Out of their Hole.

I went home to my home town last week. A place I spent 18 years of my life, I lived in the same house, on the same street all those years; and my mom still lives in that house on that street. At the end of my road and across the street sits a little white church with a sign out front that reads “God Save America Again.” Now that sign may seem annoying, ignorant even but nothing too out of the ordinary in Small Town America until you know one little thing about the people that enter that church every week. . . those people are known White Supremacists. They had their hey day in the 70’s and have been rather quite since but they are still there at the end of my street in my little hometown.

Now this has become a fun fact I share with people when they ask about my childhood. .. “Oh I lived in a small town, the only really note able thing about it is the white supremacist church.”  People will gasp and ask me how I handled that growing up… you know being a black woman and all.

But the funny thing is that I didn’t handle it, I didn’t have to handle it. They stayed down there on their end of the street and I felt as safe as any child could running around the town until all hours of the night. They never bothered me, there were no confrontations they simply stayed in their little church, probably hating my existence.But you know from inside their space I couldn’t have cared less about what went on inside their heads. Because as long as they stayed inside, some part of me knew that they understood the inappropriateness of what they were feeling. They knew they would be met with such resistance in this time in in America that they idea of coming “out” as what they truly were wouldn’t even cross their minds.

Flash Forward to today— 2017—- Small Town America—-

You would think we would have made progress right? Maybe that little white church has been closed up for the last year, maybe the people all scattered around the country, or with any luck made a friend of a different race and realized it was all just a lie.

Think again my friend, here we are in 2017 and for the first time in my life I felt unsafe in my hometown. The people in the little white church still ignored my presence, but someone else some stranger who has never met me and wouldn’t be able to pick me out of a line up felt they had the right to scream

WHITE POWER

At me out of the window of their car as I walked into Hobby Lobby. 

Wait, let me back up just a minute, yes you read that right. 2017, a northern state, a girl and her friends are walking into Hobby lobby to buy wedding supplies and out of no where a grown-ass man yells

WHITE POWER 

out of his window.

It was like my whole perception of my home town came crashing down like the ideals of democracy around me, this place that had always been safe and protective was now foreign and angry. Angry at me because what? I was born with black skin, because the sun doesn’t turn me an angry shade of red, because my hair reaches for the stars while yours falls flat, or angry because a black man in power did something the white men before or after him could not. .. turned so many aspects of the country around.

But there I was furious and hyperventilating in the hobby lobby parking lot, and as much as my friends wanted to help to tell me “anger and fear is what they want.”  or “Don’t let them get to you.”

They truly had no idea how that moment felt; eating away at my insides as I contemplated the true meaning of that statement; White Power . 

And over and over again  I came back to the same thing: 

These people have always existed, there hasn’t been a magical time in the last 40 years when there were no white supremacists in America, they have been stewing and hiding for 40 years waiting for their opportunity to come out of the shadows. Waiting for someone to validate their feelings again, that look all these dark skinned humans whom we have oppressed for hundreds of years have someone done us wrong feeling.

However over the last 40 years they saw the world do the exact opposite they saw a black man become president and the world embrace him they saw his wife become beloved and they had to continue to hide in their holes, angrily sipping on Bud Light and ranting about “if the confederacy had won” But something has shifted; they began to climb their way out of their holes, see the sun and once again think that they deserve so much more than I do simply because of the color of my skin. They were given the chance to once again be validated enough in their feelings that those nasty words; White Power aren’t just uttered in their Klandestine (yes the K is intentional) meeting but rather they have seen the power and they are welcomed back into the fold. 

And this is what truly made me the most sick about that sad, angry man who yelled at me that day. Not that he felt that way, because I am obviously not going to be the person to change his mind. But that he felt strong enough, that enough people would support him and that I was little enough so far below him that he could once again yell it in the streets.Because when these people are strong enough to climb out of their holes, when there are enough people in power that support them that tell them they will fix all their problems by “building a wall” that assure them the wrong doings they perceived against the White Man are legitimate then the real question is

Did the last 40 years even happen, or should I start looking for the colored drinking fountain.

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What is it about 24?

I turned 24 on Tuesday, Tuesday is the least exciting day of the week in my book its not Monday so it doesn’t have any true suckage excitement you have heard everyones weekend stories already, it isn’t Wednesday so we aren’t even halfway through the week, it is just a day you have to get through to get 1/5th closer to Friday.

This is also how I feel about 24. . the least exciting birthday to date.. given Ben did take me on a wonderful Tuesday adventure. But in order to do that we both had to call into work.. which leads me to the real point of this post..

Why does 24 make me feel like such an adult.

It was like magically overnight on Monday, I was supposed to evolve into a fully matured, put together, soon-to-be wife adult. I should have a career and a nice car and stable house and income. I should not be going out on a weeknight, or lets be real any night much past 10 or 11.

Honestly, I fit most of these qualifications anyway, but I have never felt like I was supposed to fit them until now.

I have started cooking myself dinner 3 nights a week, I cannot remember the last time I went out on a weeknight, Even on the weekends you will find me in bed by midnight, a group of friends went out the other night and we were drunk and ready to leave by 10 pm. I would much rather drink a bottle of *cheap* wine or expensive whiskey than any of the nasty drinks I used to drink in college

So why 24, there is no major life event that occurs at 24,

21 – I could start drinking legally, that clearly means I am not going to have my shit together for at least a year.

22 – Graduated college- so I would logically think this is when I should start pulling my shit together, get a real job, move out of my college town. Live without roommates for the first time. Stop going out on the weeknights. .

Let’s look at how that really went down, graduated college moved to Denver . Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 11.45.55 AM

Lived in a tiny studio apartment with one of my college roommates for three months before they moved to Seattle, so halfway Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 11.45.55 AM Then I promptly added a cat, I don’t know if that counts as alone.

No real job to be had, I first worked as a day program staff with adults with disabilities, wonderful summer job but not a career. Then I worked as assistant teacher which lead me to my career.

I can distinctly remember a Tuesday night that I got so drunk I lost my phone, I made Ben walk back to the bar to try and find it. . . when all along I had left in my bed. . so no check there.

23 – No major universal life moments. I guess in theory you should be in year number 2 of your chosen career. I was heading back to college, as a grad student that is. .

24 – Nothing major, however here I am feeling like an adult. So lets look at what I am doing

I will graduate grad school in June. . .

I will start my first official adult job in August

I will become a Mrs. in August. . .

I will move into my first “married” home in June

So I guess all these things feel pretty adult like, and yet I still don’t feel like I live up to an adult. We will see how the year progresses maybe I will evolve into a mature adult.

Maybe  I will be a perfect wife by the time I get married. but Hell probably not, I have never even lived with a guy in any capacity before.. but that is a whole other blog post.

So what is it about 24, why do I feel the need to possibly prematurely age myself now? Is this some unwritten rule that I am not aware of? You hit 24 and you are almost halfway through your 20’s better pull yourself together

❤ Kelsi Rae

One 23 year olds evolving relationship with T. Swift.

T Swigt

Oh T. Swift what would I do without you, how would I know what it feels like to be 22 or how to shake it off who would have taught me that high school love sucks and sometimes the only way to get over it is by crying on the guitar I only pretend to own?

Now that being said T. Swift and I have been through a lot over the years. I can remember being 16 living in a small town, still loving country music ( back when T. Swift still claimed the country title) listening to her debut self titled album just hoping someone would love me enough to write “Our song” for me and then not even a week later feeling like ” Should’ve said no, and picture to burn” were the only songs that understand the tragedy of young love. Sitting in my car listening to teardrops on my guitar crying over one boy or another that I believed was the end all and be all of love. Thinking that if I just had a real guitar to cry on it would be even more poetic. Oh the tragedy of living a non-musical life.

Taylor_Swift_-_Fearless

Then her second album Fearless came out, and our relationship hit a rough patch. . . I just didn’t feel like she was getting me at all anymore. She was still singing about being 15 and falling in love and here I was a senior in high school now, thinking about leaving home, going to college and the last thing I wanted to be was in love.  I thought, T. Swift you gotta grow up, she was older than me so I thought we should have been thinking about our futures and not our pasts. Don’t get me wrong there were some songs that still stole my heart, to this day when anyone has wronged me I bust out some sad singing of “Your not sorry” and let them know that maybe I am not a princess and they are not a prince on a white horse, with “White Horse” But over all we were on a low, maybe T. Swift and I needed to take a break . . .

And that is just what we did. . we took so much of a break I totally forgot that she came out with another album in 2010 . . I looked it up and I guess she came out with Speak Now. . . Oh yes. This is the album that Mean was on. If I never had to hear that whiny, self pitying song again I would be happy. One shining star on this album was Mine, a sweet testament to maybe young 20 something love. But overall I could have forgot about about this album all together. .

So that is all that needs to be said on that.

So when 2012 rolled around I was a junior in college, had been living on my own for 3 years. I was 21 about to turn 22 and was thoroughly in the Eff boys stage of my life. That is when Red  came out, I originally thought, Taylor has already let me down once  I don’t have high hopes for this one. But The first time I heard, ” I knew you were trouble” I was sold.
Red

There she was my high school confidant had returned. She welcomed me back with a bang, with I knew you were Trouble, Stay Stay Stay, Higher Ground and Red.  But the song that got me, that made me fall back in love the song to write home to that made me say, thats it I have found the one mom . .. 22 . That song, that conveniently came out around my 22nd birthday just understood all of the 22 year olds in my life. It wasn’t trying to make us any more “thug than we were” it wasn’t trying to make us fall in love and get married, it was just letting us, ” Dress up like hipsters, and make fun of our ex’s” because really that is all we ever wanted to do anyway.

Now the real test. . could Taylor maintain this love affair with the young 20 somethings through another album. . So when 1989 came out and the Country Music population officially bid Taylor goodbye. We welcomed her into our hipster, pop alternative lifestyle with open arms. I resisted buying 1989 for about 2 weeks and it only took one trip to the gym a good set of headphones and a 30 minute run for me to know that this was going to be my 2015 love of my life!

There is a perfect balance of ” I don’t give a fuck” like Shake it Off, because really we all know that nobody likes you at 23. And some I can to what I want with Blank Space. As well as real world slow it down love with Get the girl, This love, and Wildest Dreams.

For Taylors generation of 22 year olds that she helped push through the first year of the “boring birthdays” she once again is making us feel like if anyone understands us it is T. Swift.

Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name. . .

Because we don’t need anyone to validate us. . we are strong, we can take care of ourselves . . and if you want some of us ” we’ve got a blank space baby, we can write your name”

❤ Kelsi Rae