Art by Melissa Brooks- 2004
Today our author, who chose to publish anonymously, provides us with an intimate look inside her life and experience with depression, loss and the journey to finding herself.
Though I moved to Brooklyn in 2008, I will never be able to shake the Midwest from my bones. I grew up in Detroit, MI, a rather complicated place that I’ll never give up on. In contrast to the razor-sharp headlines that have recently grabbed hold of the collective consciousness, Detroit isn’t the place where dreams go to die. It’s the place where dreams – the American Dream, come to life. My grandfathers were autoworkers, pioneers of the Great Migration. Those men worked hard so that their children could carve out a life for themselves that was maybe a little better than their own. Gene & Sandra worked just as hard as their fathers, earning advanced degrees, getting married and having two children of their own. Meatloaf for dinner. Manicured lawns. Ballet lessons and baseball. My childhood was ideal and I am grateful.
Traversing miles and wrangling steel Mustangs makes for sturdy individuals who raise hearty individuals. Like the Stoics before them, pioneer-stock have perfected the art of the levelheaded countenance in the midst of turbulence. I never saw the sweat on my parents’ brow, the struggle in their eyes. They wore their frustrations on the inside and my brother and I reaped the benefits. And for that I am grateful. I am grateful and also wary. For within these romanticized and stalwart walls of strong, black Americana, there is no room to go to pieces. Pioneers do not fall apart. (more…)