I had to do it. 30 days ago, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, down my pen, turned off the computer and walked away. I needed a mental break. It was necessary to put space between me and the chaos of the constant Corona virus news and the racial tension that is causing a bitter divide. It became too much for me to take in. For four months the world has been sheltered in place, and we were battling fear, anger, frustration, uncertainty, and confusion. I felt guilty because during this time of upheaval, I was successful in creating a mental and physical bubble to protect myself from becoming sucked in by the sensation of the news media and the grappling of the political leaders.
In the midst of financial ruins, I am blessed to enjoy my same level of income and additional earnings from private tutoring. I used my time wisely and began to concentrate on personal projects. It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic for me to realize how much I needed a break from the running on my hammers treadmill. I am not ashamed to admit I am thankful for the break from my ” normal”, these four months have allowed me the time to understand that I need a change from ” normal”, and that there are areas of my life that need to be explored. After four months of cleaning, reorganizing, building up my brand Conversations with J. R. Floyd, yoga, meditation, reading books on self improvement, updating my resume, and with the announcement of all the phrases of New York City restarting the economy, I Declared myself ready for change.
And then it happened….
The killing of George Floyd. I ignored the news and refused to answer the phone. I didn’t want to engage in conversations about race. I wanted to stay in my bubble of peace and progress. Then I woke up one morning to a message from my son, pleading with me to use my platform ” Conversations with J. R. Floyd’, “ to speak to the hearts of people about the brutal treatment of black men and women. I wanted to stay silent, but my son, my only child, a black man, father, husband, and raising a young black man pulled at the strings of my heart, a mother’s heart… his plea sounding like George Floyd’s calling for his mother with his last dying breath. I got up from my bed, showered, made coffee, put myself together and sat down to go live on Facebook , Instagram, and my podcast on Anchor. I addressed the public….then I clicked off.
The riots, looting, burning of business, arrests, anger, tears, and hatred was more than I was prepared to deal with. I didn’t want to be one of those people who took a normancy mindset, the complacent attitude of accepting the killing of a black man as just another thing that happens in a world that isn’t moved by seeing a man being murdered.
So, for 30 days I detached from social media, the news, and did not engage in any conversations about race or death. For four months the world has been watching the numbers of deaths increase due to the virus, yet, the only concern is getting back to “normal”. Where have people been? There is no more normal. This recent upheaval about the brutal treatment of black men and women, is another virus that’s going to continue to eat away at race relationships until there is CHANGE. There are some people wanting to get back to their normal, wishing that this issue of race will fade away; their thinking is that issues of race don’t include them until it hits close to home. I am thankful that at least this time the entire world is marching and standing firm on the belief that all lives matter, including Black Lives. It took 8 minutes and 56 seconds for George Floyd to die. What is it going to take for all the millions of blogger to band together with one voice to support the one race the human race.
The pain is real. Thank you for stopping by Drathepen.
Hello, hello, hello, dear readers happy reflection day.
On March 10, myself and thousands of Cuny and Suny employees were told not to report to work. We were put on alert that the entire teaching system will be converted to remote learning. We were given three days to make the adjustment. During this transition period it was discovered that a large number of students did not have a home computer or the internet.Then bars, restaurants, hair and nail salons closed. Coffee shops, cafes, and any place that people gathered that created a crowd closed. Then we were ordered to shelter at home. I am an introvert, so being confined has not created a mental hardship for me. Because of this crisis people are realizing that we are not conditioned to be isolated, and this situation has created a devastating emotional effect on people.
To date it’s been 6 or 7 weeks since we’ve been sheltered in place. In an effort to encourage people I’ve appeared each Monday live to discuss several topics that I hoped would give people hope and courage to work through this crisis.
Week 1: I encourage people to come together in unity, unity means strength.
Week 2: Reflect on W. I. N..what’s important now
Week 3: How to create and experience peace during a crisis
Week 4: Self- care the importance of taking care of self and family during a crisis
Week 5: How to use this time to create or recreate a new life plan
Week 6: Getting prepared for change. Wanting to go back to normal. Time to move forward
On Monday May 4. I will make my last live appearance on Facebook. On that day I will acknowledge the struggles people are facing the anxiety, uncertainty, and the battles people are facing in their homes, due to the mental and emotional damage this crisis had caused. People are concerned about their future and no one can give them solid answers. I tried to warn people about the harm they are causing themselves by constantly talking about corona-virus and watching the news. I personally keep a distance from any news or people who are obsessed with having conversations about going back to normal.
Today, I am here to pray with you, and for you. Yes, prayer. I am not asking people to believe in God. I am simply going to pray. On May 15, it will make 60 days ( 3 months ) since we have been asked to shelter in place. The plan in New York City is to open some business and wait two weeks to observe if the number of corona-virus cases increases or stays the same. Depending on the results the government will proceed to open more business in two week increments. There are a large number of people who are in a rush to get back to normal. I wonder if people are living in denial.
The world has changed and it will continue to change. Many of our favorite places may not reopen. Schools will remain closed until September 2020. No summer youth programs that create jobs for many young people who need them. Some people may not be able to return to their former places of employment. Summer might be cancelled. Meaning, no public concerts, closed beaches, and limitation on the use of public parks. On a personal note, I will continue to shelter in place teaching at home, my 45 minutes daily walks. I shop for food once a week, and work two days a week in a group home as a resident counselor. I have learned to be patient through this process finding ways to be creative. Unlike others I am in no hurry to race back out into society. No, I am not going to live in fear, just going to proceed with caution. My suggestion to others If you need to go out proceed with caution. We still don’t know the who, what, when or where? There are so many conspiracy theories, and other peoples opinions on what they think is right. I understand that the economy needs to be rebooted. The ease of social distancing doesn’t mean that all is well.
We may never know when all will be well.
Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen.
Join me on Facebook ( Rahshemah Floyd/J. R. Floyd) https://www.facebook.com/rahshemahf
Please forgive me. I do not mean to rain on an already soggy parade, but I’ve been thinking about the last 20 or so days that we have been quarantined. I’ve been keeping track of all the acts of kindness that people are performing. I am not questioning the motive behind the good deeds, but why it takes a tragedy or a pandemic to bring people and resources together. Another pattern that I noticed overtime is after the tragedy fades and this pandemic will come to an end no matter how long it takes, people tend to fall back into living life as they had previously. I contemplate writing about this horrible virus that’s sweeping across this world faster than the speed of light. The Coronavirus has put the world at a stand still and has caused us to live day to day in uncertainty. People are still trying to shake the disbelief that this is happening and fear that the world may never return to what we once knew or will it? Our “ Normal” has been changed and now we get to see what we are really made of and reflect on what’s important now.
I see people crossing the race line and the consensus is that this virus doesn’t fight fair so we are all in danger of being exposed regardless of color, economic status, or address. We are all trying to stay one step ahead of this time bomb. I see states and cities pulling together to feed the hungry, and even though we can’t give hugs people are finding ways to extend a helping hand to ease the fear that is evident in the eyes of people who are wondering what’s next? I have a friend who started a Go Fund Me page to raise many for an immigrant neighborhood. Andre Lloyd Weber is making available two of his Broadway shows online for free. Actors are reading bedtime stories to children, dancers and singers are posting performances on Social media. I saw a three man band in the middle of the street in Idaho performing. The residence came out and danced on their porches and front lawns and for a moment there was pure joy during a time of death, devastation and uncertainty. In Spain a trainer takes to the rooftop to encourage people to exercise and, in Italy people took to singing to show solidarity. A few days ago in New York City some of the fire houses took to the streets and lined up in front of hospitals to sound their horns in thanks and celebration for the healthcare who are at the front line of this battle to beat this demon that is threatening to claim more lives.
This crisis has caused people to do what they have been wanting to do, spend time at home with family, and slow down. But when I see the negative comments on social media about being home with family, I wonder if people really mean what they are saying? Families are now forced to talk, create, recreate, learn how to make peace, make time to teach children new values, to bond, share, and maybe for some couples time to rediscover intimacy. We are living without the mega malls, sitting in traffic, date night, and neglecting family to work extra hours. People are not grinding, rushing and stuffing themselves with fast food due to overbooked schedules. This is the first time since 911, that the entire world has felt collectively the same fear, panic, confusion, anger, outrage, shock, and disbelief. We live in the same world striving for the same goals “ the pursuit of happiness”. This crisis has shown us that all life matters and by pulling together we are capable of conquering the meanest beast. My hope is that after the period of mourning is over because the loss of lives is great, and people will have a long journey to overcome the emotional, mental and financial challenges. Let’s not go back to normal. My desire is that we keep the LOVE and UNITY flowing forever.