Dear Reader,

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. The pandemic seems like child’s play compared to the continuous killing of black men and women.

The burden of that. The action of that. The broadcasting of that. All of it wears on me like a stone. Between that and other things I finally broke down in front of my therapist today.

“I am exhausted,” I cried.

“I can see it. It’s all over your face.”

Frankly, it’s been all over my face for weeks, maybe even months. The best thing about this pandemic is that I can keep my exhausted face away from everyone and stay in the safety of my exhaustion while I work toward not being exhausted.

That’s probably not healthy but I’m too exhausted to care.

Anti-blackness, racism, and all of it is something that is so much apart of my life, I sometimes don’t notice how much it burdens me. I’m use to carrying that load. And I only realize I am carrying that load when I enter the room filled with other black people. An armor lifts. Breathing is easier, less labored and purposeful. I relax. Relax. Relax. Rest, if only for a bit.

And that is a spot of joy. That is enough for me to pick up my armor at the end of the night and return to a world that continues to find ways to remind me to stay in my place.

Journalism was like this. Newsrooms were like this. How I survived that long was mind boggling.

So, among all this pain, and the crying I did during my session, there was a bit of joy.

My desk, the one that has been with me since my tour of duty in Corpus Christi in 2004, is finally in my home and in the room that is slowly being converted into my home office.

My desk. My home office. My home.

This is where I breathe out.

There is a freedom in words, one that has always called to me. It has become my calm in the center of a storm, the way I understand the world, how I interact, how I chastise it for not living up to its promise.

But I’m not chastising now. I’m exhausted, remember?

And my desk? She is my heaven. My gateway to freedom. And tonight, she is my spot of joy.

It’s something so simple and for the average person it is a piece of furniture in a room in a house.

How dare we, however, over look joy in moment of simplicity if that is where joy calls home. Joy is simple and clean and there. Joy is there and I want to grab it with both hands when it comes.

Like when I take off my armor in a room full of black people.

Like when I cry during my therapy session.

Like when I can say I am exhausted and it is accepted and acknowledged.

Like when I can claim a space that is mine.

Like when I am seen, truly seen, and loved all the more.

Find your joy, Reader. I am.