“Eat Your Veggies”

Growing up, my papa loved to use analogies. 

He would break down stories and life teachings in such a way that even little Jalauna could understand them. 

I think this is why I love folklore. Folklore is the “traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth.” 

One of my favorite folklore stories is that of “The Princess and the Pea.” If you haven’t heard of this story, I advise you to go look up the original story yourself. But here’s my version:

~ A princess is having trouble sleeping so she decides to add an extra mattress onto her bed. Soon after, she realizes that she is still uncomfortable. So she adds another mattress. This continues mattress after mattress until the princess decides to figure out why she was so uncomfortable. She soon figures out that there is a pea under the first mattress.~

Something about my adaptation of the story is frighteningly scary. 

For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that I have struggled with my mental health. Depression and anxiety have filled so many of my days and are currently trying to creep their way back in. 

I have recently found myself adding mattresses. 

One of my mattresses is inebriation. I love a good cocktail. Preferably tequila and something citrusy. There’s something so relaxing about feeling that initial buzz. But sometimes, intentionally, I forget my limits. I allow myself to go shot for shot, drink after drink, bottle after bottle in order to suppress the messy feelings that I am constantly feeling. I wouldn’t call myself an alcoholic, because this is not an everyday or even every weekend type thing. I’m just saying, one way that I deal with the pain is a really good happy hour. 

Another one of my mattresses is doom scrolling. Doom scrolling is when I spend hours upon hours scrolling through social media. From Instagram to Twitter to Tiktok to Facebook. I’ll even throw in Pinterest and Reddit if I’m feeling zesty. There is a false sense of community that looms over social media. I wonder, if I didn't have social media, how many people would I actually connect with on a daily basis? Besides work and church, there is no place where I regularly see the same people. I’m not only concerned with my community, I’m concerned about my access to the truth. It is only through social media that I’ve been able to get unbiased information about everything happening in the world. Sure, I may have more peace if I delete them all but what about the people who don’t?

An additional mattress that I’ve added is eating. I know I can’t completely blame myself because of the amount of chemicals and fake shit America puts in our food but I can blame myself for not having the discipline to choose better. I have been neglecting my physical health and therefore gained almost 25 lbs since August. Food is just soooo good and comforting. And I never have the energy after work to meal prep or cook a healthy, nutritious meal. I’ve tried the gym and I just can’t do it. Something’s got to give.

A million mattresses for one pea.


America was the only country to deny Palestine membership to the UN. 

America has banned protesting in three states. 

America only spent $46.4 billion on education in comparison to the $877 spent on war. 

If I go on I will burst into the many atoms that make me. We are covered in shit from the fan.

Somehow, I was born with a heart. It may have had holes in it initially but it still works. And it is hurting. So many horrible things are taking place and we are continuing business as usual. The Palestinian children don't get business as usual. The homeless don't get business as usual. The disabled don't get business as usual. The coral reefs don't get business as usual. The women in the Congo dont get business as usual. Again, I must stop myself before I burst. 

Business as usual is perpetuating the notion that “if it doesn't affect me, why should I care?”


Do we not all share this planet? Do we not all have blood flowing through our veins? Do we not share a collective consciousness that moves the very vibrations of this world?

Why wait until the pain is universal to stop the bleeding? We are one body, allowing parts to rot and be severed off. Where is the humanity? 

I know it may seem like all I’m doing is complaining but no one is talking about these things. No one is fixing these things. I know worrying won’t help me but all I have to fall back on is my mattresses. 

I long for the day when community is enough. When filling the streets for one another is enough. When enough is enough. 

Maybe one day, I will be able to lay, and eat the pea underneath me for breakfast. 

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