Featuring Chidera Agu, Owner/ Writer of WhatChiSaid
(noun.) A reason that you give in order to explain why something has been done, has not been done, or will not be done.
I have never been one to shy away from my reality, but for some reason I enjoy living in my imagination. I am forever young without a care in the world and my confidence is through the roof. People respect me and for once understand I am no threat to them, but a helping hand for them. But because this is just my imagination, I'm tempted like the temptations to stay around, but I'm quickly reminded I am my only girl. Reality for me isn't peaches and cream and daily I'm reminded of the 112 things I'd rather be doing, but I don't. Who's to say life is meant to be perfect or simply achieved? Who's to say we can't fall short just a little when things become tough? I want to say I'm hurting, but "I'm fine" is much easier. These are the excuses we make and every excuse comes with a price sis.
What do you do when how you want life to go and how life is actually going doesn’t align? Do you do what you can to have your reality and wants reflect one another or do you turn away from that potential and attempt to justify why that is okay? Life is meant to be lived. We exist naturally, we overcome naturally, and regardless of our circumstances...life goes on with or without our permission. We exist regardless, we should make the most out of every day. Believe it or not, our existence matters. We are all destined to be great, but history has not been kind to people who resemble us. We tend to have to assimilate, work twice as hard, and be overlooked although we are usually more than qualified. On top of the excuses the world makes trying to justify their disdain for our people, we make excuses for ourselves. Limiting our potential that is boundless in actuality. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to excuses but they are no longer a friend of mine. (@whatchisaid_)
Black excuses aren't just about racial identity, but about feeling as if we don't belong because we don't see it happening in the future. It's almost like a gamble because we are trying to guess what things will be like. We start questioning our next move and without a doubt we are afraid to pursue that one very thing that could potentially be the best thing to ever happen to us.
The biggest excuse I see black people use falls under imposter syndrome. I’m using the word excuse very lightly because although there is some ownership we need to take in it, the world has unfortunately drilled this into our mentality. Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". In other words, we feel we don’t belong in certain places although we are qualified. I studied chemical engineering in school, I was the only black woman in about 80 to 90 percent of my classes. Although we all applied to my school the same way, we all took the same classes, same test, and so forth I couldn’t overcome the feeling that I wasn’t supposed to be there. I even had professors ask me if I walked into the right class. I felt like a black imposter in white spaces. Society has led me to believe that people who look like me can only do so much, they want us to believe we are imposters. As black people, we usually find ourselves in predominantly white spaces. We only make up about 13% of America so it’s almost inevitable being the only one or one of few. We tend to find ourselves in situations with people who don’t understand or respect our culture, they make us feel like their lack of awareness is our fault and that we are a burden. As a result, we feel as if we don’t belong. If you find yourself in a space that you genuinely earned- as in you took the same test as everyone else, filled out the same application, or took part in the same interview process you are not an imposter. You are qualified and belong. That imposter syndrome mindset limits us from challenging ourselves, it makes us doubt our full potential and whether we are able to do more with our lives. Once you get past the mental hurdle of self-doubt that the world is constantly trying to force on us, you’ll start to realize there is no such thing as a limit and we are bound by nothing. We are boundless. (@whatchisaid_)
Another excuse I frequently hear is, “it’s not the right time” or “I’m not where I’m supposed to be yet for x-y-z to happen.” I feel as if people forget that there can be more than one truth. You may not be where you want to be yet, but you can still take the steps today to prepare for the life you are trying to create. Same with the, “It’s not the right time.” Time is fleeting. If the idea came across your mind, then something subconsciously in you feels that it is doable now. Your subconscious is letting you know that there is no better time than now. I feel as if we say it’s not the right time because the idea of starting is more comforting than actually starting. The idea that we will eventually start something gives us a false sense of productivity because although we aren’t working on it now, we will be ergo we are doing something. There is no better time than the present. It’s a gift..literally.
Don’t be afraid to unbox it. (@whatchisaid_)
And when I say I am most comfortable in my imagination, I definitely know I never want to feel empty again and so now I am aware of my gifts, my time, my challenges and even my black excuse.