Diary of a Disconnected Black Girl
Fana is disconnected. She has few friends. It seems she only writes in her diary when things are going wrong. Could a month hiatus from journal writing mean she has connected with someone?
May 2, 2015
I miss college. There, I wrote it. I didn’t know I missed it until I logged on to stupid Facebook and saw Melanie’s pictures. There she was in New York with Kira, Diana, Euphoria and Marcus hamming it up in all the usual tourist places–Times Square, FAO Schwartz, some random subway, and in front of a flashing Broadway show sign–that screamed, ”I’m living an epic life with my fabulous friends.” Was I in any of the pictures? No, of course not. Those were my college friends, the operative word being, “were.” I can’t help that those friendships were not as ”ride or die” as I thought they were.
After graduation, we had pledged to keep in touch. It was easier for them since they all got jobs within a doable driving distance of each other, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia. I ,on the other hand, had moved back to Atlanta and gotten a teaching job at home. I tried to stay in touch with them, constantly texting, sending direct messages, and reaching out on our shared social media sites. I visited them more often than they visited me. When I got really busy that first year of teaching and couldn’t extend the effort, they just forgot about me.
Why hadn’t I seen this in college? Was I always a 6th wheel? Maybe I was. Chalk it up to being an only child. In my exuberance for interaction with other kids my age, I often come on too strong, taking the initiative in well…everything when it comes to friendships. In high school, I had friends, but they only lasted as long as whatever brought us together…Student Council, Yearbook Staff, Band…whatever I was involved in.
So I miss college. Perhaps my friendships were superficial or tailored made by me. But they were existent. Maybe I don’t miss college as much as I miss having friends.
Arrggh! I stopped and reread what I wrote above and it reads, ’mildly depressed feel sorry for myselfish.’ I’ll stop writing now. I’ve been out of college for almost two years. Get over it, Fana!
May 8, 2015
Fourteen days of school left and the last day cannot come too soon. Most of my 5th graders don’t want to do any work. They are done. Finished. After two grueling weeks of bubbling in multiple choice tests while sitting quietly, they want to break loose. I can’t say I blame them.
Full disclosure. I say I’m ready for summer, but I’m really not ready. After getting used to not getting up at the butt crack of dawn, not having a mound of work to do that grows unaided, I’ll be bored fast. People think Atlanta is a black mecca, the black promised land where you’ll find instant connections with all kinds of black folks. That may be true for some, but not for me. I could make more of an effort. I do sometimes. I joined several MeetUp groups: Singles in Teaching, SistasRead, MyBlackNaturalisBeautful, and BlackProfessionalsConnecting. These efforts were crushed by my talent for creating reasons I shouldn’t go to this or that event. When I couldn’t come up with a reason, a phone call to my mom would do the trick. ”Fana, I don’t think that’s a good idea. Do you know these people? These groups are probably fronts for sex trafficking….” I’d let my dear murder mystery obsessed mother scare me into staying home.
So…aside from three professional development conferences this summer and my trip to Dallas, TX with my Mom for the family reunion, my summer plans are pretty much wake up, walk my dog, watch court shows, read, try not to surf social media (makes me sad), masturbate, nap, visit my mom, return home, bed, repeat. I might throw in a movie here or there.
Maybe I’ll sign up to teach summer school. Easy money.
May 20, 2015
I went to church with my mom yesterday. I really had a great time. I didn’t think I would since I hadn’t been in about 6 months. I knew everyone would shame me on the down low. ”It’s so good to see you, Fana. You are teaching in this state aren’t you?” or ”Fana, you aren’t a CE Chrisitian are you? We are open aside from Christmas and Easter, dear.” I don’t have anything against church. I consider myself a Christian. It’s just that I feel so disconnected at church. My mom encouraged me to join the Singles Ministry, teach in Children’s Church, or sing in the choir, but I don’t, just won’t. I was so overwhelmed with school that first year. I always found a reason to stay home when I first moved back.
I wish I was more like my mom. After my dad died, when I was 3, she poured everything she had into me. She was a postal worker for 25 years until she retired last year. She had a ”guy friend,” Sam, who helped us out, driving us to and fro until my mother bought a reliable car, picking me up from after care…just helping us. I never thought Sam and my mom were more than friends. He never stayed the night. Nothing more than a platonic hug passed between them. But I got the gist of their relationship, that it was a relationship, when they broke up. I overheard part of their argument. ”I’ve waited too damn long and followed all your damn rules! Fana will be graduating from high school! I’m tired of waiting and pretending!” he’d said. I didn’t hear my mother’s response, but after that day, Sam didn’t come around anymore. I was sad at the thought I had something to do with their break up. I tried to talk to my mom about Sam, but she changed the subject, saying it was her business.
My mom is mysterious that way. Now she is dating Brother Thomas Knight from church. I reason because I’m a grown woman now, she feels free to do what she wants. My mom has a lot of friends too, friends from high school, friends from work, friends from church, friends from her salon…she never meets a stranger. I don’t understand it. My mom is not much of a talker either, but she wins friends and influences people. Why the hell didn’t that rub off on me??? I am the opposite of mysterious. When I meet someone new, I launch into a monologue about myself as if I have to get it all out. To my credit, I don’t do that much anymore as I rarely meet new people.
Arggh! I’ve reread this entry and it sucks. When I die, people reading this will think I was pathetic. If I died, who would come to my funeral? My mom for sure and extended family. The extended family will come to support my mom so they don’t count. My principal would come and possibly some of the teachers on my grade level. They like me because I’m helpful. I always volunteer to do the grunt work. Would Melanie, Kira, Diana, Marcus, or Euphoria come? Probably not. They’ll be too busy on a college friends cruise or something. Would Bernard come? He still lives in Atlanta. I know because of Facebook. Probably not. Considering we only dated for a year in high school.
This is too depressing. Maybe I’ll go with my mom to Wednesday Night Prayer meeting.
May 24, 2015
Another Sunday at church. Yippee… No erase the snark. I had a good time…again. Maybe God is spreading some good blessings my way. I have a date tomorrow night!
It’s not a date so much as an outing with colleagues from school. My math coach, Karen is hosting a party to celebrate her new job promotion to an Assistant Principal and she invited me. ”Come on, Fana, some interesting guys will be there. My sister is in charge of the guest list. She knows the coolest people,” she had said.
I accepted without reservation. I really like Karen. She has always been very helpful to me, especially that first year when I felt like I was barely treading water. When I would doubt my pedagogical ability she would encourage me with compliments and general positivity.
Good news, finally! I have a genuine event to go to and on Memorial Day. I’m killing two birds with one stone.
June 30, 2015
I’m mad at myself. I’ve had the most thrilling month and none of it…not one word of it is in my diary. Is my diary only for the depressing moments in my life? I guess so. It shouldn’t be.
Going to Karen’s party changed my life. I met the most amazing person there and we are dating! Her name is Flora. I am giddy so giddy that I can hardly contain myself. That the one I’m dating is a,”she” and that her name is Flora…Fana and Flora?! She is beautiful, a Kearran Giovanni look alike from Major Crimes. She says I look like Gina Ravera from The Closer only with natural hair. We’ve had our share of Detective Amy Sykes meets Detective Irene Daniels role plays.
I’m totally in love with Flora, but no one knows but her friends. Considering my lack of real friends and that I was, until a month ago, heterosexual who can I share this with? My mother has met Flora, but she thinks we are just friends. I feel the need to start a new journal. I need to record my joys. Flora is a joy.
Author’s Note: Trying to get my creative juices flowing to begin a new work in progress.