Chapter 24: An Empath Who Grows
Empress and Her Spectacle: An Empath who Grows
If you ever experience a situation over and over again, congrats you’ve stepped into day one of empathy and socializing.
Postgrad, one of the things I’ve struggled with is making new friends. One part because I found healing from trauma makes you a little intense and hard to digest. The other being too often do people leave when the going gets tough. I respect people who have remained in my life despite the emotional changes I’ve have experienced at a young age and still experience as I learn myself and how to express myself. Recently I came to understand that sometimes as you grow, the people around you might not. So when that change happens who sticks with you is growing in their way, and who doesn’t potentially might be stagnate. Me, I’m improving. I’m learning expression, voice, my craft, and who I am as a black woman. It is a constant stream of struggle and progress. Uphill, downhill its a path of change and learning that will weave into my life in varying ways.
Who I was, she didn’t disappear she just learned to be better, to be different. I didn’t stop putting myself back together, but I certainly found a new way to do so while adding in some things here and there. It’s scary. To see me in the past, present, and future terms. I know my potential, I know my history, and I know what I need in the here and now. I just wish that in the scheme of things making and maintaining friendships wasn’t as tricky as rinsing bread. I trust that while I work on the various facets of what makes me, I will eventually be at peace with all that’s happened in a way that doesn’t make me write angst at 3:00 am in the morning.
I lost some friends. I lost people I cared about on my path towards trying to get better. Often I wonder if there was a correlation between each loss as a marker of each step I took higher. I realized that despite the loss I didn’t falter and perhaps that is what was expected of me. To crumble at grief and loss, and to that, I say hell no. I already crumbled and experienced pain at the most significant loss. The loss of myself and worldly innocence. I can never get that joy back. Nothing will surpass that as a loss to me.
While it's charming to write tales of severed ties, I cannot wait for a second to think of why I would falter or default to grief. I thought about recently my friendship with a girl online who I never met in person. A friendship lost in a pathetic online skirmish.
In the space of being an advocate, she didn’t realize how taxing it is to be an advocate as a person of color. Sure we all are in the fight for the long run but sometimes we just need peace. A moment of rest, anything to recharge and find the strength to fight again. Since 2015/2016 my advocacy was supercharged but as time went on that charge needed to rest. Perhaps cause violence and death circulated like a viral video frequently and reliving trauma after trauma is draining. Fear is taxing to the soul. My love is not endless, no matter how it is perceived. I grew weary, and honestly held sorrow the more news I saw. News was not a causal conversation I wanted anymore, I wanted my friends to keep a semblance of normalcy despite the world we lived in. So I asked my online friend to do that, to keep mentions of things to a minimum especially after my love experienced police activity recently. She didn’t respect that. In fact, she violated the safe space and the need for a little empathy.
I was mad, but it didn’t mean I wasn’t forgiving. I tried to explain what went wrong over and over and why it’s exhausting. That plea and the explanation was ignored. Ignored to the point we had a falling out, why? A chance to listen and grow was swept under the rug. I was startled by the response and well the lack of listening more so because I believed so whole heartedly in allyship and advocacy from her. I was startled cause in a time that would have been an opportune time to grow there was nothing but stubbornness and erasure. I reflected on this experience a little after it ended, realizing that a part of the problem was she never noticed me grow, and change. She was still interacting with a me of 2015/2016 despite all the tremendous changes in my life. I wasn't the Jade of that time, at least not 100%. It startled me to see that sometimes friends don't grow with you, and it worried me for how I would make new friends in the future as a better me.
My experience both as an empath, a black woman, and artist intersect so often that I forget that sometimes understanding those parts of me can be challenging. Especially if the ability to listen is minimal. I'm passionate about art, community, healing, and a variety of many odd things. I'm weary more often than not cause I try so hard to make sure that those on their journey or healing aren't alone. I'm angered at the state of the world, constantly agitated and trying to contribute or provoke change. Each a piece of me that takes on its own energy and interaction. I wander like this, stepping slowly towards my purpose wondering how often I will experience a loss, that isn't worth being a loss, but yet always is for me.
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