wildness and freedoms

why 2017 (and every year after) is my year of wildness and freedoms. 

The germseed started in 2015, really. I ended that year in Maui hanging out the window of a three door rental car with one of my best friends, driving down a road with copper streetlights and no other cars in sight. I was crying and laughing and spitting (and completely sober!) out the window. My hip bumped agains the window frame the more wild I got hanging out against the wind. 

I had just made the decision to quit my job and live on a loan for the remainder of my six months in graduate school. After making the decision, the tension in a knot at the top of my head relaxed and I felt high. I had made the decision for myself to be free of something that was depleting me. We had driven to a nude beach for a Sunday party--we'd missed it because I was crying and babbling in the car about the job. People began to emerge from the beach parking lot, letting us know that the party had ended. I had made my decision. I am blessed to have this friend, who didn't ask questions when I half-way apologized about something I needed to do that might make her uncomfortable while she drove. This friend who turned the music up for me to match my volume when I shouted with my throat and my chest outside the window alongside Kendrick Lamar. Me and Kendrick both said we was gon' be alright and I imagine a lot of Maui heard us and was convinced. I felt accomplished at the end of the song. The wind had dried my eyes, my braids had whipped my face several times, there was drool and snot. I felt a buzz all through my body. I had made the decision to be wild.

On my last day at work, there was cake. Half of it said, "Good Luck Tanea" while the other half of the cake said a happy birthday message to a new co-worker. I chose to admire the level of pettiness (instead of..). Throughout a go-round, coworkers gave me acknowledgements about my "headstrongness" and other characteristics that are often code for shade about how you're hard to get along with. 

I had diamonds for eyes. It was incredibly difficult to leave this work and yet so evident that it was my time. I cried as people talked about me because I realized that I had honored and validated my wildself by following through with my decision to leave. People sitting next to me rubbed my back while I cried and had no idea why I was really tearing up. I was leaving this place because I no longer wanted to be there. I was leaving to work on a novel I had started the year earlier. I was bustin' loose and I was happy enough to cry about it! 

Over the course of the next 6.5 months I would go on to learn to climb for protest, to be so deep in the reality of my fictional project world that I woke up in the night like one of my main characters, to fall off a rock into a river while hiking and laugh through my nose rising to the surface unscathed (entirely. it was a real-life miracle), to get my IUD removed and have a first real period in years, to be accepted into VONA and feel life a real writer for the first time in life after having been rejected the year before, to graduate with my Master's degree, to be so depressed and devastated by the murders of Black people by police that I couldn't tell if I was real and didn't leave my house or talk to others for a while, to come to myself in dreams with loving messages, to get a darling dog with healing powers, to break and let a little light inside, to burst all the way open with bright joy afterward, to write my book (to know it like the best lover), to answer this calling that graciously keeps calling no matter how long I leave the phone off the hook. 

In 2016 I didn't know the degree to which I was demanding the terms of my own inside-outting. But the stakes.was.high. I leapt like a motherfucker (sorry for cussin' on the internet, grandma). I was real wild. And it was the most growingest shit I ever did on-purpose. I felt everything. Running through me like water. 

I traveled to New Orleans. I was out at a party and a girl came in with a sweatshirt that said "I am my ancestors wildest dream". I had to leave and take a walk around the block with friends and hold on to something and cry. I cried a lot at beauty in New Orleans. During an Easter Sunday second line I had to put on my sunglasses because I was bawling seeing all my people dancing through the streets of their communities (anyway/despite/in spite of). This was the germseed of a recurring lesson I learned--my favorite one in 2016: joy is yours, it is given to you as a gift from your ancestors, it is your right/rite and it has a mystical power and ability to actually fight back by laughing (and dancing in praise of each other and of music) in the face of evil. 

2017 (and every year after) is my year of wildness and freedoms because my sensitivity became my super power in 2016. The softer I became, the stronger I felt. When I was anxious I breathed in and felt inside for my gut (who is always sending fire alarms, often without signs of any smoke). I learned to fill my belly with air so I had less room for anxiety. I reminded myself readily and often that no one turns me to dust so easily.