I tried to to drink it away…the very first line of “Cranes In the Sky” from Solange’s new album A Seat At The Table hit me with so much unexpected emotion that I almost had to hit fast forward to the next song. By the time that I got to I slept it away, I sexed it away, I read it away, I could feel the lyrics deep in my core and the overwhelming sadness and depression that I had felt over the last year came to the surface. How could one d*mn song capture the entire last year of my life?
What started out as a great year took an unexpected turn sometime around the end of the summer. It started with a work/life stress-related Lupus flare up and I was put on an oral steroid to control the permanent hair loss and other symptoms. In early fall, I traveled to Las Vegas, NV for the first time to attend a work-related conference. The conference was awesome but session after session I realized that I had gotten way too comfortable in my career. I was overqualified, underpaid, and questioning my next move. During my Vegas trip, I received a dreaded “we need to talk” text from my love that lead to many, many talks over the next few months. By the winter and early 2016 my life was a mess, a hot-mig-ah-tee-mess. And I found myself slipping into a sadness that just wasn’t going away.
I tried to change it with my hair, literally, I cut two inches of my hair only to return a few months later and big chop. I tried to work it away, but that just made me even sadder. Depression is that thing that happens so suddenly that you don’t even realize until you are already drowning in tears. I tried to keep myself busy, I ran around in circles hanging out with friends and family, fake smile and all. I just wanted to get away, away, away, away, away. I tried to let go my lover, thought if I was alone then maybe I could recover but when he moved a time zone away I felt like my only chance at forever was gone.
Reality check, life gets real and strong black women are not always so strong. Every grown woman and most grown men has experienced disappointment, heartbreak, and depression. Some us make it out just fine, some of us carry the hidden scars for a lifetime. My smiling face has been all over social media the last year but I was hurting and heart broken. The entire A Seat At The Table album has been on repeat since it dropped last week, but “Cranes In the Sky” is that reminder that life gets dark sometimes. And sometimes you have to fight to get back your joy and happiness. And if you can’t fight alone, it’s ok to reach out for help. That’s just the reality of this thing called life.