I’m exhausted. It’s only Monday, but I feel like I can’t do this anymore. I just want to walk away, and give up. Day after day I’m putting in the work. I learned basketball and football. I have attended FAU’s games and practices. I dedicated time and effort to learning the basics of editing, and, believe it or not, my writing has improved.
But that’s not good enough. With all of the work I have put it, the results simply do not match the effort. Just when I think I am mastering and improving on my language and on-camera presence, I’m instead told I’m actually screaming at the camera, speaking too fast, and not sounding conversational. I should just stop now, save myself the embarrassment, and figure out the next chapter of my life. Unfortunately, I can’t give up now because it’s not about me. It’s about them.
This is bigger than reporting. I have to do this for that little girl, whose statistics project will just be a product of her environment (an environment in poor condition and concentrated with violence). I have to do this for the poor kids who are trying to change their community, and set examples that disprove any low expectations of them. I have to do this for all of the people who continue to walk into a job they hate. I have to do this for all of the people who never got a chance to obtain an education they so desperately desired. I have to do this for that single mom, who worked minimum wage jobs to take care of us, and who never got a chance at that education SHE desired.
I WILL do this for that little girl who has to go back to the hood and improve it. Growing up, I felt like people would forget about the people who lived in Sistrunk (where I grew up). People will come to Sistrunk to give back, giving away turkeys on Thanksgiving and toys for children on Christmas. We are grateful for that, but it’s not enough. No one ever comes back to teach the community how to make that toy or how to package that turkey. Empowerment is never a priority.
No matter how tired I am, or how much I think I am not improving, I have to believe in the process. Everything takes time and nothing happens overnight. So Daphnie, when you are tired go and look at that book with your business plans to build a 24-hour faculty in Sistrunk that will provide kids tutoring, counseling, free food, etc. This will be place where they can escape. A place just for them. A place for them to know that there is no dream that is too high to accomplish. A place for them to know that someone has their back and is always thinking about them.
Just when you think you can’t do this anymore, stop, and go and have a milkshake. It’s okay to be tired, upset, sad, and overwhelmed. It just means you are being challenged. One thing you will not do is give up. Especially when you have encounter adversity. Think about all of the people you can and will inspire by setting an example and not being just yet another statistic.
Remember, you are not doing this for you, but you are doing this for them. “Them” being the people that need to know that if Daphnie did it, I can too.