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.

 

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.

Joy Behind The Door

 

When joy knocks on your door will you answer?

Your opportunity  to be free from hurt, pain and bondage patiently waits for your arrival. Will you let joy in? The truth is that many times we don’t. We allow the obstacles that we face to discourage us and turn our backs on joy. Well I am ready to let joy in.

Imagine living in a world where your spirit is at peace. Now this idea may seem foreign  to us because trials will come but, we must dig deeper. What if there was more to life than what you see? Life is more of an internal experience that a physical one if you really think about it. So lets dig a little deeper.

I dare you to strip away what you see externally and see yourself real and raw. See yourself for who you truly are and separate yourself from the experience of the world. There is more to life than what we see and if we connect with our true spirit we can find joy. My circumstances may be troubling but it is up to me to let my joy pass me by. Why should I be troubled by the world when there is more to life than my situation.

Today I challenge us to be bold in who we are and be free from our daily experience. So open up, joy is behind the door.

Check Yourself

 

Are you truly happy with the person you are at this very moment?

If you are then you are already ahead of the game, I applaud you because it’s not easy. If not then I am with you and we will get through this together. I don’t have the answer to everything and I am not hear to preach to you. I want you to learn from my experiences, connect to them, reminisce if that is the case. Get to know me raw and uncut so that it could encourage you through my troubles that you may be facing now or will face in the future.

If you read my article “Ask Me If I Care”, you would see that I was ready to walk down a new path. I was tired of allowing people, anxiety, and discouragement to get me down. Well lets just say I have a new attitude. After the third day of being the “new” me anxiety whooped my behind. I became so self-centered that I acted as I was above the world. I acted as if those who did acknowledge me didn’t exist and carried a nonchalant attitude. This superficial idea of confidence crumbled as soon as someone challenged me.

To this very day I still struggle with allowing particular people to intimidate me. I saw someone who made me feel less than I thought I was and my whole ideology crumbled at that very moment. That scared little girl was unleashed from my soul and I was back at square one.

After a weekend of solitude, I decided to change my approach. I choose to be humble. I realized that the same way that the person who made me feel worthless was the person that I was acting like. I guess you can say I got a taste of my own medicine and it was awful. I put my confidence in God and tell him to lead me. When you don’t keep him with you, sometimes all hell will break loose.

You cannot do it on your own because if you could it would already be done. Whatever it is that you are going through, know that you have to shine brighter. That light is in you and you cant let the darkness intimidate you. I am stronger than my troubles, anxiety, pain and sorrow because God is in me.

When you think you have it all together, don’t forget to check yourself. There is more to life than ourselves.


The Essence of Gratitude

When it seems as if everything is going wrong it may be hard to be positive. As I face disappointment after disappointment there are days when I feel weary. I pray, try to treat others the way I want to be treated and humble myself but some days I feel broken. I look at the things that I am still struggling with and wonder how come I haven’t got past this struggle.

I have committed myself to change but, it seems as if some things just haven’t changed yet. I look in the mirror in the morning with fear, hope, and expectancy; sometimes I look in the mirror after a long day with shame and discouragement.

This was becoming a daily routine for me day after day for the past few weeks.
I am proud of the fact that I decided to take the measures to make change in my life but, there was still something holding me back.

Although, I gave up my negative ways I was still stuck in the same struggles from it. The problem wasn’t the people who hurt me in my life; the problem was within me. The negative thoughts that I gave energy to was becoming my reality.

I was living a make believe world life in my mind that affected my actions in real life. When I took off the lens of my make believe world I saw that the problems that I saw where never there to begin with. I failed to see all of the positive people that actually where there the whole time and the things that God had blessed me with all along.

I may not be where I want to be but I have come a long way from where I started. Whenever you feel that all of the odds are against you I dare you to take a moment to really think about the things that are. If you are reading this you are already blessed because that means that you made it to see another day. Acknowledge the good things in your life and be blessed.