Let’s call it what it is…

images
Found Here

In this day of age where information is available at our fingertips, There are still people that would rather make themselves look like fools rather than take a few seconds and Google.

I was not surprised by the president’s comment last week. In fact, because I made it a point to give people credit for speaking their mind, I chose to do so. Many people think the same, they just don’t say it.

I heard racist comments in various situations: as a cashier, as a student, as an employee and even as a commuter on the bus or the train. I was once told by a person that has the same skin color as me, the same hair texture and the same challenges that I face (as a woman, a woman of color,etc.) that I should go back and live in my hut in Africa. The women went further and stated that we eat raw meat jump from tree to tree like Tarzan. I recall maintaining my composure and recommending that the woman spends some time educating themselves. I even offered to buy her some African movies…

The point of me sharing this story is that I want to remind us all that we should not take things for granted. But most importantly, we must stand our ground and remember who we are, know our history and stand firm on our roots.

Our peace of mind is exposed to all types of interruptions; before we get on our phones, laptops, and computers, let’s remember the words of the great Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Only-in-the-darkness-can-you-see-the-stars
Found Here

 

Dear 2017

The word that keeps coming to me when I think of summing up 2017 is “Reset.”

2017 was my 11th year in the US. Towards the end of 2016, after the crying and the anger was dealt with, I realized that I fell off the wagon. Like anyone that falls off the wagon or forgets their dreams along with their journey, I caught myself asking “How did I get here?”

How did I gain so much weight? How did I get into so much debt? How did my thoughts become so toxic? When did my silence begin to oppress me? When did I stop making the best of everything? AND the list goes on…

I needed guidance so I went to the beginning…

infographic-the-10-commandments_2
Found Here

Quite simple rules for a happy life yet so hard to live by…

While I stumbled and fell multiple times,  I promised myself to remember that

  • God is my anchor, not my boss, not my friends or anything else that appears to make me lose my cool.
  • I have my pace; I can be happy about others success and not feel like a failure myself.
  • The sustainable and successful life that I am going for is a “crockpot” success, not a “microwave” process.

Because these goals are valid every minute of my life, I feel that RESET is a good way to describe 2017. Thank you for all the lessons 2017, Bring it on 2018 🙂

On holidays

If you are among those who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, please allow me to quote the Christmas song

“And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you”-Nat King Cole

If you do not celebrate at all, then I hope you still surround yourself with love and kindness.

As we get closer to 2018, I am among those that are thinking about what to focus on. I want my health to drastically improve in 2018, it is no longer a wish or a dream, it is a must. I am open to suggestion on how to go about it. I will be reading and studying in the next few days and I will update you all.

from a kind heart to yours.

Learning the hard way

Coming from a French-speaking country, I had to learn that if I am to learn, I must put away my fears of being ridiculed.  There was a woman back home that used to say that she does not get easily embarrassed because she fell in Assigame before. Assigame is the “big market” in ewe and it’s the busiest place in Lome and they are not too kind when you fall so that was the woman’s way of saying that she has been through the worse possible.

grand_marché_de_LoméfGrand Marche de Lome found here

I am sure every immigrant will have a similar story to mine. I realized at some point that if I wanted to learn, I had to put myself out there. I put myself where it is uncomfortable so I can push myself to face my fear of being ridiculed. I was part of a group and we were working on a project. There was a need for a volunteer to write the ideas that we were brainstorming and so I volunteered. Words were thrown out there that I had no idea how to write, so I did what I was thought since primary school, write it the way it sounds.  To give you an idea of how bad it was, I wrote “easter bonnie” instead of “easter bunny.”  lol! Like the woman I mentioned earlier, I had my own share of falls in Assigame so I finished what I started;  needless to say that I was ridiculed and called names. Nothing new there… What touched me was that one of our mentors got up and ripped the paper that I wrote on, then in front of me, he rolled it and put it in the trash can. I believe that it is one of the reasons why this keeps playing in my head, my feelings were hurt but I was more disappointed than anything else. If I get the chance to face that mentor, I would tell him that he was the worst bully of them all. I grew up knowing teachers that corrected mistakes, not to embarrass the student but to ensure that the mistakes do not get repeated. In this day of age where we need more tolerance in our lives, I would like to remind everyone that the United States of America is called a “melting pot” for a reason. People from different backgrounds merge into this country and build a home. So let’s lift each other up rather than break each other down, every chance we get.

Earlier in my experience here in the United States, my English 102 teacher was having a conversation with us and one of my classmates commented that our college was a community garbage because everyone is welcomed.  My teacher could have let that comment slide just like I witnessed many others do. But she used me as an example and asked me how many languages I speak. I told her 5 if I include the dialects that we speak in my country and English. The person who made the comment only spoke English. That teacher boosted my confidence that day. I am grateful that other falls prepared me for that moment where the mentor tried to make me feel small. I am grateful that it did not make me crawl back into my bubble. I learned what an Easter bunny was that day and how to write it.

Remember that we all have opportunities to be the rainbows in other people’s clouds, but we can also be the dark clouds if we choose to. I hope we choose to live intentionally 🙂

images
Found Here

 

Welcome to JFK Airport

It was Christmas eve 2006 when I landed in America. The food on the Air Maroc flight already did not agree with my stomach and I  had the winter coat that my uncle’s wife gave me in my carry on. Worried, tired, clueless, I claimed my bags, went through the customs and took a deep breath of relief when I saw my dad and my uncles.

Although they advised me to put on my coat, I did not zip it up. How bad can it be? after all, I lived in a tropical country all my life… It did not take long for me to realize that nothing is going to be the same. The simple wind chilled my bones from my toes to my skull. DJ Jacob feat Kaysha started playing in my head: ” on sait pas ou va, mais on y va quand meme…”

With my uncles’ chatter in the background, I watched the houses and the trees go by and I could not help but think…  I am going to be all right…