I Wasn’t One of Them

I never thought that it would affect me.

When I first came to Buffalo, NY, I would vaguely hear about its history of division and discrimination.

Most of my peers on campus were from the New York City area so I never felt like I was far away from home. Even though cases of discrimination goes on in Long Island, people are a little more liberal, so I never felt threatened by anyone from another race.

One day I learned that being a minority in Buffalo has its adversity. I applied for a retail position at the Galleria Mall and I was excited because, I was confident that I would get the job.

I ironed by best attire and headed to the interview with high hopes. I prayed before I walked into the store and noticed that there was a lady who appeared to be the manager waiting by the registrar.

She walked me to the office so we could start the interview.  She started asking me questions about school and telling me about her experience working in New York City and the cool people she met. It was kind of weird that she talked about herself a lot but, I didn’t mind.

Then she started to get a little more personal. She began to ask me about my family. I was hesitant to answer but, I answered the questions anyways.

“Do you have a father?”

“What about a mom?”

“Did you all grow up together?”

“Why wasn’t your father around?”

At this point I grew uncomfortable so I tried to change the subject. I asked her if she wanted to see my resume so I could talk more about my credential but, she declined my offer.

She said that she wanted to know more about me. She then asked me if I had an internship. When I told her no she suggested that I focus on that rather than apply for the job. A part of me thought that she was genuinely concerned until she started talking comparing her life decisions to mine bragging about her days working in New York and what she accomplished in the past.

At this point I knew that this interview was a disaster and I was sure that I would not get the job. A part of me wanted to tell her that I thought that she was out of line and that her questions were unprofessional but, I stuck it out.

She started asking me questions about when the store was founded and how it began. I felt ashamed that I didn’t know the answer until I realized that she didn’t know the answer either. She pulled up the company’s website and read the answers to her questions off of the computer screen.

After a long 20 minutes of being interrogated she told me that she didn’t think that I was a good fit for the company. I walked out of the interview feeling inferior and did not make eye contact with the employees whose eyes were glued to me when I walked out.

I knew deep down I wasn’t going to get the job from the moment I stepped into the store because I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. I stuck through it and hoped for the best despite my intuition.

Maybe I can be the one that adds diversity here. Maybe I can be that person who can close that gap, I thought to myself but, the reality is, we have a long way to go. I was qualified for the job, I talked well, and I was prepared but, that wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t one of them.

If you ever experience employment discrimination of any kind you can contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for more information.

To share your story you can contact me on Facebook or Twitter.

Thought of the Night: Anxiety

 

Today I am proud to say that I officially beat my anxiety and I am going to share my secret. You can throw away all of those books and tune out all of those motivational videos because trust me, they will never work. You can’t beat anxiety by simply repeating a phrase or doing any steps. Don’t get so caught up in man made philosophies because men are flawed. Its like the blind leading the blind and could only fix the exterior problems.

As I read empowerment novels and watched motivational videos it only encouraged me to get back up. If you know anxiety like I do then you would know that without a solid foundation it will knock you right back down. I found my foundation in God. As I studied the bible and gained an understand of his word he showed me who I am. Now that I know who I am anxiety can’t tell me who I am.

Anxiety is triggered by internal suggestions that creates negative thoughts leading you to feel discomfort. Although statistics tell us the most of us suffer from a mental illness you have the power to cast that down. That power that I hold is not because of me but God in me. When I tried to fight anxiety with my own philosophies and philosophies from others, I always end up back where I started.

Tonight I am telling you that you are free from anxiety but you have to walk in that truth and not be fooled. I remember the day I diagnosed myself with anxiety as clear as day. I didn’t even know what it was until an article described how I felt. I realized that the day I labeled my self as anxious, I gave power to it. Anxiety slowly became who I was but now that I know the truth I will not be fooled. I had to go through a lot to realize this but know I can help you because I’ve been there.

Today vow to make this the last day that you will associate anxiety with your identity. Confidence is built through attitude, looks, or security in superficial things but, through acknowledging the truth. The truth isn’t that I am who God says I am so man can’t tell me anything other that what I already know.

The Essence of A Woman

Do you appreciate the essence of a woman?

The essence of a woman is strong and can’t be moved. Every woman has an inner essence. The essence of a woman is filled with love and compassion, not the rock that she may wear. The essence of a woman is what causes a man to open doors or lend a jacket to protect her from the midnight’s chill. A woman’s essence is like a river of milk and honey, sweet and pure. Let me tell you about a time where I was introduced to the essence of a woman.

One day I was introduced to a radiant young woman whose essence was so pure. I’ve known her for years before, but this was the first time that I was introduced to her essence. I sat next to her as she gazed at the night. The moon smiled at her face as if it was soothing her tears. She couldn’t see her radiance but I did. Her heart was so heavy that not even the night’s breeze could carry the weight of her pain. I was there to lend a shoulder, but not even one’s presence could cure her loneliness. Have you ever been there? She told me that she was broken and a part of me believed her. Her energy began to drain me because her pain was too heavy. Something told me that it wasn’t over for her so I spoke life to her. Then I discovered that the moon wasn’t soothing her tears. The moon was showing me her beauty. Her soul was beautiful and exposed mine. I realized that I was once where she was and I was reunited with the old me. Through her eyes she showed me the person that I use to be. The person that I am today says goodbye.

I embrace my worth and I thank God for renewing my mind, body and spirit. Your struggle in not your conclusion, it is your strength. God builds you up in the dark not to hurt you, but to teach you that you are the light. The light that we seek is within us through God’s grace. The essence of a woman is God’s light. This young woman taught me that I am the essence of a woman.

Starting the Next Chapter

 What is it to feel?

 Not flesh or materialist things but to feel someone’s spirit. In tune with their soul you crave their presence. Lately I have been doing a lot of soul searching and I have realized that I have a lot of work to do.

 Today I made a huge decision that will determine the turning point of my life. I choose not to let go of someone who means a lot to me. I am not sure if I made the right decision but, I listened to my heart.

 I looked for advice from various people and I realized that the ultimate decision was up to me. I learned just because you think someone cares about you that do not mean that they know what is best for you.

 Over the years I have lost people in my life that have made a large impact in my life due to my pride but, this time it is different. My heart is telling me to give up so I will and I am ready to live.