Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Living Outside The Box
Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog, TheVillageCrier. This blog was created as a result of a challenge by a fellow creative, but I would love for it to evolve into a place where people who aren't afraid to "live" and "think" outside the box can dwell. This is a place where people can be free to be themselves, a place where you don't have to fit into any type of group or category. Labels will not be allowed here. This is a place that one should feel free to define themselves, even if that definition changes everyday.
I am Nikki Angela X Brown and I'm named after some of my biggest inspirations; poet Nikki Giovanni, plotical activist, scholar, and author, Angela Davis, the incomparable Malcolm X, and fictional characters Foxy and Jackie Brown. Hey, in a world like ours, you have to throw a little fantasy in with the reality. It's what keeps me sane.
So, what does "living outside the box" mean to me? It means that I can live free of being in cramped quarters. It means that I'm free to spread my wings, take flight and travel at any speed and/0r altitude that I choose. Being free means that I am no longer bound by societal mores.
Like, who in the hell is this dude, Society and where does he get off trying to tell everybody what they should and should not do? Who died and made him Sovereign? One of my biggest pet peeves is when people start off an explanation of why I should or shouldn't be doing something with "Well society says..." Is this dude the prototype for our knockoff childhood friend, Simon Says? Remember you couldn't make a move of any kind without Simon giving you permision to do so. If you did, you were put "out" the game. You became a "loser". Sort of how you become considered a "loser" in society if you don't follow its rigid rules of play. Rules that somehow seem to change without notice.
When I think about it, I've always been a little external box dweller. I remember in elementary, my 3rd grade teacher gave me an assignment to do a report on George Washington. Tired of hearing about George and his aspirations to be a tree trimmer, I did a report on George Washington Carver. A man who hadn't been talked about in my short educational career. I continued doing this for most of grade school. Of course,it upset my teachers, but I was in search of myself and my truth.
During those times, I was only taking baby steps, because there was always someone from "society" telling me that I shouldn't be doing this and I should be doing this. This rebirth has not been easy nor swift. It was sometime a very painful and stress-filled labor, but you know how it goes, once the water breaks, you better suck it up and push it out.
Two of my biggest break throughs were when I realized that I didn't need makeup and when I decided to stop straightening my hair. There was a time in my life that I thought that I couldn't leave home without my makeup on. I would be late or miss school and/or work, if my make-up was not tight. But you know what was tighter than the make-up, that tight space in that compact where my confidence had taken up residence. I was still living in that "Color Me Beautiful" box up until about 4 years ago.
It was about 15 years ago when I first shaved my head. It was one of the most liberating things that I have ever done. Black folk were gasping everywhere, especially my parents. My mother kept asking me if I was worried that people would think that I was a lesbian. I proudly told her no. I advised her that I couldn't control another person's thoughts. My father couldn't say a thing. I left him speechless, but I usually did. Ten years later I would decide to grow dreds. I've heard it all. I was warned that people may not hire me. I advised those people that if that was the case, then that was a place that I had no desire to work, anyway.
Living free is not easy and more than likely comes with a price. People may shun you, turn down their noses at you, and talk about you. The way I look at it, folk/society talked about Jesus and he was perfect. Talking about living outside the box............................ What bigger radical is there than the "Man", himself?
Choose to live freely.....
Nikki Angela X Brown