Inspirational Quick Speak is a blog that focuses on staying positive, motivated and trying to always see the better half in all situations. Most people only see things in black and white, but I love to waddle through the grey. Yes, it does exist! We experience so much in our lifetime, and even more with the youth of today. Young people who have experienced foster care no longer have to feel like no one understands what it’s like. I do. I’ve seen, I’ve heard, it’s happened to me too. This blog is for me to reach the other youth who are like me, and I like them. We’re in this together! With great trials, there will be tribulations, but staying positive and motivated pushed me to do better and to be better because I already knew what the statistics would label me, so I decided to label myself first!
Okay so to be completely honest, I thought this was all going to be a breeze because I would be doing nothing more than what I always wanted to do after a long day, chill at home. However, this quarantine has been nothing short of a headache. I know for my household, we were all go-getters. Always up at 6:00AM getting ready for the day, whether it was a 2+ hour workout for my brother or a 30-minute talk or read before the day started. This was an unspoken routine that we always found ourselves slipping into in our household.
The minute the Governor issued the Stay-At-Home Order, I knew this wouldn’t be as easy for others as it was for me. See, I’m an introvert. This means that I gather my recharge from being alone. My solitude is my safe haven. As for extroverts, they’re the complete opposites. They are their lowest when they are alone and get recharged from the company of groups. This isn’t to say they are more social, it’s what they are comfortable with. I guess as introverts, we prefer to be left alone with our thoughts to sort them out alone. The worst part about it though, is that I still have this overwhelming sense of anxiety even when things are okay.
What I discovered early on was that routines were helpful to cope with the stress and anxiety of quarantine, and I think routines can help all of us! Routines help people cope with their anxiety and depression and live their everyday natural lives. I spend a lot of time making sure that I meet my objectives daily, at around the same time so that my day can run smoothly, and nothing gets too built up for me at once, thus, causing an anxiety attack. My anxiety affects my breathing, muscular system and mostly, my emotions.
Times like these require routines! Our minds can wander and our emotions will flare, but as long as we keep close to what every day was like before quarantine, the better the chance we will come out of this better than before. Take this time to be better and to do better. You have the time. Remember to wake up, eat, and clean yourself and your home as you would any other day. Develop better habits and keep the Peace. Stay safe and healthy!
Online Classes: Finish Strong
As I started talking with my friends and family about the Stay at Home Order, I began to realize things about them that I hadn’t noticed before. For instance, the fact that no one is reaching out to each other to just check on them is insane in my opinion. We have all of this free time to contact our loved ones, yet we haven’t. Some have even used the excuse that the Quarantine was getting to them, which I am not judging. I just don’t understand why no one is trying to check on everyone. Some people may have struggled with mental health or physical health complications that even their closest friends and family wouldn’t know about. This is the time to do what you have been saying you would do for the longest. Some of y’alls grandparents haven’t heard your voice over the receiver in years. Reach out and let the people you love know that you are thinking of them!
Now please don’t get me wrong. I do understand this was a difficult transition for a lot of people. It was hard for me too. For one, I was enrolled for in-person classes and had to then turn my Dance and Philosophy classes into online instructions. Can you image learning to dance virtually? Yes? Well for this class it didn’t go the way I would’ve hoped or imagined. We had to write a 7-page paper… for an African Dance Class. Now, I won’t lie, I did learn some interesting facts about Benin, Africa, and Marie Base. Nonetheless, its purposes were served.
On the other hand, my Philosophy class was very difficult to transition to online. This class was already a little difficult for me as an in-person class. I asked as many questions as possible to grasp the concepts before midterm rolled around, but failed the test.
So as the days rolled closer and closer to the Final Exam, COVID-19 has put everything on hold. Now this once tolerable class moved to online and was even more confusing than before. I wasn’t able to ask the questions that I needed to ask and have that in-person relationship the professor. We really needed the in-class discussion to understand the material! Teaching myself logic was difficult and made preparing for the final exam even more stressful. The notes I took seemed endless and the questions in the group chat were redundant. But I still pushed on and tried my best! So in the end, he ended up using a curve to grade the final exams after receiving many emails from students needing help comprehending the material. I passed the class with a C.
The moral of my story was that I haven’t allowed the Pandemic to push what’s important to me aside. I still made it a thing to reach out to my loved ones. Especially those I know may be suffering from the anxiety of not being around people, such as those get it from being around too many people. I also want to make a point that I stayed focused my studies, even though it was really difficult to move to online classes. My grades didn’t stop being a priority because school didn’t stop. Although we have to stay home, life doesn’t stop. I did my best to finish strong.
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." -Vince Lombardi
Every day is a new challenge, a new beginning, a new day full of opportunities. You take your losses with a grain of salt, similarly to those of harsh words said from a hater. I dislike seeing faces full of defeat when a plan carefully thought out wasn’t executed that way you assumed it to go. Just because you planned something doesn't mean it is meant to be.
Just as a relationship that started from high school and ended in college. Perhaps even the recipe you followed to the “t” and it still wasn’t great. Maybe a test that you studied all week for and just knew you were going to pass, until you didn’t. That’s what I mean, we can prepare for it all...still does not equate to Must be fulfilled.
Your success should be taken from the journey. Not whether or not a plan was fulfilled. Plans can change even as they’re happening. They’re not concrete; there’s always room for improvement as long as you continue the ride. The real learning happens from the journey you took to get to your successes.
Everyone looks at success differently as well. For instance, person A thinks that success is measurable by the amount of zeros in the bank account, opposed to person B who believes that success is the knowledge you received along with the money made and the business grew. I identify more with person B because I believe there is true value in the journeys you travel on, because those are what truly teach you about who you are, what you’re capable of and where your ideas are capable of going.
I know that I may not have succeeded in the area I wanted, but I know it wasn’t a lost cause because along the way, I learned more about myself. I learned which parts of my plan need revising or this effort needs to be more pressed here and this one thing is misplaced here, etc. The point is to go through the seasons and to take at least 2 things from it.
That recipe that failed, it might've been too dry, now you know that your stove gets hotter quicker so adding more water is best, or maybe that those two spices taste great together. Most people only look at the negative side of things when a plan doesn’t go as planned. The thing that I want others to start realizing is that this wasn't for “nothing.” You got a lot out of this than you may believe or understand initially.
For instance, a school exam that you failed. It was down to two questions and you chose option C, over D and that’s what cost you the passing grade. You know that the answers could both be relevant and true to the question, however there’s one point that you missed. Now you know that difference between the two for the final.
We must look at every situation as that. You may not have been able to take away from it what you wanted, but at least you left with more understanding or knowledge. If you choose to not do so, you will continue to look at the world as half empty instead of half full. You see it as empty because you’re trying to pour into the world what you are drinking from yourself to get through your days. If the glass was half full, you would have understanding that you were the one refilling the cup from your already overflow to those that need it, because you are able, due to your overflow.
Feed yourself before you can feed the people. Teach yourself before you try to lead a village. Become one with yourself before you try sand tell someone about themselves. Be who you want others to be. Do what you want others to do. Take from each encounter a lesson that was learned. Go forth in the world and take from it always, but remembering to give and replace what you’ve chosen to cherish. Your daily choices are what serves your daily purpose. Your daily thoughts, turn to daily actions. Those actions create reactions and thus a cycle begins. You can break those cycles. You can change your outlook on life. You can choose to be happy again, to not let the negativity eat you away and manifest within this time. You can choose to rise above and become greatness. It is your choice to look at success and grade it as you go. Success is how you look at a situation. Doing everything right, doesn’t guarantee a win and doing everything wrong doesn’t necessarily guarantee it won’t work. How you say? I was one of the math students following the formula incorrectly with the right variables and still got the problem correct. Yes, by chance it was correct but nothing was guaranteed for me. Just like that exam you thought you were just going to pass and you flew thought not believing how easy it was for you. Yeah, that passing grade wasn’t for you, because you missed the mark someone else. Find it and then yiu will be successful because that mistake won’t be made again.
There is not competition when you are manifesting your own lane. When your morning starts, your first thoughts, energies and emotions will be the first things to manifest into the beginning of your 24-hour cycle. No matter how good or bad your day is, wake up each day and be thankful that you still have one.
Some mornings when my boyfriend and I awake, we start of by naming 10 things that we are grateful for while trying not to repeat the same things. Eventually, it gets tricky trying to think of only ten measly things to be grateful for. But at number 5, there are starting to be long pauses in-between answers. Here, why don’t we give it a try, but for time and reader purposes, let’s try only 5.
NAME 5 THINGS THAT YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR, except for the mobility of your limbs, organs functioning, and for awaking every day. Go!
I am GRATEFUL for the mental strength that I have, to be able to maintain control of my actions and feelings more than most people.
I am GRATEFUL that I have a wonderful team of individuals who are selfless that I have the opportunity to work closely with helping others.
I am GRATEFUL that I can be looked at as a leader because that position is a prestigious position and it carries a lot of weight but, for that I am grateful because I am elevating myself.
I am GRATEFUL that We have a platform available for all of the Youth to connect with each other and vibe and share experiences to bring closure for some and understanding for others.
I am GRATEFUL that I am I stopped waddling in the comfort-ability of the pain that was all too familiar whilst missing out on my happiness, although I am still working on this one.
How did you do? Was it tricky to say them? Were others easier to think of? Why do you think that is?
One thing is that all of these came with a choice. I chose to find the good when I may be feeling down and seeing all bad. I am choosing to make the next day different than the one from the last. I don’t like certain routines. I don’t like being stuck in cycles because eventually you don’t realize how long you have been circling and missing out on everything else surrounding you.
The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up. A loss does not automatically equate to defeat; you must have learned from it because you know not to do it the next time. You feel uneasy in this situation, you know what not to do so it does not surface again. You don’t like feeling down so stop doing things that make you unhappy and replace that examples variables with any other emotion and/or thing.
So, think back to the activity. What thoughts, energies or manifestations are you carrying with you? Does it reflect what you were intending to project into the world? Are you truly grateful or skimming through your blessings and choosing which ones you would prefer to flaunt and keep near and dear? Be careful, never take anything for granted. What is here one moment can be gone the next, just as quick.
Self-image is one of the most important characteristics of ourselves that we need to improve daily on. I, contrary to belief believe that having too much “love” for yourself can be a bad thing. These people we call conceited. A self-image, by definition, is in its most basic form an internalized mental picture/idea you have of yourself. It's how you think and feel about yourself based on your appearance, performance, and relationships that consistently impact your outlook on life as well as your level of happiness and fulfillment. See guys, even Harry Potter, though a fictional character, understands. He said, “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.” More often than not, our enemies tend to be the reflection of ourselves. What I mean by that, is that we are our biggest supporters whilst being our biggest bully.
We criticize ourselves so much that it has now become more of a habit and harder to recognize when it is happening. Sadly, we are the ones that bully us the most. We do so, by comparisons. Everyone has compared themselves to something before. I won't say how often, because it varies by person, but what I will say, is that, either way you do it, stop it. The more conscious you become of your actions, the more control and confidence you will possess. I say this because when we lack in one area, we pull from other areas in our life to fill that one gap that we NOTICE. Failing to realize that all we did was pull that energy and attention from one side of us to the other. Thus, filling up one gap, whilst leaving many other gaps now lacking. This is the glass half full/empty theory.
Everybody is literally different. Even twins! Yes, there are fraternal and identical twins, but did you know that even identical twins aren’t truly identical; they’re similar. From a quick google search, I found that,” studies have concluded that, even though the fingerprints of identical twins may be similar, they are not identical. They share the same genetic makeup because they were fertilized in the same zygote (egg). This is also what makes us special as individuals. No one could ever replicate you. No one could ever be you. They may come close or do a real good job at copying who you are and what you look like, but there will always be something lacking. I speak so much of lacking because that is what we see from ourselves when we compare to others. That we’re lacking in height, weight or too much weight, hair length, eye color, body measurements (wait, bust, hips), lip, eye, and nose size/shape. I could go on and on with the things that I’VE WANTED TO CHANGE ON MYSELF.
We may have agreed on the things we want to change, or your list may have been shorter or longer than mine, but the point I want to really get at, is that these list need to no longer exist. We are all chasing beauty standards that are different standards of beauty defined by a variation of types of people. In the end, I realized that what I thought I wanted was impossible because I would never be happy with what I had as long as I cared that someone had something different. I also realized that the things I may want from someone else's body, is just the thing they HATE! This made me realize that the way I saw myself needed to be that of myself and not what I thought I was supposed to look like. I don’t want to dislike myself so much that I go under the knife and ruin something that was perfectly fine before. I often see the men and women that went to alter their bodies and ended up hating the post op. But this is what “YOU” truly wanted right? To be “beautiful” right? Is this it?
February 10, 2020
Oscar Wilde said, “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”
Growing up, as an adolescent, I would always look at my surroundings and analyze what it was that I noticed was different with me and my family to those around me. I would start first with their faces. The facial muscles always tell what it is that you may be truly experiencing internally but can’t figure out how to make your face match what you’re telling your brain.
Do these people genuinely seem happy or are they simply forcing fake smiles on their faces so that someone doesn’t say, “Hey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” Why is it that those phrases pull at our emotions so strongly? Those dreaded words that would release all that pain I had been forcing myself to swallow. But why? Just to torture myself so that I don’t have to say what I am feeling.
So, as I look across their faces, some of them I can see that light in their eye that sparkles when they smile, the heartiness of their laugh and the creases beside their eyes and mouth as they bare teeth to show that...they’re happy. But as I look at my own face, I saw tears well in the pools of my eyes as I searched for those same lines, but mine only showed around my mouth as a frown with no sparkles in my eyes and the slightest chuckles, very far from a hearty laugh.
So okay, I’m not as happy as they appear to be. But I wonder to myself, maybe they're just good actors, just as I. Just as those who pretended to care for me when I needed them most? I trusted the smiles and their laughs after my jokes, or was I desperate to believe it to feel better about my situation? Even now as I look back on old childhood photos, those same tears pool in the well of my eyes as I stare back at myself. I look so cute and innocent, I know, but take a deeper look. As I celebrate birthdays and family gatherings sharing memories, my eyes still show sorrow, darkness, emptiness, sadness, confusion, and a desperation for change.
As I continue, I look from their faces to the clothing and the way they carry themselves. Some show pride and some you can see defeat in the way they may slump as they stroll, maybe their clothes are tattered or unorderly. Some seem to wear things that didn’t fit, like me. Did they do it to follow a new trend or were they hand-me-downs, like mine? Was it by choice or not?
Something that I didn’t know would happen was me finding a deep interest in the social standards of society. What I didn’t know would happen was me being fascinated with Human Anatomy and Physiology. What I didn’t understand was that my surroundings, my environment would shape me, but only as far as I allowed it.
I was exposed to death at an early age, through family tragedies and through my mother working for the county morgue. I didn’t know that this would lead me to pursuing my Mortuary Science degree. I knew that if I didn’t wear the newest hottest stuff that I’d be bullied, what I didn’t know was that it would create character. It would push me to be more individualized and on my own current instead of trying to vibrate on someone else's when mine was meant for me and theirs for them.
Ever notice that when we try to be like someone else or we follow in the footsteps of a goal that we don’t have interest in, it never works. I found my purpose, my calling, in following myself and not attempting to be a person I am not. I would rather my baggage than that of another I am pretending to be. All this time, I was focusing on what I couldn’t control instead of accepting that this was my temporary reality, because I wouldn’t always be a defenseless child. The things that separated me from everyone else is what has shaped me and helped me realize that my uniqueness of my story is the blueprint for who I am and why I operate the way I do. I decided to take what was given to me and use it, just as scrap artists do with “trash”.
I know it may seem cliché to follow the “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Well, it’s true. Why self-sabotage? Why isolate yourself because you’re afraid of the what-ifs? You forgot to think about the positive what-ifs. Had you taken that leap back then, you wouldn’t have been turned down this road trying to find your way back, right? Everyone isn’t out against you, hoping for your failure. Your biggest supporter and your worse enemy are and will always be yourself. Only you may determine your abilities by how much you work for it or at it.
Take it from me, I know it is easier to keep screaming “Why Me?” when it seems like the world is against you. Maybe you’re looking at it with the wrong perspective. Why you? Because you made it about you. You chose this decision. You chose to give in. You chose to dwell on the negative and allow it to eat you alive. You also could have chosen to learn from what was happening around you and to look for answers instead of accepting your assumed fate. You may not have had control then or now, depending on who you are reading, but you WILL gain control now or in the future.
Keep holding on. You’ve made it this far for a reason!
January 15, 2020
“You don’t lose real friends or relationships when you stand up for yourself and set clear boundaries. You lose abusers and manipulators. A person in 2 months can make you feel what a person in 2 years couldn’t. Time means nothing, character does. Here’s the hard truth- It's’ your fault if you get hurt holding onto someone who’s shown multiple times that they’re not good for you.”
Contrary to popular belief, I believe that respect must be earned and not given. I grew up on the traditional old school reasoning that elders deserve kindness and respect no matter what and then that trickled down to respect everyone at all costs. I do not agree. I believe that no matter who you are, you will receive what you put out. This goes for family, friends, bosses, and strangers.
I do not agree with the mentality that I must always be courteous and willing to move at the sound of the finger snap, metaphorically speaking. Times have changed and we must change with it. We’ve found out that the only reason that Adults feels like respect should always be given and not earned is because that is what they are used to from their pasts. They have to give respect out of fear of retaliation. That fear no longer resides as deeply with us, so we must adapt.
There are people out there that have stolen from us, lied to us, and cheated on us; you really believe that we should just turn the other cheek? I say no because we are starting to teach people how to treat us. Now I understand that some of us are truly genuine people at heart and will do what’s right no matter what. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I do not condone violence or outright disrespect. However, for example, if you’re in a setting and you need help finding directions and you turn to an elder and that response is rude and snobby, I see nothing wrong with saying your thank yous’, if you got your directions but something needs to be said to that individual. That’s where I believe the change will begin, is forcing people to acknowledge their behavior by calling them out.
Learning to tell others about themselves and gaining your respect that’s rightfully deserved is one of the most difficult things to do as a millennial because we’re caught right in the middle of grown and childlike. We aren’t taken seriously and it’s time to change that. Adulting is real; just because your aged doesn’t mean you’re more knowledgeable, not to say we can’t learn from our elders because that’d be naïve to say, I am simply stating that we can learn from each other.
If we start looking at each other as loving humans who too are going through what I am going through, whom may be struggling but a different struggle than mine. Some of these attitudes and arguments could be prevented if we all understood that we are all dealing with things that aren’t easily shown so we should take a second and evaluate peoples remarks to our subtleness and kindness. If we do that then we can take a second to accept this attitude we were given, but now we have a better understanding that it is not necessarily me that’s upset this person and that their mind is probably occupied and being overwhelmed by the many thoughts our brain transcribes by the second.
January 8, 2020
“Sometimes, the fastest way to reach your dream, is to help someone else reach his or her dream.”
We, as a society needs to do better. We’re too focused on the wrong things, the surface things when we need to look deeper. There is more of those less fortunate than those whom are doing “okay” compared to those living “lavishly and comfortable”. Instead of helping those around us sharing wealth for the greater wealth there is, Life and Love. I know it may seem kind of cliché' or I a cliché' writer, but that would just add to the issue. Why is it annoying that I write to spread love and peace? That is what we are all craving, and all understandably need.
To fill those voids, we surround ourselves with things. We think that tangibility makes us feel better, more secure, I guess because its physical and we can clearly see it. Unlike the intentions of others or how they truly feel about us. So instead of surrounding ourselves with people, we choose objects because they can't hurt, lie, or cheat us. Just as we hold close to those objects, we should hold tight to our fellow neighbors.
As a mentor and mentee, I know the value in helping everyone to help reach their goals. I do not see myself as successful unless those around me are in wealth too. If not, then at that point I'd feel like those that are in control now. I disagree with the ideology that we need to help our own selves up by our bootstraps because no matter how you want to look at it, we have all received a break from someone down the line somewhere to be able to continue to push ourselves to where we are or want to be.
My success is by the hard work of myself and nothing of those around me that may have given me their last $5 so that I may have gas in my car. Maybe they gave me some money off a loan but didn’t want a repayment. I was blessed by others and I am grateful for it, so I give back. I also give back because I know how it feels to have nothing while watching someone right next to you is figuratively “eating good”.
Greed gets you nowhere but overfull, overstuffed, tired, sad, depressed and sometimes alone. We have to stop thinking selfishly. For ourselves, not sharing or thinking we’re above another as well as for others, whom feel like they deserve the life they live when they’ve tried to elevate themselves but because of the structure of our Government and Nation, can’t. It’s going to take a team effort to make a change. Fighting against each other only makes it harder for the majority, as the minority have no problem helping themselves get richer. Let's take notes lol.
Gabriella is currently pursuing her degree in Social Work at Wayne State University and is currently a student participating in the CHAMPS Program at Wayne State. Gabriella describes herself as an African American young woman pursing her goals and aspirations with continuous perseverance, hope, trust, love and faith within herself. Gabriella is a leader, innovator, advocate and proud to be a TNFC Youth Leader Ambassador!
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