It may seem paradoxical to think that being grounded in one's self is the ultimate freedom, especially when the image of flying and the like is seen as "freedom", but my boss today talked to me about being grounded and firm about who and what you are, and how that is really and truly the ultimate freedom. The ability to know and be confident in your abilities and your worth, and you frame and dictate the terms of whatever life throws at you, and the knowledge you will be able to weather anything. She said that I have that, or I will have it if I don't have it yet, and that surprised and humbled me. You really don't know your mettle until it's tested, and though we don't necessarily like to take those tests, they are absolutely crucial to our development. It got me to thinking about women, especially women of color, and especially black women. This world is rarely kind to us, and I know for me in particular, it is sometimes very hard to be "grounded" in the truest sense of the word. Freedom is elusive and an illusion, and yet . . . it's like that scene in The Color Purple when Celie tells Mr. off. THAT is what we all strive for; or Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God . . . my foremothers got it; I want my characters to get it. I want to get it. We all do. Why people get such a thrill saying, "Fuck you!" or "Fuck this!", not because it's vulgar or profane or shocking, but because it is the ultimate exercise of being grounded that it IS obscene in the best way--even if it is only for that split second.
I wonder if I make sense?
But I realize, as I call myself being an author, I'm going to need that ground, that supreme sense of self. I struggle with it, but I'm still young yet. It's not going to come easily or quickly, but for someone to say that she sees I have it . . . the potential of it . . . that is very heartening and encouraging.