One of the many things I've learned during the pandemic is the importance of pursuing my goals, no matter the challenges, despite what others think and regardless of the ill will of haters.
I would often blame my previous employers for sabotaging my growth opportunities. But over the past year I’ve realized that I was in fact sabotaging myself by staying and believing that I was only worth what they offered. These organizations did not deserve my talents, my knowledge, my skills, my potential, or my dreams. Despite my recognition of the unequal relationships, I had between my former employers, I remained grateful for the opportunity to learn these life lessons. But even with lessons, we must know when to let go, and grow.
I would often think that having non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and having to incorporate treatment into my work schedule, would foreshadow everything I've brought to the table. But interestingly I was sometimes treated with hate, jealousy, discrimination, harassment, and envy. I couldn’t quite understand why people would be so intimidated by me, the worker that leaves early and often for NHL treatments. But it finally clicked during the pandemic, as I had time to reset, that despite all the challenges I’ve seen in myself, those people were being blinded by my resilience, knowledge, strength, determination, and potential. In other words, the haters could care less about my medical diagnosis, I was a threat...period.
I stepped out on faith during a pandemic and decided to pursue some of my goals. It just felt right, scary, but right. I wrote and self-published my first book, created my own businesses, continued to pursue my Doctoral degree, started a fellowship, and just started being the best version of myself! Yes, there have been roadblocks, challenges, visits to the ER, melt downs, headaches, etc. But I managed to still pursue things that make me happy as a person. I’ve learned when to say “NO”, when to say “Yes” and when to rest.
My goal in life has never been to become a millionaire and travel to space. I want to be a change agent that makes a difference not just in my life but the lives of others. I’ve earned the opportunities to do everything I dreamed of and more, without fame or fortune. Changing the world isn’t always done with physical contributions. Sometimes it takes strong voices, believers, and good troublemakers, just look at some of the many historical voices of change like Fannie Lou Hammer, Shirley Chisholm, and Ida B. Wells.
I still have more dreams, goals, and moves to make, but the difference between now and everything before the pandemic is my vision is getting clearer, my confidence is stronger, my humility stays constant, and my empathy never alters. I no longer wish for a seat; I’ve made my own table.