By A Comeaux
The day I decided to leave Six Brown Chicks, I cried.
Not tears from pain but those tears you cry as a child on the playground right before you go against the bully you didn’t want to fight, but you were forced.
Sucker punched. Sideswiped. Pushed to your bravery’s limits. Standing in a fight you were sure you’d lose but a decision was made for you. You’re on the defense with your back against the wall and playing nice guy got you here.
Even if all you have in you is one good blow. This one you’ll make count and whatever happens after that is irrelevant… That was me. That was my feeling toward Zondra.
My writer’s idol turned ugly and my tears stemmed from fear. Fear of trusting again. In my plight to abrogate the notion that Black women don’t work or play well together, I’d failed. I sat next to a woman I was beginning to loathe the presence of, but I had to smile for the cameras. Until the cameras no longer mattered. She didn’t fight for me. She didn’t stick up for me and get done what she’d promised, in my eyes. So that made it hard to look at her. Weird. I’d looked up to her. Brainy. Beautiful. Driven and well respected in the literary world. I wanted that. I wanted her to teach me that.
She taught me something far more valuable than I’d bargained for. She taught me accountability. Understanding. And while I was looking for ways to be a better writer she showed me the art of perception.
Before taping with Iyanla I held an unhealthy sense of entitlement. I felt I was ‘supposed’ to get what I wanted when I wanted in the capacity of my desires. ‘The breakdown’ was MY breakdown! I held expectations greater than Zondra ever could’ve guessed or accommodated. But that wasn’t the issue.
I focused on the ‘me and my’ instead of who I was dealing with.
The personality of this obliviously obligated mentor was an element I’d never considered. I could talk about her flaws in business, her inadequacies in direction, but that’s not what this is about. She’s come to her own terms.
This isn’t about fingers, this about mirrors.
I was nervous during the taping because I didn’t know how to feel. I was happy and conflicted. I was burned and wanted to hug everyone pleading my love. I wanted to ask why! I simply got honest. When you’re detached from reality you lie to yourself. I did that.
The veil came off with Iyanla. Not sure if she blew it off my face, if it was caught in her heartfelt hugs or if her looking me in the eyes telling me she loves me gave me the courage to simply take it off.
The façade came off when I cried for holding all this in. All this hurt. From past brokenness dealing with dysfunctional relationships and to see elders uphold years of wisdom, love and unity inspired my soul. I’m honored to have experienced something so powerful among women!
Iyanla’s calling to heal resonated throughout the house. Throughout the journal. Throughout my mind. Moving forward, I love Zondra for who she is. I see her for the real person, the woman with burdens of her own and a vision she deserves. I see HER. Beyond the black, the baggy dowdy look, that I dressed her in during the taping, her power can’t be attenuated. It’s hers. She’s earned it. And I value the revelation. I’m not looking for her to hone me.
My dues are mine to pay.
I can work with her and return to my rightful position because I’m clear on expectations both ways. No one changed. We are understood. We are aware. We are transparent. We are unified with a respected diversity.
Going forward, well, it’s just that. We’re going forward not focusing on our individual differences, but on the thing we share a passion for and we’re building from there. Our commonplace. We are Six Brown Chicks. I’m one of them.
I AM my sister.
And my broken wings seem to have gotten some wind.