There has been debate on whether the “Carefree Black Girl” should be admired. The idea that a black woman can be “carefree,” during times in which black children are threats to grown men and black men can’t even ask a police officer for car assistance, is off-putting for some who see the phrase that way.
But these are things that I care about. And yet, I am still carefree. Let me explain.
There is no reason to do anything that makes you unhappy. If I can’t remember anything else that my mom has taught me, it’s that. Over the last couple of years, we’ve gotten closer than we ever have been. I grew out of teenage stages that caused me to say, “I hate you,” into accepting that a lot of the time she’s right.
There have been times where I have felt completely dependent on temporary things and temporary people for my own happiness. Relationships that edged on toxic and impulsive, jobs that were emotionally draining, and bad days that turned into bad weeks and months. And my mom has been through all of that.
She has also been the one that forces me to speak up. I hate confrontation, and I have a habit of not being able to say no. She taught me that overextending myself does me more harm than good. She taught me that nothing is worth stressing over. It’s this idea of happiness no matter the circumstance is the most important. And every time I talk to her I become a little more carefree.
My carefree is personal. I care about police brutality, harmful double standards and rape culture affecting women and even men, the persistent misogyny and homophobia rooted in my favorite genre (hip hop), I even care about the environment. But I also have learned to not care so much about grades in classes that serve me little purpose, relationships and lack thereof, the past or what other people think. And I’ve learned that as a woman, as a black woman, the difficulties I may face should not hinder me. Minor things only contribute negatively to my well being if I let them. So I don’t. And the bigger things, though they matter, they can’t stop me. I think we all can be a little more carefree.