• R. Barrow

Checking in

If you’re reading this message, I hope you are safe and well.

I’m still trying to process everything that’s going on in the world because it’s very surreal. COVID-19 has ravaged communities and claimed the lives of so many…my heart goes out to everyone.

It’s also frustrating to hear people being mocked for venturing out or working during this pandemic. Not everyone has the privilege to “stay home, stay safe.” My Dad works in a factory with zero sick days and even though he’s high risk due to comorbidities, he doesn’t have the luxury to sit this out. A lot of my friends and family are in the same situation. So instead of judging when I haven’t recently walked a mile in their shoes, I’m helping where I can. This is not me virtue signaling, it’s human decency and common sense.

It’s difficult to find a silver lining right now; but witnessing all the heroes within the health care and first response fields putting their lives on the line to save others moves me to tears. That’s a choice I sincerely wish no one had to make.

On a lighter note, I’ve been spending most of my free time helping my kids with school work now that they’re also remote. In the evenings I practice self-care and curate my screen time. I watch the news to stay informed but when I start to feel overwhelmed, I take breaks. Dealing with anxiety for years has taught me to be very careful about triggers (this is also why I quit social media).

Last night I watched a movie called Uncorked on Netflix and I really enjoyed it. It didn’t end the way I wanted it to but it’s definitely worth your time. The main character and his love interest are both Black (Yesss! BLACK love for the win!) and the cast of characters feel authentic. I paused and Googled the writer because I found myself saying “this had to be written by someone Black.” Spoiler alert, it was written by Prentice Penny. Prentice’s writing credits also include the TV series Girlfriends and Insecure.

There are so many nuances you might miss if you’re not Black American. Little things that make a big difference—like roasting each other at family dinners, “white henny goes with everything”, the silk scarf Sasha Compère wraps her twists in at night, laying of hands during prayer, throwing bones with your Dad. *sigh* This movie felt like a hug. I hope Netflix gives us many more like it. Come through representation!

I also finished Tiger King and sheesh, that was a wild ride from beginning to end. Tonight I’m jumping back to Unorthodox. It caught my attention because it reminded me of the documentary One of Us, which details the life of ex-Hasidic Jewish people from Brooklyn NY. I’ve always been interested in learning more about others beliefs and from the first episode of Unorthodox, I was pulled in. I know this story may not interest some people but so far I think it’s exceptional.

Until next time, hold tight to your loved ones and be well.

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