Hey Family! How are you today? Yesterday I was telling ya'll how tired I was, and I still am a little bit, but I'm starting to feel a lot better. Pray for me ya'll, I need to find balance. I gotta be honest (as usual), I'm a little nervous about today's lesson because I know a good amount of ya'll won't agree with me. But I'm going to say it anyways. BUT keep in mind, I'm not speaking in absolutes, take it with a dose of balance.
So growing up, my mother was always (and still is) very particular about the way we represent ourselves in the world. I mean the way we talked, the way we dressed (down to the undergarments), and the way we behaved was always under scrutiny. I remember she use to say "When you're out there, you represent me. Don't make me look bad", she would also say "If you miss-behave out there, people aren't going to say that's a bad child, they're going to say I didn't raise you right". Ya'll that used to get on my nerves because I'm like "ain't nobody gonna say that! My actions are on me not you". COULD YOU BELIEVE that one day, I'm at work, and this old lady pulls me to the side and she says to me "when you get off today, I want you to go home and tell your mother that she did a good job raising you. You are an exceptional young woman." My mouth dropped ya'll... BECAUSE.... this is the first time my mother's warning materialized. I can't even tell you how many times this has happened to me since. Just about a month or so ago while I'm at work waitressing, I had a table of old folks. As one of them was headed down the stairs, she grabs my arm and says "Tell your mother she raised you right. She did a GOOD job with you." I'm almost 30 years old and they're still giving this woman credit for how she raised me! And that brings me to today's lesson:
YOU REPRESENT SOMETHING/SOMEONE, THINK ABOUT THE ONES COMING BEHIND YOU!
Ya'll ever be watching the news and you hear a CRAZY STORY and you're in your head like "Please don't be black! PLEASE don't be black. PLEASE DON'T BE BACK!", or whatever your race may be? It's almost as if , "If this criminal is my race, it's going to look bad on all of us." Why? ALL OF US DIDN'T DO IT! It's just that one deranged/troubled person. So whhhyyyyyy does it matter if they are our race? Well, because no matter how much we want to be "our own person" separate from anything.... we represent something or someone. We all represent the country we were born in, the town we grew up in, and the family we were raised by. We are all in the Olympics of life representing various groups. If you are in a fraternity or sorority, you represent your organization. If you went to a college, you represent that school. If you hang with a group, you represent them. If you are married/in a relationship you represent your significant other. If you consider yourself a Christian, you represent Christ. I KNOW YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON! But you still represent all of your affiliations.
So what does that mean for you?
This doesn't have to mean anything to you actually. And judging by the way the world is, it clearly doesn't mean anything to a lot of people. You are free to move about your life however you want, regardless of what and who you are representing. It doesn't have to matter to you at all, and to a certain degree... it shouldn't. But that doesn't negate the fact that regardless of how you feel about it, and regardless of what you do, you still represent something or someone. What it means to me is that I must carry myself well. No, that doesn't mean I can't make mistakes or that I have to be perfect. Unselfishly, I want to represent my tribes well and I want to make it easier for the people who come behind me.
When I get to the career I'm working towards, I want the world to know that HAITI produces good fruit. I want the world to see what it looks like for the Lord to have your back. I want the world to know that a black woman, that an immigrant, that a -whatever I represent- can and will conquer the industry. And, I am so grateful for those who went before me, because they have done it and done it well. I now have an easier route to get there. I already know it's possible, because of those who have already done it before. But there are certain spaces that others have come before me and didn't care that they represent a group. And because of their actions, my pathway is a lot more difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.
Yesterday I told you that I started a new job. Well, the other day one of the customers pulled me to the side and said "congratulations". I asked "what for?" She responded "For being the first black woman I've ever seen working here." I said, "Wow, I didn't know that but thank you". Now I have not verified this, but everyone I've asked said "I think she's right actually". So in the event that that is true (I was already going to do a great job) I am now mindful that I gotta represent because if I do a great job, it'll make it a little easier for the next sista they want to hire. If I SUCK or act like my mama didn't raise me right, then what do you think is going to run through their heads the next time a black woman applies to this job? Although it SHOULDN'T affect their decision... it will, it will definitely play a role even if ever so subliminally in the back of their heads. I GOT TO REPRESENT.
Remember in the beginning when I said "take it with a dose of balance"? Don't go walking on eggshells because you're afraid to make a misstep. Go on about your business. The reality is, as long as you have good integrity, a good attitude, a good work ethic, and are kind.... you're already doing a great job representing your tribes.
Now when my mother finds out about good things I've done or good decisions I've made, I hit her with this line "What you thought mommy? I'M DENISE'S DAUGHTER!" She always gets a kick out of that one. Oh oh! And when I see people acting wild, I'll say "MMM, my mama did not raise everybody." That is just so funny to me! I heard my friend Anita say that one time and I put it in my arsenal ever since lol! Ohk ohk, I'm just rambling now. Let me go'n and get ready for work.
Ya'll remember what I said, don't go out there scared to make a mistake, but just don't forget, you got to represent!
I love ya'll FOR REAL!
Lighting up the woods, one Syllable at a time