Photo by Charles Etoroma on Unsplash

Listen, writing long-form joy isn’t for me

Jeffrey Rousseau


Since creating this blog, I’ve learned and taught myself that I can write about anything for myself and my intended audience (Black people).

However, I can’t sit down and write long-form content about times of joy and happiness. To be frank? That shit is not for me, and I don’t think I want it to be.

For one, it isn’t easy. It’s difficult because my mind and this space are meant to be a canvas for my* critical thoughts. While talking about joy, soft life, cozy comfort, and whatever synonym you like for pink fluffy clouds is a thing for many, a form of entertainment, and content or a grift (let’s keep it a buck).

The reason why I choose not to whenever the thought crosses my mind is because of real life.

Life demands I step into reality, think, and engage with it, because it damn sure won’t/doesn’t take it easy on me and my respective communities.

When I think about it, why don’t I write a nice long article about happy times?

Oh, I don’t know, because there are things to write about which include:

White domestic terrorism — because they never gonna fix themselves
People who could be my family can’t even live and vogue in public
The erasure/sanitization of my people’s true history in this state
Crushing capitalism yelling at my comrades, and me
Trying my best to maintain my sanity and mind my Black ass business

However, in an attempt to not sound like an angry Black man stereotype — If you don’t know me and think that about me? Good! — Here’s my attempt to write about joy and happy things.

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

When am I most joyful and feeling happy? It’s when I talk about nothing with friends in person.

I recall how one of my favorite times this summer was talking to a friend for hours as we shared a bottle of rose. We talked about many things: life, career, goals, and we did so for hours and completely lost track of time.

The happiest things I’ve done for myself? Going to museums and art exhibits and learning about history. The phone on silent, ignoring everything else and just thinking about what this creative person was trying to say.

Nature, community, unity, and food. The themes are endless, and so are the thoughts across my mind as I sit and stare.

Nothing beats being in spaces with other Black people, being funny, and having fun — festivals, plays (I could write pages about this), dances, reading, etc. Nothing fills my heart and puts a battery in my back like immersing myself in Blackness. There are days when I look up to the sky and thank the universe for living in a multi-cultural metropolitan area with Black people who will have a good ole Black time in every way imaginable.

One more joyful activity I love is going to a coffee shop, getting the tallest coffee cup possible, and reading for hours. Again, my phone on silent, no social media and no worrying about media; I’m offline and somewhere with printed words.

It’s something that I regularly engage in. Have you immediately left work and cracked open a book? Oh, sweet Jesus, it’s incredible to connect on a hobby that stimulates the mind and away from screens — just learning in person, living in that moment.

I could go and go about other things that bring me joy. But that’s reserved for my friends and comrades with whom I mostly have those moments.

This post could be easily read as a dig at people who make “good vibes only” their thing. This really isn’t shade to people who only wanna wrap themselves up in sunshine and rainbows. All I’m saying is, I’d lose the marbles in my head if I pivoted to that. Joy and happiness are things everyone deserves and needs.

I just can’t write about it, no thank you, y’all can have it. Now, the joy of writing? That’s probably something I can write about for decades. Maybe…maybe? I don’t know writing brings me joy, so there’s that, I guess. Like JayWood’s Dirk Gently song says, it’s about knowing yourself.



Jeffrey Rousseau

I bat for PoCs, marginalized, equality, inclusion & geekdom. I'm warming the bench until coach subs me in.