Inclusion Affirmation

This month’s blog is an affirmation to my brothers and sisters who are waiting for someone to put them on, brought to you by 3 dreamers who all personify moving forward instead of waiting to be included.

Inclusion is the act of including: the state of being included. Included is to be part or whole of the group.

It’s time.

Make your own group.

I had a different blog for this month. I had it all mapped out in my brain to discuss women of color being included at the table. It was all in my head ready to word battle with the keys of my laptop. Then the past 2 weeks happened. I was pulled into some very emotional messiness that needed to be dealt with but dealt with and let go because “we” grown. That didn’t happen. We kept going over that ish day after day until 1 day of mess turned into 10 days of chaos. We lost mad focus. On top of that, I was given some information I didn’t want to hear about my future. I was once again not being given a seat at the table in my career. I went from disturbed to sad to angry to silent to WTF in about 3 minutes. Enough was enough. The time has come for me to shift my purpose. The time has come for people of color to stop waiting for someone to include us in the discussion, decision-making, movement, relationship, career move or whatever we say we want and need. It is time for us to start making our own tables for ourselves. Period.

1st affirmation

I started my Saturday with a bang. The weather was great for once in Philly (rough winter). I had a great workout and I had just ordered my Saturday goodness in a cup, green ginger smoothie, at the Sweet Treat Hut in West. I glanced at the menu board with the cartoon characters and I saw it.

“I have a chance to make a dream a reality.”

I read it again.

“I have a chance to make a dream a reality.”

Again…with feeling.

“I have a chance to make a dream a reality.”

So, what am I waiting on?

I spoke to the owner, Antwain Bullock, about that phrase. We chatted at length about taking the driver’s seat when making dreams come to fruition. Antwain spoke about the detractors who told him his vegan business would never work in the “’hood”. He scoffed at people who told him that Black folks would continue to eat at the spots with bad food choices that plagued our communities. Antwain said that a few wake up calls in his personal life forced him to reevaluate what was making him happy. He realized that his happiness was not earning goo-gobs of money or working at a company where he had a promising traveling job. It was taking control of his destiny and residually helping his people in the process.

He was fulfilling his dream and pulling people up with him. That was making him happy. Antwain left me with his a-ha moment. He was shopping and found a poster that said, “Your future is created by what you do today. Not tomorrow.” (Robert Kiyosaki)

He said he knew when he read that quote that it was imperative that he moved forward with his dreams. He had to make his own table. It was the only way. Dope. Total light bulb moment for me. So what am I waiting on?

2nd affirmation

I have a lifelong friend named Ebony who has a serious story to tell about the twists and turns in her life. She had a few bumps in the road growing up, but that just added fuel to her fire. Those roadblocks did not stop her from creating her own wonderful world. I have seen Ebony at times when she perceived she was at rock bottom and times when she appeared to be on top of the world. I talked to her today. We don’t talk often, but when we connect we pick right back up where we left off. We are typically good for quite a few laughs during our conversations, especially about old times and back home. I spoke to her about my need to chase my dreams and I reminded her that she taught me great lessons about self-worth and inclusion when we were in our 20’s.

Here’s how it went. Ebony was just starting off in the banking business as a teller. She knew being a teller was a way for her to get her foot into the door of the financial industry. She told me on her first day at work that she immediately saw her next career move and would apply for that job once she mastered her current position. I’m sure I told her to chill out and be happy to be a teller. She wasn’t buying that. Within a few weeks she was hired into that new position. I was shocked. In a couple of weeks after that, she told me she had already eyed her next career move. Again, I am certain I told her to be satisfied with her current job. It was a good one with decent pay. She didn’t listen to me (thank God) and within a couple of months she landed yet another promotion. Ebony continued to dare to be ambitious enough to move up in the financial sector. A couple of years later she called me and said she was writing her own salaries each time she was promoted. Like…she was given a straight up blank check. I was flabbergasted in my barren apartment trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents.

Ebony taught me in that moment to never wait for a hand to pull me to me dreams. Include myself. Yet, I continued to wait. Ebony did not. I was so totally wrong, however, I continued to wait…and wait…and wait for someone…anyone…to include me in my own dreams.

By the way, Ebony is now the Regional Vice President of a large financial firm! Just today she told me, “Soon to be Executive Director!!” Amen and Ashe

3rd affirmation

“Your calling will wake you up and ring the alarm of your spirit to do the very thing you’ve been dreaming of. So, get uP! Your purpose is calling YOU!” Withlove, Felicia

This was on my socials this morning—from 2 years ago. I said I was moving towards my dreams—2 years ago. I have done some great things within those 2 years, but 2 years, y’all? Damn… It’s time for me to wake up.

I leave us with this.

Carve your table now. Prepare for your dreams now. Bring your folding chair now. Include yourself now. Not tomorrow, 2 years from now or when that someone gives you permission to do so.

No one, absolutely no one, will include you in your own dreams. Include yourself. Start today. Time waits for no man. Stop staring at the screen and get uP! Right now. One love… Ashe

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