I Can’t Breathe

George Floyd I can't breathe

I can’t breathe. 2020, you have changed me. I have written sentence after sentence, deleted, re-typed, erased and erased. Finding the words to describe exactly how I am feeling right now feels impossible. I can’t breathe. I do not know what George Floyd felt as he begged for his life and uttered those words “I can’t breathe” but since his death I have not felt the same. The heaviness in my chest, the anxiety that is pooling in my body, I feel helpless. I am not quite sure my anxiety has ever seen this new static normal. My heart is so broken for the world right now. I can’t breathe.

There is so much darkness around us, and I feel so sad. I haven’t written a blog post in months. With the coronavirus pandemic, my brother in-laws passing and the overwhelming daily anxiety of trying to comprehend everything going on, I haven’t felt I could put the right words together. How does one sum out the magnitude &  layered complexity of the feelings associated with everything going on? I read a quote this morning on instagram and it stated “all the women in me, are tired”. I quickly pushed save, and moved on scrolling. At first I thought to myself, YES YES, all of this, I will come back to it. Then I started thinking about how tired I feel, and realized, this is how people of color are feeling…all the time. We live in a society that we have allowed people of color to feel inadequate, judged and tired…all of the time. I can’t breathe anymore, we can’t breathe anymore.

I won’t sit here and try to tell you I understand even a fraction of everything going on but that is the sole reason why I chose to write this blog post. I had writers block after block after block simply because I knew each sentence could be scrutinized, criticized or taken out of context. The reason being is this situation is uncomfortable and because I can NEVER ever fully understand what it would be like to be black. Talking about racism is uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable for all of us. But what I have realized recently, that this feeling of being uncomfortable, it’s pointless. This is NOT ABOUT ME.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders,  let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my saviour”

For far too long so many of us have turned our backs on what has truly been happening in our country. Instead of talking about it, really talking about it, we close our mouths for fear of upsetting someone or having a different view point. Well, today being silent should feel as bad as saying the wrong thing…at least that is what I am gathering from these recent events.

I have realized the things I do not know, I need to spend time understanding. I need to spend time talking to my friends and my family and I need to be a part of the change, not a spectator judging how things should be different. Who am I to sit back and talk the talk, yet not make a single effort to change things? Talk about privileged. I need to be better.

The past few days I have felt like I didn’t know which way to turn. My tears seemed to follow me everywhere. How can we live in a world with such hate.  It’s overwhelming. It’s heart breaking and we need help.

I think I personally have gotten so overwhelmed with the magnitude of 2020, that I felt small. Small like what I had to say would not matter. I think so much of the time when big issues arise like this we all take that seat in the back. We decide that our tiny voice, our opinion, our knowledge and education would be so small, that it really wouldn’t matter. Or we don’t know the whole story and we feel it best to not consume ourselves with it for fear of it changing us. We convince ourselves that staying quiet is better because this way we aren’t involved. Instead of using a voice we choose to stay silent. We tell ourselves that we aren’t political, we aren’t preaching our views, our values, our thoughts. We are neutral which makes us likable.

I am 33 years old and I am done caring about being likable. It is time to stop fearing of doing the wrong thing and try to do the right thing. I feel in my heart we are being called to do something. I sat here a month ago preaching #stayhome to save the elders, to save my grandparents, to save your grandparents. How can I turn my back on something just as devastating to our society. Talking about race, sexuality, religious beliefs, it is all uncomfortable because we all have our own experiences, views and beliefs. One thing that should be unanimous and across the board is loving one another. Somehow that has gotten lost. Race does not get to decide if you live or die.


So here I am challenging you. Instead of just simply reposting a hashtag and a video, and then letting this issue settle and go under the mat just as it has time and time again, be uncomfortable. DO something different. Talk about what makes you uncomfortable. Talk about how things should be different and be the change. If you find yourself consuming yourself with the news fixated on the rioters who are stealing and doing the wrong type of protest, ask yourself WHY are you focused on that part solely?  Are you brave enough to dig deep and acknowledge that you have turned your back just as I have on a deeper issue. If you don’t understand what all the “hype” is about, spend the time educating yourself. Spend time reading and really LISTENING to the other side. If you still can not see the problem going on in our society, a place where we are supposed to be united as ONE, then you are part of the problem. We can all do better and that starts at home. It starts by talking about it and it starts by getting uncomfortable. What we are realizing as a country is what people of color have been saying for decades, we were just too proud, ignorant, busy and privileged to listen. Are you brave enough to try? Are you brave enough to be different, or will you turn the other way again? Honestly, the choice is up to all of us…I’m just here begging you to be brave.

xo, kayla

photo credit: Weelittlestitches 
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4 thoughts on “I Can’t Breathe

  1. Kayla, this is so eloquently written. I am not a blogger and don’t have to worry about offending anyone, but really, your heart knows what is right and what is Wrong. You know. People can arGue that property desTruction is the worse problem here Or that quarantining violates our rights bUt you know the truth. Keep being honest and courageous, you’ve so got tHis!

  2. So well written, kayla. You are Right on the money. We All need to Do more, listen more, Ask quesTions, be uncomforTable. Thats the only way we grow and cAn be part of the solution. Praying for you and this world.

  3. Hi Kayla, thanks for sharing such a heartfelt post. I enjoyed reading your perspective on this complex matter and I am glad to know you are in this fight with us. I couldn’t be more proud of you being someone I follow on IG. Thank you!

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