The amount of shame that gets triggered in me when an older Somali woman or auntie asks me, so what do you do? Saying I don’t do anything gets a mandatory follow-up question, what? No school, no work, nothing? Nope, I’m on disability. My nonchalance is met by a defeated silence at the lack of trying to sugarcoat shit. I shrug, ready to say it’s because of depression if they press me. When Somali women get nosy I become cosy. That vulnerability makes them squirm, and if there’s one thing I’m good at it’s looking someone dead in the eye and telling them the naked truth.
Doesn’t mean I like it. I just don’t know how to get out of those situations and being transparent is the path of least resistance to me. But I walk away with a weight in my gut ; is that all I am? If I’m not doing a 9-5 I’m a bum? What if I am on disability because I chose to dive deeper into my trauma instead of putting a bandaid on it and get on with a zombie life? What if I seem so much worse off than everyone else because I’m really really trying to do something with my life, something meaningful, something that extends beyond me?
Does it even matter if I can’t communicate that? I mean yeah, my ego gets bruised but it’s not like someone that simplistic would evaluate me based on values. It’s just frustratingly isolating to be working at something you know is the most significant thing in your lifetime and you know it’ll matter a great deal, but you’re going off intuition and insane leaps of faith. It’s so far ahead of me that my conscious mind catches up to things I’ve discovered or integrated years ago. My feelings are the roots and my thoughts are the fruits. And these are some late ass bloomers, I tell ya. I guess I’m the trunk then huh? Standing there with naked branches lol.