Good morning, Eshkoshkans.
Five years ago B.E. (Before Eshkoshka), I decided to try my hand at something I had never done before and haven’t done since.
And I am glad I did. It has pretty much changed the language I’ve used since; so much so that, in the aftermath, I have stopped cursing. 😳
Didn’t see that coming.
Anyway…here is my story from 4/20/2014…that one time I went…Lent:
Happy Easter, Family.
It’s Resurrection Sunday.
Now this was the first time I tried my hand at participating in the once private now publicized celebration of Lent.
It was a last minute decision but I figured “why not!?!?!?” Trying to abstain from something that one may consider a negative is a good thing. Right?
So I decided, at the final hour, to give up a controversial Source-favorite…the word Nigga.
Yep, my intention was to go 40 days without uttering the N bomb.
Less than 24 hours later…the first bomb was dropped. “Daaaaaang Gina!!!!”
After sharing this failure on my personal fb page and being met with laughs of disbelief & head shaking disapproval, I decided to try again. And somewhere between 2 hours and 2 days later, boom. Again though? I said to myself “This is soooo much harder than I thought it would be.”
Needless to say, I dropped the N word a few more times within the 40 day span. Whether it was in a joke, a song, force of habit or one of those moments where there was no other term that could fill the void.
My estimate? I committed about 25 Lent violations. Pathetic, I know.
But I started to notice something. Not only was I still making a conscious effort to NOT say the word, I was also catching myself mid-word and cutting it off.
The gift and the curse.
The past, the present and the future.
OUR vocabulary’s version of the forbidden fruit.
I don’t know if I will ever stop using the word in the context(s) that I do. But I don’t think I can use it without considering the painful history and its origin. Maybe that will help cut down on it being a go-to word when I am with my brothers.
It is quite a powerful word. No wonder everybody else wants to say it too.
While at the barbershop yesterday, I told the fellas that I could not WAIT for today so I could be relieved from the burden of watching my words. Or in this case, word. Now that day is here. I’m free.
Then it hit me.
I was wishing to be freed from a self-created mental captivity so I could say the N word.
150 years ago, folk were wishing to be freed from a man-created physical captivity where they were insulted by being called the N word.