Here is one huge thing I have learned:
Everybody is not going to be happy with the choices you make.
And at the end of the day (this is the GIANT thing I’ve learned):
Who the hell cares?
Quite recently and during the last few months, I started feeling poorly about myself and environment I was in. I was smiling but it felt only sincere when I was surrounded by people I genuinely liked. I was laughing – but sometimes even those moments felt hollow. I couldn’t quite understand what I was going through, but I had this huge epiphany literally seconds ago… who the hell cares? There is so much power in that statement.
I care. The people who matter care. Those who see the bigger picture of the work that I am doing care. Those who the work is benefiting, supporting, giving a voice to, they care. True, genuine, and supportive allies – they care. And sometimes all of those people who care arenotsitting at the same table as I am. Sometimes I’m the odd ball out, however, I have got to stop letting the folks who do not see the value in my work dictate my mood. I have to stop letting folks who have generationally always been in power decide how I feel every day. I have to deconstruct the thought that maybe my work does not matterbecause it does. My work is bigger than myself. My work is for Black girls who never thought they could be in a position of power. For Black folx who felt as though they were consistently climbing up stairs that had no final destination. For individuals of color who have been fighting a battle for years and still have not seen quite what they deserve. For young students, kids, teenagers, adults, that are members of an array of marginalized communities who are striving for success in a society that claims they will never make it there.
My work is for them. And although I am exhausted working this hard every single day – at the end of the day, my work matters. So, I will continue to be outspoken. I will continue to be a voice that empowers the voiceless to use theirs. I will continue to do this work if it means I get to see someone who traditionally was not, is not, and the society believes should not, walk across a graduation stage with a diploma in their hand.