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.

Making It through the Darkest Hour

The darkest hour has a way of exposing your pain.

The darkest hour knows how to make you look him in his face. The darkest hour separates the weak from the strong because he will either make you strong or tear you apart.

I made it past the darkest hour because I’m here today and so did you. But the funny thing about the darkest hour is that when you think you’ve met him sometimes he come back stronger and with a vengeance.

When you meet him again you have to be strong. We often find ourselves caving our pain inside and taking on the world with an artificial confidence. In order to be prepared for the darkest hour we have to let go of the pain from the past because healing builds strength. When you are able to walk away from a closed door with closure then you will be equipped to face whatever is in store in the next door.

When you have a better outlook on life it’s easier to get past challenges because you know that pain comes and go. With wisdom you can approach any obstacle with a warrior mentality. The warrior mentality is the mentality that you can conquer any obstacle that comes your way.

When the darkest hour comes know that an hour is only a spec in time and you can get through it.

5 Ways To Let Go

Is there something on your mind and it seems that you just can’t let go?

It is time to get yourself out of the center. We only hurt because we are focused on ourselves. Just think about it? When someone says something offensive to you what is your first reaction? We are more concerned with how people treat us than how we treat other people. When you are more concerned with how people treat you then how you treat them you become vulnerable. You give power to that person and you will only hurt yourself.

I know it’s not easy to let go so I came up with a list of 5 Rules to help you let go of whatever is holding you back:

Rules to letting go

  1. Never fight thoughts with thought: When you fight thoughts with thoughts you will only create more thoughts that will bring you back to the same thought that bothered you in the first place. The power comes in speaking over your situation. We can’t allow things to hurt us that has nothing to do with us. Life is bigger than yourself so everything is not a direct threat to you.
  2. Focus on something that will help you: A way that I redirect my focus is by focusing on something that actually makes me happy. If you are hurt over something that someone did to you then do something that you love. Put your time and energy into something that makes you happy and you won’t have time to worry about what someone did.
  3. Don’t feel sorry for yourself: This is a big problem that I see all the time. People love to be the victim and feel bad for themselves. We get so caught up with blaming the person who hurt us. When we do this we fail to realize that the person who hurt us is probably moving on with their lives. Take it as a lesson learned and grow from it.
  4. Guard what you are exposed to: The Philosophies that we are exposed to will determine how we will perceive our situation. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, or even the people we are around you can find yourself adopting the wrong philosophies. I had to catch myself sometimes because I would watch funny videos a lot because it was entertaining, but then I would find myself adopting some of their ideas and philosophies.
  5. Be persistent: Lastly, don’t give up. Practice makes perfect. The more you realize that everything is not about you it will be easier not to be so easily offended. Continue to focus on the things that makes you happy and don’t entertain anything that will hurt you.

Turn Your Fear Into Fuel

Close your eyes. Imagine living in a world where your fear becomes your best friend. That chill of fear becomes excitement. What if I told you that you can generate that energy into a force that makes you stronger? It makes you invincible and with this new found strength you can do the unthinkable.

Fear can hold us back from reaching our full potential and quality of life. Whether you fear being lonely, the darkness or your deepest inner thoughts, it is time to be set free. To be free is to live without boundaries and to reach heights beyond your limits.

It all changed for me after a silent prayer.

“I declare that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I looked into the crowd and they looked back at me. I was able to relax the vibration of my legs and my body became still. My eyes ran around the room at the still faces.

Breathe. Pause. Breathe. Pause.

My mouth opens and I am invincible. My voice projected as clear as a water drop.

The moment ends with and applause and my professor’s smile meeting mine. I knew that I just done the unthinkable. The last time I presented in from of the class my voice stuttered like a guilty defendant standing in front of a jury.

I was not afraid of the crowd. I took back my power and they followed holding on to my every syllable.

Whatever it is that you fear, take it head on. With God in me all things are possible.

So what will you let fear do to you?

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.

Ask Me If I Care

 

This weekend I starred my anxiety in the eye. Today I decided not to fear the thoughts that arise. Those thoughts that tell me who the world tells me that I am can scream as loud as it can. Today I decide not to listen. You can no longer break me because I am ready for you. Come and get me because I refuse to hide any longer. I am ready for whatever you are willing to throw at me because you no longer have power over me.

This weekend I realized how much I allowed my anxiety to get the best of me when I went on a trip to Philly. As fun as my trip was, anxiety managed to distract me from an amazing experience. As I tried to enjoy myself, anxiety crippled me from allowing my personality to flourish. When I was at a party the negative thoughts made me a wall flower.

Although I do consider myself quite introverted sometimes, I still like to let off some steam. You know, let loose and just be free to do me but it didn’t work out like that.

On my way back to Buffalo, I realized that the reason why I didn’t enjoy myself when I had the chance to be myself was because of fear. I became affected by ideas that appeared real because I acted as if they were. Well today those thoughts will no longer be my reality.

So ask me if I care…because I don’t.

Today Is A New Day


Speaking out has always been a difficult task for me. I remain silent because its easier. Its easier to let people assume who you are, well at least it is for me. I fear speaking up because I fear what people will think about me so I hide behind my wall. My invisible wall is a shield I use against anything that could possibly hurt me but the cost of the wall is life.

Are you truly living if the person you really are is layered underneath the exterior of what others see. I give those around me my poker face so they cant see the hurt and vulnerability that lies beneath my poker face. Well the silence is getting old and isolation has had a toll on me. The lack of human connection can be a bit lonely at times and sometimes its nice not to face the world alone.

The truth is, we all need someone and God is the person to go to. While I’m going through this phase he is with me and wont leave my side despite the obstacles I will face. I am determined to be more like him and let down the wall of fear. Fear is the cause of my wall and if I trust in him I know I can conquer all things through him.

Lately I have been hooked to this song called “When the Day Comes” by Nico & Vinz. It talks about being a warrior and makes me feel invincible. Whenever I feel down or weak I listen to this song and I gives me hope. Although I may be facing many challenges, there has been many battles that I have faced. Although I have won some and lost some, I will win the war. I will defeat my odds and I will achieve all the things that I have imagined.

Although my voice is silenced now, I will not give up. I refuse to continue hiding behind my wall and silencing my voice. Today I will not longer be afraid.