We

You and me

This team that forms we

We, overcome everything, un-stoppingly

We have been through it all

From childhood

Always getting up when we fall

We have endured

Even when in ourselves we were unsure

We

You and me

We have been through it all

But I assure you

That this team

Will come out standing tall

Hustle

My career striving has been 15 years in the making

I’ve moved mountains, only to have more placed in front of me

I’ve been homeless, kicked out by a drug-addicted, manic-depressive mother at 17

I struggled through that, got two jobs and still my dreams were pressing me

Went to community college, survived DV

Made it into undergrad and graduated despite things

Got a DUI, bounced back

Grad school’s where I’m at

And now, yet again, despite intentions

Messed up systems keep pushing me back

They won’t hold me back

I’ve come too far

So I’ll do what I have to do

Sleep in a car

Take two steps back

But nothing will stop my drive to live a life from helping people

Like me and you

Privilege

It’s not fair

Your privilege is not fair

I am reminded every time

I feel like you’re up there and I’m down here

All because of your white skin and blonde hair

You go to school as a norm

I go to school cause I struggle

It’s easy for you to perform

It’s hard because I hustle

You’ve never had to want for more

I want more because I’ve never had it

Working two jobs, school and it still not being enough

You are handed freedom, I have to grab it

Your micro-aggressions and assumptions

Remind me of what I don’t have

But the genetic makeup in my body

I wouldn’t trade it back

Rites of Passage for People with Passion

rite

Brené Brown wasn’t lying when she said, “When you love something so much, you are willing to eat the shit sandwich that comes with it.”

Basically, she was saying that every profession has a shitty side. If you are truly passionate about whatever it is that you pursue, then you are more than willing to eat the shit sandwich that no one else will. They just aren’t as committed. It’s a dreadful thing for them, but an opportunity to jump at for you.

In lay terms, it’s being happy to be Paris Hilton’s rug that she walks all over –in hopes that Kim Kardashian will be a household name 10 years down the line.

My journey to my dream has been a 10-year shit sandwich in the making.  A triple-decker, overstuffed sandwich that I’ve been all too happy to eat.

They aren’t lying when they say it takes 10 years to master something, from being a celebrity to being a therapist.

This, is my passion.

I have a long way to go still, but I am just now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And even though it’s like a grain of salt in the night, being able to see my goals manifesting into reality is so, so rewarding.

I got my first taste of surreal-ness when I was sitting in a Starbucks using the Wi-Fi to apply for graduate school in social work.

I was like, “I’m here. Am I actually doing this?” The fact that I was even going to be seriously considered as a graduate candidate tasted so delicious to me.

And I’m having that same feeling right now. I’ve been so caught up with keeping up –mid-terms, finals, breathing –that I didn’t have a chance to sit back and see what I have become.

All this pressure and I haven’t combusted, so that must mean I’m making diamonds…right?

Today, I realize I am becoming the woman I aspired to be when I was 13-years-old. Today, I am manifesting into the passionate, strong, independent, justice-seeking leader that I looked up to so much.

I looked at my peers around me in my adolescence –Channing, LaRayia and others –and wondered why I was so infatuated with them. I mean, I love women, yes, and these people are beautiful, but there was something more entrancing than that going on. They were inspiring, they were the souls my soul aimed to elevate to (and beyond).

It just never felt right before. When is my time?

I would say to myself, “Amber, you want this so bad but you’re not acting on it, you’re still being shy.”

My body told me that when my time had come it would fall into place so easily.

Graduate school was the lubrication that transitioned me from contemplating to acting.

Now, in the busiest month of February, as I am writing scripts for LGBT awareness events that I’m hosting, pulling together vendors for Domestic Violence workshops and advocating for what I believe in –online, offline, in school, protesting in the streets –I realize…. I am my own inspiration now.

I’m not fully at my goal yet, but I look at me and I make me proud.