Black Gums


From my personal Facebook page…

“One day in the third grade, a girl asked me why my gums (gingiva) were black. I lied and said I was fighting with my sister and she punched me in the mouth. That’s the first lie I remember telling.

I’ve lied since then. I’ve said I’ve done my homework when I didn’t. I’ve said I’ve missed texts when I saw them. I’ve said I was okay when I wasn’t. I’ve said I wasn’t hurt when I was. I’ve chalked up my sad appearances to being tired. I’ve said I’ve missed people when I’d forgotten about them. I pretend not to care when I care too much. I pretend not to love when I love too hard.

This paragraph would be the part where I talk about me trying to force friendships. This would also be the part where I’d confess that every project I’ve started, every venture on which I’ve embarked, everything has been done in a failing, overcompensating attempt to make up for the life that I didn’t get to have – the life I consciously thank God for taking away, but the one I still subconsciously want. (Is it still subconscious if you’re aware of it?) I would end this paragraph with me explaining my belief in my inadequacy.

But no one wants to read all of that foolery, and I don’t want to write it out either.

In short, I’ve lied by trying to be more than who I am in the name of overcoming inadequacy. My own standards are impossibly high, and I have yet to meet them, but I’ve lied to act like I have. I’ve lied by creating for people an illusion that I’m cooler than I really am. I’ve lied by preaching self-love and self-worth when I’ve, hypocritically, described myself as insufficient. I’ve lied by saying nothing, squashing emotions, acting tough, and suppressing the over-loving person I am.

Well, that’s done now. Acting is so bloody exhausting. I will not downplay my love. I will not squash my emotions. I will stop saying crying is for the weak. No longer will I shrink myself to make others more comfortable. It’s okay to love. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to have black gums.

In conclusion, I have no bloody idea why I’m even writing this here; I will believe what I preach, and I will act as if I do believe it. Though others are proud of me, I have yet to be proud of anything I’ve done; hopefully, this is the start of something. My name is Nia A.D. Langley, and I have lied to myself by telling myself I was inadequate. I am not inadequate. I am brilliant. I am talented. I am fabulous. I am beautiful. I am adequate. And though I don’t believe it yet (feelings of inadequacy don’t just go away), I’ll repeat these words to myself until I do. I am a child of God. I am me, and I am enough. I am enough.”

Thanks for reading.

5 Comments Write a comment

A girl trying to make it in the future's history books.


  • Anonymous 28 April 2014

    Made me cry, where have you been all my life???? (Meaning I've done the same)

  • oomph. 29 April 2014

    very nice, nia.

  • Janyl Benyl 29 April 2014

    Big hug
    It is ok to cry, sometimes you just need to let it all out

  • Alisha Jones-Cotton 15 November 2017

    Lying to yourself to meet your own standards. GGGGGUUUUURRRLLL! Awesome stuff. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  • Mel Chanté 16 November 2017

    “I am me, and I am enough. I am enough.” Such powerful statements. I also try to remember that vulnerability is strength. Thank you for sharing and for your honesty!

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