Your story is not over yet. ;
For years I’d been wanting to get a semicolon tattoo ever since I’d been introduced to the Semicolon Project. Not only am I a grammar nerd but I also love what the semicolon represents on a deeper level.
What’s the Semicolon Project?
The Semicolon Project was founded by Amy Bleuel in an effort to combat suicide and raise awareness about suicide. While Amy unfortunately succumbed to taking her own life, her work lives on.
Why does the Semicolon Project resonate with me?
I’ve been dealing with suicidal problems since I was 12. I remember being fascinated with a knife in the middle of the night, daring myself to either slit my wrists or plunge it through my abdomen. I did neither of those things at the time but it kicked off a lifelong obsession with death and taking my own life.
Suicide has always seemed to be the answer to everything. Are kids making fun of me? If I jump off the balcony, that’ll end that. Is work going terribly? Walking into oncoming traffic will solve that issue. Have my emotions plunged into the abyss of nothingness, never to resurface? Well, why don’t I just bring my physical self to where my emotions already are?
Enter the semicolon.
I tried explaining the meaning of the semicolon to my therapist who simply thought I got the tattoo because I love grammar so much. That’s the surface reason; but I love the fact that there’s a deeper meaning to it that reflects who I am.
What did I try telling my therapist?
A semicolon joins 2 complete thoughts. What really could’ve been a period, indicating finality, is replaced by a semicolon, which represents an interruption—a brief pause in the middle of a story.
Consider the placement of the semicolon. The first thought is complete and can stand alone. If someone wanted to, they could end their story (that first thought) right there. But the semicolon indicates that there’s more to the story—there’s more to come. A semicolon represents a “blip,” if you will, in the middle of the sentence. The sentence (like my life) could’ve ended there but it didn’t. The semicolon means that my story can continue, that the second half of the story (the second complete thought) can happen before a final ending (the period).
My story will end eventually (period), but the semicolon reminds me that I don’t have to be the one to end it. That I can continue my story. That whatever I’m going through is only a blip—an interruption—and that there’s more to come.
I suppose I suck at the layman’s terms for this. Basically it means “your story isn’t over.”
My father died in December 2001. In a few years I will have lived more of my life without him than with him.
It’s weird how someone can be in your life, your presence, your existence for over 7000 days and suddenly they’re gone. Then you face an unknown number of days without them. And you have to go on. Without them.
It seems almost cruel, moving forward in life without them. Acting as though they weren’t here. As if they’d never existed. My father, who very obviously contributed to my existence, no longer exists.
I’m not going to get into the afterlife. I’m just taking about this temporal life—the here and now.
October 26 will be 1 year since my grandmother passed away. She was 2 weeks shy of 107. She was housebound and bed-ridden for some time. Her memory faded and dementia set in when she was 103. By the time she passed, she didn’t know who I was.
And one day, someone will cease to know who I am. But it’s important for me to know that no matter what, my existence matters. My dad’s existence mattered and he meant the world to me. I miss my grandmother even though I don’t think of her every day. Sure she was almost 107, but she was still a human being and her existence mattered.
I’ll save my wish for death by 70 for another post.
As I move forward into 2019, my theme for the next 14 months will be #BeYou. This involves a process of learning to not only love myself but to also stay true to who I am.
I’ve often been accused of being “too white.” My skin color is dark but my vocabulary is “white.” My music is “white.” My interests are “white.”
I am a black chick living in America. I don’t have to conform to anyone’s idea of who I should be. I can be Republican. I can be Democrat. I can be non-partisan. I can be pro-life. I can be pro-choice. I can be boring. I can be exciting.
But who am I really? Well, I’m in my mid-30s and still trying to figure that out. I enjoy a good dose of English grammar and proper usage. I love an extensive vocabulary, almost to the point of magniloquence. I read. I write. I edit. (Not usually all of the same things at the same time.)
In this journey to #BeMe, I’ve expanded the hashtag to #BeYou to encourage others in their journey to be themselves and stay true to who they are. For someone who has never been content with who she is (why can’t I just be a white girl with nice hair?), this will be an ongoing lesson in appreciating who I am and who God has made me to be.
I don’t care if I’m following traffic rules to a T. I’m still scared of cops. Not that normal fear of getting pulled over. That abnormal fear (well, normal to black people) of getting shot or framed for no reason at all. My husband’s white and says, “The media is blowing things out of proportion. Stuff like this doesn’t happen as frequently as you think.”
I don’t care. It happens. And I am still a black woman. And unless you know what it’s like to be black, you will never know the fear that runs my through my veins.
I started this blog as the eccentriceditor for content’s sake. I didn’t really want to name my site eccentric (I forgot I wanted to use the word eclectic.) I probably wouldn’t have changed the name of the blog if it had been eclecticeditor. Alas, here I am now.
Black Girl in the USA—girl disappearing (what on earth’s occuring?)
Why girldisappearing.com? Well, I bought the domain name because I love the Tori Amos song and thought it would be a good blog site (easy to type and remember). Then I decided to rename it to Black Girl in the USA. You’d think I have commitment issues. I guess I do when it comes to writing and blogging. I’ve been married for 13 years so I have no problems with fidelity there. But I will cheat on my other blogs. I will probably cheat on this one after a while, too. In the past, I’ve written about:
I’d like to take this blog in a different direction. Not just talk about my life, but provide regular content on different things. I won’t say NOTHING is off-limits but I plan on being pretty open about my political leanings, my thoughts on current events, the music I love, and the iPhone apps I ADORE.
And Bitmojis. All the Bitmojis, y’all.