Updated: Nov 1
The word “woke” is used so loosely these days, that it’s hard to use the term, without readers consuming a diluted version of the meaning. But “woke” is the only way to describe my quantum leap into reality. I literally woke up in the process of living another life.
Sitting at the table of foreign guests from around the world, we were engulfed in a fascinating conversation about our different cultures. The uniqueness of the experience wasn’t lost on me: a Single, Black, American Female sitting in the middle of Moscow during the FIFA tournaments. The entire world had predicted violence, chaos, and culture clashes in Russia. The country was labeled as too ill prepared to host the finals. However, I was fortunate enough to see history in the making. But I digress…
As I sat at the table, the question was turned to me about my American religious beliefs. I briefly explained I was raised in a cult, but I no longer affiliate myself with any organized religion or sector. The explanation was short and simple, something I had been practicing for years. I used to avoid the question. To say I was in a cult felt like I was saying "I'm an idiot, so I was brainwashed because I have no common sense.".
“But that generation is long dead now.” One of the guys interrupted me, as I explained the cult's teaching about 1914. The cult believed the earth will be destroyed before the generation of 1914 passed. “Well thank god they were wrong.” He laughed. Everyone else at the table laughed also, including myself. Of course they felt they were laughing WITH me, and not AT me. In reality, I was laughing to cover my embarrassment of still being a believer
Someone else took over the conversation, and i began to hyper ventilate mildly. His simple words "But that generation is long dead now" violently smacked me in the face.I had spent most of my adult life waiting to be destroyed, that I hadnt realised the 1914 generation had come and gone several years earlier. I never imagined living beyond the deadline, yet there i was.
In a split second, my mind went from you-might-be-destroyed-tommorrow-because-youre-a-piece-of-shit to holy-shit-youre-still-alive?? Youre-worthty-of-life? Is-this-a-mistake??? Wait!! YOUR-WHOLE-LIFE-WAS-A-LIE??!! I tried to not be so obvious, sitting at the table. But I was having a nervous breakdown. My skin was alien texture to my fingers, and I had no idea who I was, or how the fuck I ended up in Moscow. Everything in my vision became panoramically situated. I had no idea where I was, nor who i was. Damn...it's so hard for me to describe my feelings in a way for my readers to understand. Frustrating.
From the movies, when a character learns she is no longer dying, she is quickly relieved. Filled with the joy at the second chance on life. But I was wreaked with anxiety and humiliation. For my mind to switch from dying-mode to living-mode within split seconds was very traumatizing experience
I told my new acquaintances that I wasn’t feeling well. We gave our gestures of goodbye and well wishes, then I rushed to exit the venue. I needed fresh air or I felt I was going to pass out. The streets were packed with joyous, international citizens walking the streets. The air filled with music, laughter, and lingering food smells. Thank Goddess I was able to easily find my Uber among the sea of taxis. I put on my seat belt, rolled down the window, closed my eyes, took deep breaths and let the breeze caress my face.
In the summer of 2018 in Russia, Moscow...I was born.