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.

 

Saturday Inspiration: Beating Anxiety

Last night I reached my breaking point.

I am three weeks from graduating and it seems like everything is going wrong. Most students are nervous about graduating but, I am dreading each an every day here.

I’ve always noticed that anxiety always comes back when my stress levels are high and they have been higher than normal lately. I am doing research papers, preparing for finals, trying to rub two nickels together to get through the week and worst of all I feel alone.

I am away from people who I know care about me and it gets hard sometimes. The thing that stresses me out the most is not knowing who to trust.

When I woke up this morning I came across this YouTube video that lifted my spirit. This young lady’s story inspired me to keep going.

If you are going through depression or anxiety I think you should watch this video because it really helped me.

When it seems as if everything is wrong, sometimes you have to remind yourself who you are. It is none of your business what people think of you but, what truly matters is what you think about yourself.

 

The Real Reason Why Ladies Only Want Guy Friends

We all know that one girl that we can not stand.

The girl that sleeps with everyone’s man. The girl who is super loud in the morning for no reason. The girl who thinks she’s “all that” because she is Instagram famous when we all know she bought her followers. Or the girl that is always mad for no reason.

Well you know what, that girl is not the problem. Yes, I said it she is not the problem and here is why.

In society women are taught to hate one another from the times they are born. We are taught to compete with one another to be the best.

I use to be that girl who hated other girls because, I believed that other girls were the problem. A few days ago I came to the conclusion that I am a part of the problem. For me to hate another woman because of her faults would make me a hypocrite. We all have been that girl that we hate at one point in our  lives.

Someone once told me that we hate people because, we see something in them that we hate about ourselves. We complain that we can’t stand it when girls are shady then, brag when we throw shade as if we have that right. Everyone has looked at someone at-least one time in their life and mentally judged something about them. Shade has no gender, anyone can do that.

We have to change our minds and learn to love one another despite our flaws. We all have flaws and when we hate someone, we have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves why. Even though we are taught to compete with one another we can reverse that. Stop giving in to the ways of society and be yourself.

There is only one you. When you are yourself, you don’t have time to put other woman down because, you are in your own lane. When you stay in you own lane you understand your value and encourage other woman because you understand that they are not a threat.

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.

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.

Today Is A New Day

Speaking out has always been a difficult task for me. I remain silent because its easier. It’s 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 can’t 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 it’s 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 won’t 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 no longer be afraid.

Set Yourself Free and Choose Forgiveness

When I tell you that I was happy yesterday, trust me I was happy.

I wasn’t happy because of any circumstance, but I chose to be happy. This brings me to what I would like to discuss today; I would like to discuss forgiveness.

At times when we are hurt we dwell on things that have happened to us in our past and we replay these images in our mind. For the past 5 years I have been struggling with anxiety and yesterday I decided to let go.

The reason why I couldn’t let go of anxiety for so long was because I was holding to my past to the point where I was beginning to lose hope of my future. I constantly replayed clips in my mind of those who have hurt me and these thoughts were draining out all of my power.

Today I am here to tell you that whatever it is that is bringing you down, let it go. Last night I prayed and forgave those who have hurt me until I felt inner peace. For years I wanted them to see my pain and hoped that they would feel bad for what they have done to me, but they were busy continuing their lives.

When we give people that power over us we are telling ourselves that we are not worthy of joy. No one can steal your joy from you once you find it in your heart. I have committed myself to thank God every day for what he has done for me.

Yesterday I choose to let go; I didn’t let go for those who have hurt me but for myself. I decided to let go of the pain, anxiety, fear and be strong. I am not strong because of what I have been though; I am strong because I decided not to let the pain hold me back.

I know every day isn’t going to be daisies and sunshine but I am determined to lift my spirit despite what I face. Yesterday I said no to negativity; Every time I think a negative thought I re-evaluate myself and ask God to give me a clean heart. Today I decide to choose to forgive and let your soul free.