The “Wedding Crasher”

“You are only free when you realize you belong no place—you belong every place—no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

I was the Wedding Crasher last night. Protesting the “institutionalization of love.”

Just kidding, I was invited okay, relax… Aunties…

A great excuse to see some family again after a long time.

And a good excuse to wear my green Jumke again.

I haven’t been to a wedding since before the Pandemic, actually. Never easy for me. To attend weddings.

And, I wore the outfit I wore last year for my school graduation in May 2022. This is the second time that I wore the outfit. Brought back a lot of emotions. Doing the Tiffany Haddish thing. 😉 It was also the first time I attended a wedding event since actually my Field work in Pakistan, I believe. It has been four years now today since I returned from Pakistan, March 19. Interesting coincidence.

This beautiful light green maxi (you can’t see in this photo) was gifted to me by my mom and dad when they came for my PhD wedding in December 2021, and I was surprised it still fits me at the moment. According to my BMI, I’m on the border between overweight and obese.

Maybe I can still pull off a selfie sometimes at certain angles.

I watched The Whale this weekend, which inspires me now to be a little careful with what I consume in my body when I am sad or depressed.

You know, I never thought I’d be excited to go to a wedding event after so long.

When you occupy spaces on a daily basis that “deny your identity,” or make you feel like a “2nd class citizen,” because you are not White, these moments, these spaces, are very necessary even if you don’t necessarily belong fully in this space either.

You are always happy for others.

But all these years, going to these events and seeing everyone have their big moments, with large groups and audiences around them, giving them love and support for their big moments, has been largely sweet, with a slight twinge of bitterness, admittedly.

A bitterness that I overall do a good job of taming inside, as I am genuinely happy for others. Nevertheless, waiting for something for yourself to happen, and then when it does, it’s an easy pass for people you know, can be very hard thing to process and heal from.

If I give power to this phenomenon…I cannot even own being a Revolutionary, the Black Sheep, because that would mean disrupting the pattern or Kismet of my “invisibility.” That would mean giving Dr. Elsa credit for something. For blazing a trail for the “unconventional.” For being vulnerable and bravely authentic. Openly and courageously.

Even while knowing that this world continues to wreak a stigma against the “defiance of norms,” the “Unconventional Woman” that unapologetically practices vulnerability, remains an open book, and raises her Sword into the nights, while saying no thank you to the Handsome Knight, especially if that Knight wants to take her Sword away from her.

“When will it be my turn,”… the devilish voice suppressed inside always attempts to emerge and disrupt your vision and mission. You don’t want to believe that you want your turn, or you try to discipline and control the temptation to acquiesce, to surrender and put down the White Flag for conformity and ‘mediocrity.’ Deep inside you might release a small part of you that would initiate a curiosity or a possibility. “It was supposed to be “my moment,”” you return to that hurt you thought you let go. My moment was supposed to be the PhD Wedding. It wasn’t, As much as I tried. It didn’t matter that I, Elsa, finally had a moment.

And that the people around me didn’t want me to have that moment. And that’s okay. As much as I’ve tried to heal from that, it will always be a scar, and I appreciate that struggle, that scar, the burning pain from all who continue to deny my identity and my achievements simply because of the way I look or talk…, All being a part of my story, being part of my “Resilience Portfolio.”

Because no one can take that from you, no matter how much they invalidate your pain or accuse you of lacking gratitude and humility. That was your moment for you. And that was your pain…

You forgive for yourself and for the sake of moving forward on to new things, in new spaces, and new worlds. And you let go.

Say my name. Say your name Elsa, for yourself.

Because no matter how “invisible” you are in this world, no matter the scrutiny and marginalization you face for your defiance of the box that the world tries to place you in,… no one can ever take your Education away from you.

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” – B.B. King

“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” – Ernest Hemingway

“If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either wait for him or forget him.” – Paulo Coelho

Peace, Warmth, Blessings and Solidarity,

Dr. Elsa

Warrior KQueen

“She wasn’t looking for a Knight. She was looking for a Sword.” – Atticus

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