I am very clear about who I am and how I show up in the world. I carry major parts of my identity with me.
I am black.
I am a woman.
These are two realities that are inescapable – not that I’d want to be anyone other than who I have been created to be. These two realities mean something in every space I inhabit. They are visible and I believe that this is what makes conversations about race and gender slightly different than conversations about other issues of injustice. This is another way that I have learned to embrace my shadow.
I have come to a place where I fully embrace my shit. I’m not talking about metaphorical shit – I’ll get to that later. Right now, I’m talking about actual shit.
I’ve had stomach issues my whole life. It wasn’t until early adulthood that I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and realized that my issues with shit were connected to my physical, mental and emotional health. Anyone who is in my intimate circle knows that I’ve struggled much of my life with managing this part of my health. There are plenty of stories of Roze running to find a restroom in public places or having to pull over on the side of the road. My brother affectionately refers to my issues as insane bowel syndrome, because in his words, “That shit’s insane!” You are probably learning more than you ever wanted to learn about me but all will soon be revealed… As someone who has had lifelong issues with shit, I’m not embarrassed to talk about it and have spent a lot of time thinking about it.
In prepping for this post, I reached out to a doctor friend of mine to get some facts. I learned that we have to shit or else we will die of sepsis. If our bodies do not expel waste, the shit will literally enter our bloodstream and infection will occur leading to multi organ failure and eventually, death. How about that shit?
I’ve also learned that there is a correlation between how bad our shit stinks and our diet. Because it’s waste, shit will always stink, but there are some of us whose shit (and farts) can literally clear a room. This is caused by bacteria that is present in our waste. The odor however is exacerbated by our diets. The worse our diets, the worse the smell. What we put into ourselves, the things we ingest, will literally show their true colors AND smell when we expel it.
Enough about actual shit. Let’s talk about metaphorical shit.