem about how we will "Rebuild, Reconcile and Recover". She had my attention from how she addressed the guests of honor as well as "The World". In her, I saw a type of representation that I'd never seen before, but have seen all my life in the mirror and everywhere within my small world. Only this time, it was a vision of elegance, individuality, confidence and grace. I realized quickly that it had always been all of those things even though others tried to paint the image quite differently. How astonishing were her red and yellow colors? How glorious was her crown of perfectly coifed twists? The glow of her brown skin magnificent down to the gentle ways that she moved her fingertips while all of her words moved me. I want you to know that you are glorious.
When the program was complete, I resumed to my workday while gushing with friends and catching up with my sisters and cousins. Later there was a comfortable nap and then waking up just in time to catch pieces of what would usually be the Inaugural Ball. This year it was a fairly quiet concert, that was loud with emotion. Hosted by Tom Hanks, beginning performance by The Boss, Bruce Springsteen and ending amazingly with Katy Perry singing "Fireworks" with a beautiful view of the National Monument and of course the most spectacular fireworks that I have ever seen in my entire life.
When it ended, I had to find my son and hug him because my emotions were so high. He always lets me, no questions asked and it's never half assed. He matches my same energy every single time I do this. I said to him, "I'm just glad that you're here right now. That's all." We chitchatted and when he went back to his gaming, I sat at my desk. Swiveled around to face the view of the Bronx across the East River and inhaled the crisp night air.
I thought to myself, "This right here is a luxury." All of it is a privilege really. How fortunate to be this comfortable...? Even though I work very hard to keep it this way, many people never get to experience this level of just being and having continued solace so that they can get to the next step without mishap. The luxury of liberty and justice is not for all and if so, not all of the time, but that is what we are striving for. For the first time in a very long time, I feel like the American government is once again somewhat on board with that and I'm so grateful.
Continue to strive for what you want friends. Everyday is an opportunity to do your absolute best, for yourself first, your children next and then the world around you. Don't listen to anyone else when they try to make you believe that it's too late. It never is, until it is. So, always keep trying.
L O V E,