Single-Minded: Committing to a City

Settling down isn't just about getting married and having kids. At some point, you just have to stop moving.

I also have a dog that loves the secret park on V Street in LeDroit. To quote Steve from Sex and the City: “There’s good stuff here.” And yet I’ve still got a bit of the traveler’s itch. Mostly because I’m afraid of getting stuck, even in a good rut.

I should just take a moment — a lady’s intermission — to figure out exactly why I’m “still here.” But who has time for moments? This reminds me of the fake-out series finale of The Game, which is getting a second life on BET on Jan. 11. In it, the show’s stereotypical strong black woman, Tasha Mack, finally realizes that at nearly 40, she hasn’t stopped to catch a breath.

“It’s like all my life, that’s what I do, you know,” she says. “I just keep on moving — never stopping, never pausing, never taking the time to just think and to just ask myself, you know, ‘What do I want to do?’ Not, ‘What can I do?’ Because I can do a lot, but, ‘What do I want?’ “

That was a moment for me back when it first aired in May 2009. I’d met the show’s creator, Mara Brock Akil, in Los Angeles just a month before. We had lunch and chatted about the “keeping it moving” conundrum among the successful and black, as well as the book I was writing about, among other things, that very topic.

Now it’s two years later, and I find myself thinking of catching my breath versus keeping it moving. My mother, who postponed her move to St. Croix to travel with me last summer, has always managed to do both. She’s figured out the quiet space between constantly moving and carefully planning your next move. So when I head down to Atlanta (yes, that’s where she lives now, but it’s not the place we call home) for her birthday next week, I’m going to ask her the secret.

Helena Andrews is a regular contributor to The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.

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