Over the past week or so, as “For the D” and “For the P” challenges have overtaken attention spans, Christians have stepped in with remixes espousing what they would do “For the D [after a ring],” “For My Jesus,” “For My God,” and “For My Husband.”
At least, Black Christian women have stepped up to the challenge. It occurred to me this morning that I have yet to see any men in my news feed rapping about what they would do for God or for their wife. I could talk here about what this gendered silence indicates about the differences between what Black men and women are taught in churches about sex, marriage, and even how much of a fool you should be willing to make of yourself for Jesus, but that’s not the point of this post.
My personal favorite of these Christian remixes is “For My Husband” (see above). I saw it posted in a Facebook group, and the person who shared it described it as a “Youth Ministry Pick Me version” of the challenge. I watched it, watched it again because I thought I misheard her numbers when talking about paying for insurance for her husband, watched it again to be sure I didn’t mishear it the second time. And then I commented, “I actually think this is adorable. She still believes Disney princess stories, and sometimes it’s nice to see children in all their innocence and lack of knowledge about the world.”
I was being only partly facetious. I do think her views are naïve, but sometimes I wish I had hope that was wide-eyed, irrational, and stubborn. And when it comes to that fairytale of finding “the one,” of him being as fine, built, and wealthy as a Disney prince in human form, and us having children and a good life together, I still cling to it. A little.
Even though I’m 37.
Even though I live in a city where I’ve yet to see a Black man at the type of arts and culture events I attend who doesn’t have a white or Asian woman on his arm.
Even though I live in a neighborhood within said city where the primary occupation of Black men is Single Dad Supporting Family Via Selling Weed.
Even though I still don’t date white men.
Even though I really don’t want to do online dating again and am really hoping to meet someone organically—at an event, on the train, in the grocery store, at the gym, at a coffee shop.
Even though I kinda like my life the way it is. Kinda.
Around this time last year, I wrote this:
I have a detailed life vision statement. (On Pinterest, it looks like this.) It includes friendship, marriage, children, health, brunch, home ownership, book sales, speaking engagements, NEA grants and lace-front wigs in the winter. It encompasses prayer, meditation and a belief that I can do and am doing God’s work.
My vision currently feels just as far away as it does possible to achieve. I continue to fight my fears, pick my partners and go with gusto. I’m not dropping out of my program and going to back full-time adulthood and regular work. I go to most events I enjoy alone and avoid scenes I don’t like. I take out loans and charge credit cards and fundraise and apply for scholarships and jobs despite the potential death to financial security and the volume of applicants looking for the same thing I am. I send my work to contests and journals despite the high rate of rejection.
I’ve since graduated from my program, assembled a smorgasbord of part-time jobs for regular paychecks, and have had one underpaid speaking engagement. But other than that, nothing has changed.
A year later and nothing has changed.
And yet, I can’t think of anything on that vision statement I would revise. A printout of it still is still magnetically fixed to my refrigerator door.
And the tiny bit of optimism I have stubbornly insists that even though vision feels just as far away as it does possible to achieve, in reality, I’m a year closer to achieving it.