I found that I was telling myself, "It was going to be OK." about 200 times a day before the life of George Floyd was so wrongly taken last Monday, May 25th.
I've said it to myself when I glanced at the news or the mess of toys left in Geo’s wake. I've said it every time I think about another baby coming to join us this fall and I’ve said it to an overwhelmed mom at the park struggling to balance everything her two kids need right now.
And here’s the thing: I was starting to actually believe it.
I was finally starting to feel OK from the pressures and anxiety surrounding COVID until we were reminded yet again of the systemic racism in this country—and how even though I may be feeling OK, there is an entire community struggling daily, and it needs to stop. I have a hard time putting to words what I’m feeling, but I do know that the emotions I’m going through need to evoke change.
Change might look different for everyone, but for me, I want to use my voice more to stand up for what I feel in my heart is right. I will learn more and I will do my part with my own family to make this country a more peaceful place for ALL Americans because black lives DO matter.
Most importantly, I will love more.
Here is where I need your help. I am human and I WILL make mistakes. Please know I am trying and I want nothing more than to love and understand, but I’m asking you to please calmly correct me if I have said something wrong, misquoted, or misrepresented the anti-racism movement. As Maya Angelou once said, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." I'm committed to both learning and doing better.
I try really hard not to dwell on the negative. I feel fortunate every day for my life, for my home, the food I have to eat, and the friends and family I have to connect with. I want my art to express this gratitude and hopefully bring light to your home. I created these two designs to reflect that positivity in my life, but the weight of our current climate reminds me that we need love and hope more than ever.
I hadn't planned on adding a Resist Hand Sign Print to the collection, but art is one of the ways that I can speak up for justice in our country. You can also download a free version of this artwork to use as a screensaver here.
Our hands can be so powerful. They work hard, they comfort, and they create. They come in all different colors and sizes. Some are warm and soft, and some are hard and calloused—but they all tell a story. Whether flashing a peace sign, raising a fist of resistance, or sending love using sign language, hands convey a lot of meaning.
I‘ve already hung the Heart Hands Sign Print with the Love Conquers All Print on the wall above Georgio’s crib. Even if he is too young to understand, my hope is that I’m subtly encouraging positivity and compassion. Geo is growing up in a tough world, and our new baby will be born into it. I want my children to be tender and loving, but know how to get through the tough stuff, too.
I understand that I need to acknowledge my privilege head-on. I need to read more, continue having conversations with our families, and with Scott about the changes we should make in our own lives and how we want to raise our growing family.
As a business owner, I'm going to support black-owned businesses and lift the voices of our black community. For the month of June, all profits from the Hand Sign Collection will be donated to the local non-profit organization, Gideon’s Army United.
I’m sorry it has taken me so long to wake up, but I’m here, ready to learn and grow. I hope that these three new hand sign prints will provide you with a positive way to express compassion, resilience, and courage in your homes.