Days before I turned 27, George Floyd was murdered by police, only months after Breonna Taylor (a woman who would have also made 27 that week) was shot to death in her bed while she was asleep and although it was my birthday, I wasn't in the mood for cake.
Despite being showered with love by friends and family via online messages and Cash App notifications, I couldn't shake the thought: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Oluwatoyin Salau, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, and hundreds of my Black brothers and sisters that were lost in our fight for justice will never celebrate their birthdays again.
And just as quickly as I was taken with sadness, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. By God's grace, I woke up this morning—safe, healthy, and loved. And because they were unjustly robbed of their right to live, I promise not to forget what they died for. I recently read that Black joy is an act of resistance and I felt that in my spirit. Depression is only one of the many tactics used by our oppressors to further silence our voices, and in the words of our good sister Iyanla—not on my watch.
Despite a pandemic, police brutality, civil unrest, and an impending election, I'm proud to say that I chose joy on my birthday. And if you need advice on how to find some joy and celebrate life despite being surrounded by death, destruction, and depression, scroll below for tips.
Buy Your Favorite Cake
I've heard that eating your feelings is looked poorly upon but it's your birthday and you can do whatever TF you want to, sis.
Comfort food is ideal for when we need, well, comfort, and a delicious cake made with your favorite flavors will hit all of the spots. My sister gifted me with a three-layer torte with four different flavors from Walmart and I wouldn't be lying to you if I told you I didn't smash that entire thing by myself. And that's on gang.
Spoil Yourself With Gifts
That lingerie set you've been eyeing? Buy it. Dying to try out that expensive eyeshadow that's finally on sale? Add to cart. Running out of your favorite perfume and desperately need a massage? Treat your MF self, sis!
I am as frugal as they come but when the clock strikes twelve on my birthday honey? I spend a coin.
While keeping your budget in mind, try a little retail therapy by shopping with these Black-owned companies for some birthday gifts fit for a queen.
Take A Day Trip
Being a Denver native is pretty much like living in a postcard, so it wasn't hard to pick a spot to slide to for a little R&R. I traveled to Chatfield Park, a small reservoir and state park that sits just outside Littleton.
The Park, which offers a mountain view, grounds for camping, and a huge lake was the perfect place to let my braids down, take a deep breath, and exhale all of the feelings of sadness that I had accumulated the week prior.
Pro tip: Add weed for additional fun.
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Featured image by Pretty Honore for xoNecole.com.