Mixed Feelings

For the first time in a long time, I finally wrote some poetry. I’ve been wondering for a long time, where all my creativity and ideas went. Where did my passion for words go, and really my words were just fueled by angst and teenage anger when I was younger.

I’ve let a lot of my demons go, but not them all. So shouldn’t I still have something to write about? Shouldn’t artistic vision never leave you? Does art only come around when you’re in pain?

Not necessarily, many artists would disagree, and not all the time all emotions breed art.

I just answered my own questions…then why the heck did I ask them at all?!

Honestly my first form of poetry in a long time concerned my race and my identity.

I am a multi-racial young woman. My father is African American, and my mother is multi-racial as well. My maternal grandmother is white.

I hate the term African American, I have friends who are actually African American from Kenya and other places. That’s a topic for another time.

For years I have struggled with where I belong. Do I hang out with the black kids, or the white kids? Which one understands me more? Where do I feel the most genuinely together?

Again to answer all three of those questions. Hang out with who you want, no one understands you but God, and you feel the most genuine when you’re on your own.

I do though, I’m a loner. I like to be by myself in my own thoughts, it is where I feel the most safe. I have to get out at some point though, I can’t get a decent job being anti-social. I never feel genuine outside of myself.

When with my white friends I feel like a caricature. They remind me of my blackness through the asking me questions and trying to say things like “what’s up.” Why do you have to greet me with what’s up?! Hello or hi works too! My blackness seeps out of me and it feels like I have to put on a show. I get told that I have a strong personality, but is it because I’m black and opinionated? White people can be opinionated too, other people have strong personalities who aren’t black. Why do you feel the need to point out mine?

It’s funny but that same caricature seeps out even more when with my black friends. I have to overcompensate to let them know that I’m black. I’m not some light-skinned, red bone. I hate both of those terms. I’m caramel skinned, why? Because I’m beautiful and sweet. I’m sticky, people come towards me when they’re not afraid and they stick to me. I’m sweet, but rich and flavorful. That sweetness can come back and bite you. I’m caramel skinned, not light skinned. I’m strong but the right people can pull me apart. I’m not some stereotypical black girl. I am mixed. You call me white when I talk on the phone or when I speak, cause I talk properly. Anyone can speak properly, not just white folks.

Sure my voice changes depending on who I’m with, I used to be an actress. It’s what I do. But my personality is always the same. I am strong, and compassionate. Wise beyond my years, and a dumb kid at the same time. Naive and yet seasoned in some of the ways of the world. Soft-spoken, but quick to set a boundary. Loving and nurturing yet independent. I am me and my friends do not define me. I do. I am multi-racial, that is what I am. I am not black or white. I am me. Yes I do love fried chicken, but not because I’m black. Yes I do say ‘like’ in some of my sentences but not because I’m white. I do those things because that is the way God made me. No more no less.

But I’m still in the transitional period of learning who I really am, so am I still lost?

No. God would never lead me to be lost. We are all the strength we wish to see in the world. I am the strength I see in myself, I am the identity I see in myself. I am me, not a race.


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