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Don’t Put Your Labels On Me – Part II

Don’t Put Your Labels On Me – Part II

Here we are yet again… *sigh*

I’ve had multiple instances in the past couple of weeks where someone (in this case WASP / White Anglo Saxon Protestant female manager bolstered by another authoritative WASP woman) automatically assumed I was lying and tried to “catch” me by offering up what they saw as “proof”. I had to write detailed explanations of the circumstances, justify myself and provided my own absolutely irrefutable proof that I was indeed being ethical and truthful from the very beginning. (I.e. I shut this mess down quickly with perfect tact, professionalism and screen grabs.) This was followed by the most insulting five words I’ve heard in recent memory, “Thank you for your honesty.”

Thank you for your honesty?! That insinuates that you assume that everything I say and/or do is fabricated until you feel you have sufficient proof that I’m telling the truth. This coming from the same non-POC people who, when the tables are turned, and I KNOW that non-POC has glaringly lied through their perfectly veneered teeth, tell me to “assume positive intent” or that I “misunderstood” what they said/did/asked/instructed/demanded. I am positive that it was intended to make me out a thief of time, a fabricator of salacious falsehoods and unethical to boot. Nothing there to misunderstand.

To compound all of this and add insult to injury, the earlier exchange is later followed by a backhanded compliment of a recorded WebEx presentation I did 3-4 weeks ago saying, “… it was very professional and easy to follow. I was very impressed with your presentation skills…”. There again are the micro aggressions.

It is automatically ASSumed that we are lying. It is automatically ASSumed that, despite our experience and education, we don’t have the same or better skill set than our white counterparts. And when we prove we ARE telling the truth and we DO have the knowledge and expertise, they are “impressed” with our professionalism and presentation skills. You ASSume because of my milk chocolate hued skin, my Afrocentric name and my love of head wraps that I couldn’t possibly be poised and polished and able to lead, teach, and inform the masses, let alone the white masses. I have to prove to you beyond what is expected of my white counterparts that I AM and that I CAN.

This is what it is to be black in Corporate America. This is what it is to be black in America, period.

#staywoke #resist #DiaryOfAMadBlackProfessionalWoman

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Confession is Good for the Soul They Say…

Confession is Good for the Soul They Say…

2015 brought major changes for me as I worked to discover my voice as a designer and create my brand. I put out the first two collections of my designing career, Eclipse & Safari, which was a very scary experience. It wasn’t frightening in the sense that I was worried about them being commercially successful or not; though profitability is always a part of it. I was more so concerned about staying true to my vision for each line and not bowing to the pressure of trendiness; I concerned about designing and crafting a product that was unique and unlike anything else; I was concerned about making high quality pieces that when I stepped back would give me contentment and personal fulfillment, as each and every piece I make has a little bit of my heart and soul in it.
I found that my fears were valid but misplaced. I think every designer, every entrepreneur, that has a passion for their art, faces these same pressures. There’s the frustration of submitting your work, your unique vision to the masses and getting some really positive feedback but that feedback doesn’t equate to sales. Then there’s the times when there’s no feedback at all, neither positive nor negative and you’re left staring at Instagram waiting for the likes to come in, wondering what you’ve done wrong. You begin to question whether or not you’re putting out a good product and if you should chuck it all in the waste bin and focus on your day job. You’re bleary-eyed, depressed and despondent only wanting to be liked on social media and seriously thinking about acquiescing to social media influences, jump on the trend train and make the same mass produced pieces as the big box stores. (No shade implied or intended)
This was me for part of 2015. I had some commercial success. I had my designs featured in a local small boutique in Houston, I had a few discussions with some stylist out of New York but I didn’t see the type of success I really wanted. I got depressed for a few months, I stopped designing, I stopped even wearing my own work. I was in a place of pity and self-loathing. But lucky for me that I have an AWESOME support system of family and incredibly close friends who are prayer warriors and realist who brought me out of my funk with real talk and encouraging words.


I realized I hadn’t failed as a designer, I hadn’t failed as a business owner, I hadn’t failed at anything simply because I made the effort and put myself out there. I had put my heart and soul into my work and put it out for the world to judge; I remembered 2 Timothy 1:7, “God did not give us spirit of timidity but one of power, of love and of self-discipline”. Once I remembered who I was and to whom I belonged, new opportunities came my way. My pieces can now be found not only on my website, T. Nicole Designs but also on BeLuxLife!

So while 2015 was a year of trial and error, learning and faltering, it was a year that I’m grateful for. I learned quite a bit about solidifying my vision and finding my voice as a designer. I learned to be patient with myself, as the kind of success I’m looking for doesn’t come overnight. It is earned through prayer, faithfulness, diligence and fortitude.

It’s perfectly ok to go against the grain because being different is what sets me apart. So I’ll continue to push forward, creating jewelry and accessories that are inspired and unique. Because while everyone else is singing the harmony I’ll be the one belting out a melody all my own. Here’s to a brand new year filled with unforgettable experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Inspiration, Work Life

 

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Not Now Does Not Mean Not Ever

Not Now Does Not Mean Not Ever

What do you do when you come to the realization that you have arrived at a place in your career when you have no desire to be in management? We’re told via succession planning and the seen potential in us by others, that we are management material. Management is always conveyed as the ultimate goal of any role, to be in charge of and over others. But the looks of disbelief that come when you tell your supervisor/manager that have no passion or desire to move into management are staggering. They look at you in disbelief, dumbfounded at your words, and as if you have taken temporary leave of your senses; like you are lazy and lacking in ambition, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Inspiration, Work Life

 

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Bowed But Not Broken… Tried But Not Defeated

Hey there my Lovelies! As another work week draws to a close I breathe a sigh of relief and of disappointment. This week has held pain and upset that has shaken me and nearly broken my will. Yet here I am, fingers flying across my ergonomic keyboard still here.

So I went to one of my routine 3 month follow-ups with my Rheumatologist on this past Tuesday and since she saw me last I had been hospitalized due to my chronic asthma and a subsequent lung infection. True the infection took more than a month to get over and I felt like something I had pulled off the bottom of my shoe but I was still standing. Upon hearing this, she promptly and unceremoniously said that she couldn’t treat me anymore; that her medicine/treatment had nearly killed me twice (I think she was being a bit overly dramatic but then again… it isn’t like she was lying I was REALLY sick) and that I would have to wait until medicine could catch up with as complex of a case as I am.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Please Come In and Have a Seat

Happy Wednesday/Hump Day my Lovelies!!

Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in what the world thinks about who and what we are and in never stopping moving, that we don’t take the time to slow down and really have an introspective look at who we know us to be.  Like out of one of those dramatic thrillers were the main character comes home after evading arrest and assassins to find the villain sitting in the dark their favorite chair.  He tells him to come and have a sit, motioning with his gun to an adjacent chair and our protagonist wearily slinks over and cautiously sits.  The villain goes into this deep monologue and in it dark truths are revealed that causes him to doubt everything that has happened, everything he thinks and the motives of those around him.   It’s time to have that conversation with yourself.  It is past time for you to stop running from all of those things that you have been avoiding and hiding from and face the parts of you that scare and frighten you.  You never know… you may end up the wiser for it.

Blessings and Happiness

T. Nicole

 

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Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Happy Sunday my Lovelies!

It is a day to marvel at, as everyday is.  Sunday always seems to recharge my spirit and gives me perspective over the previous week.  Y’all know that I have been going through, that my health hasn’t been the best, that my mobility and independence has been markedly decreased.  Nonetheless I am grateful for His grace which has given me a reasonable portion of health and the strength to endure.

Ok so on to the randomness that is me! Y’all know I am quite random and silly, odd and fanciful. I find entertainment and am tickled pink by the most mundane and weird things. I love cartoons, at least those with adult humor that is gratefully lost on children. Some of my favorite ones are those ones from my youth. Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, X-Men, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes ( a throwback huh? LOL). But one that holds a special place in my heart and memory is Ren and Stimpy! It was raunchy and off-colored, disturbing and utterly stupid but made me laugh every time! So, this is my theme song and it will keep me smiling all day. Find whatever brings you joy today and those moments of happiness as they are fleeting.

Ren and Stimpy- Happy Happy Joy Joy

Happiness and Blessings Always

T. Nicole

 

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Stay In Your Lane

 

      When does the status quo become a bore to you?  When does the same routine day in and day out become monotonous and you finally say that enough is enough? It has been said that the only constant thing in life is change.  I couldn’t tell you who said it, why they said it or when, but it definitely rings true. Life is a series of hills and valleys, ups and downs, periods of joy and sadness.  Have you ever watched the Olympics Track and Field competition?  I don’t mean the 100 m or 400 m, hurdles or high jump; there is an event called the Steeplechase. It is a 3000 meter race where each lap has four barriers and one water jump at the back-end of it.  Each runner has to complete 7 laps, meaning they have to clear 28 barriers and seven water jumps.  The barriers do not fall over if the runner hits them and they are able to get over the barrier by any means; stepping on top of them, jumping over them, however they cannot negotiate them by going around them.

      The athletes have to focus on what is ahead and be aware of the other runners in relation to where they are.  Life is just like the steeplechase; we are all running the race together and face some of the same obstacles and barriers in life, but each of us approach them differently.  In knowing where you are in relation to others, you may be inspired by the way that someone else prevailed and choose to try your own variation of their method as an alternative to yours.  However, you cannot pay too much attention to the other runners.  You cast sideways glances at them and know that each of us runs our race at a pace.  We focus too much on the circumstances and situations in our lives, when we should be more concerned with how to surmount them and move forward in life.  How can you effectively run this race if you are so busy worrying about the person in the lane next to you or 3 lanes over?  How will you see the turn ahead if you are telling the ref how to do their job?

     Stay in your lane, run the race that God has placed you in.  The race is different for all of us; we have different barriers to navigate and various difficulties to overcome.  At each turn a hurdle presents itself and if we stop at the issue, the problem, the situation, we will be left behind in life.  We will be unable to get to the end goal, the finish line, where God waits with our laurels, our crowns and the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.  The same blockade may present itself more than once, but look at it as maybe you didn’t handle it right the first time.  Instead of trying to go around it, face it head on.  You may have to climb instead of jump; Step on and over, using it as a platform to catapult yourself forward, rather than vaulting over it.  I stay in my lane and use God’s Word to face my fears and to bring me through.  Maybe someone will cast a sideways glance during their race and see that my plan for overcoming, prayer and devotion to God, may help them. 

Athletes compete in the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Heats at the National Stadium
Stu Forster / Getty Images

 Blessings and Happiness

T. Nicole

 

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