Another year gone and another year of me not meeting my blogging goals.
I made a promise to myself to update this blog consistently in 2018, which I started off doing, but clearly did not keep up. Like most people, my year was full of ups and downs. On the plus side, I had a lot of good experiences and learned a lot this year. I visited Ireland, Denmark, Malta, and Malaysia for the first time this year. In Ireland, I went to Dublin VegFest and participated in the Vegans of Color conference. In Malaysia, I met a friend in person for the first time who I first encountered through her blog, and I met another friend I hadn’t seen since 2008. I participated in a number of activities including Plastic Free July, Plastic Attack and six races. I started a podcast (I’m still learning how to edit, so please bear that in mind). On the other side, I didn’t quite reach the professional goals I set for myself, and I struggled with kicking a couple of bad habits.
Regarding my day job, a few weeks ago, my place of employment had its big conference (which usually takes place every five to six years). It was pretty big, with academics attending from all over the world. On the first night of the conference, there was a reception, during which I ended up talking to the African male attendees. If you’ve read all three of my posts, or ever spoken to me in person you can imagine where this is going. One of them in particular (there were three) had a major problem with me not having kids, and more significantly not wanting to have them either. He actually said “I hope you change your mind”, which I guess is different from saying “you’ll change your mind” but is actually more confusing. Unlike the arrogant “You’ll change your mind” assholes, he seemed to acknowledge that I do actually have a better handle of what I want and what I will do than he does, but for some reason had a problem with it. I said that I’m more interested in doing [insert every single one of the activities that I do] and he said “You can do that and have children. They’re not mutually exclusive” and I said “But I’m interested in doing all of those things. I’m not interested in having children” and then he just kinda stared at me.
Obviously, the conversation wasn’t resolved (the only resolution I would have been happy with would be him understanding and accepting that everyone doesn’t want to have children), but I do hope that I at least planted a seed and maybe, later on down the road he’ll consider that not everyone has to follow the cishet, amatonormative life script (also known as the relationship escalator) laid out for us by patriarchy.
In 2018, I wrote a guest post for the I Am a Vegan series run by the Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack podcast. I was also interviewed by Words in the Bucket about being childfree and African, and about how that affects not only people like me, but people with far less privilege than what I have. Full disclosure: the author, Isobel Edwards, and I know each other in person, but please check it out.
Finally, I was on two episodes of the podcast Unchained. Unbothered. hosted by Keturah Kendrick, a “free black woman” and author of the upcoming book No Thanks: Black, Female, and Living in the Martyr-Free Zone. Check out my episodes here and here, but then be sure to check out the experiences of all the black woman who have broken out of the white supremacist, capitalist, hetero-and cisnormative and patriarchal script and have learned how to live in a way that is authentic to themselves.
In 2019, I promise to blog more regularly, to continue having fascinating guest bloggers, and to explore more and deeper themes related to the racial, gendered and heteronormative dynamics of natalism and choosing to be childfree among African (and Afro-descendant) people.
Thanks for sticking around and I wish you the best for the upcoming year.
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash