Color Me In…

We are not born into what makes us different. 

It’s not even something that as a child we comprehend, but somehow along the way, as we learn our ABC’s, we also learn our differences. Or that is the differences that still stand as barriers on becoming truly equal.

I remember almost vividly as a child, I had a dream once that felt steeped in realty or some alternate version of it. I was six at the time, in the hallway of my home. And in this dream I saw myself, fair skinned with blue eyes, blonde hair and a red dress. When I told my father that dream, I didn’t realize at the time, the scars it would leave behind.

Now as an adult, I look back at that moment, at what it must of been like to be a black man whose only daughter shared of how she dreamed of being white.

We are not born into what makes us different. No. But at some point we allow ourselves to become lost in what we think makes us better. Not knowing that even as a child, I, and children like myself, could not recognize beauty in being black. That even through the efforts of my parents, I didn’t see myself when I looked in the mirror. Not my reflection, but who I was as a whole.

For a long time, well beyond my formative years, I never really shook the fair skinned girl in the hallway. Subconsciously, I saw my skin as inconvenient and my hair as barbed wire, I tried to avoid. Sometime after that dream my father started sending me to Chicago every summer, to spend time with my Grandmother on the Southside of Chicago. I think it was his attempt at trying to save me from falling down the rabbit hole. To teach me that I didn’t need to be an Alice or Aurora. To wake me up from this world I created, in which I couldn’t see myself. I spent my childhood like the untouched pages of a coloring book, letting myself be colored in by my surroundings. I wonder often who I would be now If I hadn’t let the world decide for me.

I used to use this blog to write about how stuck we were in the digital world, addicted to social media, distant from each other. And we still are, but I would much rather tell you my stories of who I was before, and who I am trying to be. The color by numbers of my life. A mixed girl still trying to blend in.

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