by Alicia Williams
Yesterday, I spent most of the morning and early afternoon sitting in the office of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). I filed a complaint against my employer, a major bank, on the basis of retaliation for me going to HR. The situation is so messy, but I find myself fighting for my dignity.
I do not want to go into the new year with old stuff and baggage. I want to go with the expectations of wonderful opportunities, freshness and new beginnings. Goodness, I truly hope this mess doesn't set the precedent of 2009 for me, otherwise I would have to take a seat and wait for 2010.
Hold up! Is that defeat and fear talking? No, I am just tired of fighting battles. (I say that as I have been watching several documentaries on the Civil Rights Movement, don't I have a lot of nerve to even think of the word "tired"?)
You know what? Things aren't actually that bad for me, as compare my situation to others. A friend of mine invested everything she had, and then some, in her dreams to get her pilot show on the air. Oh yeah, networks loved it, but none bought it and now she is broke and starting all over. Another friend, who is a single mom, is losing her home to foreclosure because the landlord wasn't paying the rent. And, countless of people we know are pushing through horrible situations such as losing their jobs, foreclosures, the economy, etc. (and an extra etc.)
Hmmmm...my little fight with the big bank is not that bad, eh? And, you know what? I truly have a lot to be thankful for. I have my health, I was dealing with depression and anxiety and it actually felt like I was losing my mind, but guess what? Baby, I'm back! My daughter is fine, I've been protected and kept safe from all hurt, harm and danger. Chile, I am doing just fine...just fine.
So, 2009, here I come...no, 2009, here WE come! Because guess what? WE are all in this together. And, to be sure that we are on the same page, let's gets some basics down for the new year.
1. Do you want some cheese to go with that whine? No? Then stop whining and complaining! It could be worse and for some folks it is. Take the moment to cry, if needed. Talk about it with a friend, get advice. But, stop the whining and complaining. No need to regurgitate the story over and over about who did you wrong and what happened. Get over it and get moving! We have a whole lot of work to do and 2009 is almost over (well, it'll feel like it soon). Use the hurt to fuel your purpose. Obama didn't sit down and cry over all the attacks, he kept it moving...so did the Civil Rights Workers when their houses were burned, the dogs and hoses were turned on them...no rest or whining for the weary, I know.
2. Count your blessings! You have heard this 100 times, but here it is for the 101th time. We ignore so many small blessings, that is is shameful. How many stories have you heard about people being robbed, houses being broken into or car accidents on the road you travel? Hey, it wasn't you! That is a blessing, so count it! Health, eyesight, feet to stand on, hot water working, heat pumping...count all of that and keep counting. After all, when we cease to count our blessings we become ungrateful. When something doesn't go our way, we get bitter and angry because we haven't counted all of the other things that have worked out for us.
3. Stop talking about it, be about it! I don't want to hear another "I wanna" in 2009 because I heard enough in 2008, and nothing got done, but talking! (Am I preaching to the choir, or what?) Anyway, it is time to put your wheels in motion, stop the yapping and follow through on a goal. I learned that I couldn't keep asking God to bless me with opportunities when I never finished them. I finally finished my book, Up From Rock Bottom, and the thought that I completed it was so incredible. So, as God told me, "finish the thing that you set out to do and see it through to completion."
Hey, look at Barack Obama, 2006 through 2008 will be following him into 2009 and he's not whining, complaining or giving up! Now, things don't look so bad, do they?
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Alicia Williams is a gifted actress, writer and motivational speaker. The Detroit native received a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in African-American Studies from the University of Kentucky. Alicia immersed herself in college life by joining the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, working as a radio disc jockey and forming Circle of Imani, a collegiate woman’s support group. Using the support group as a platform, Alicia facilitated workshops, retreats and performances for the Charles Young Community Center, which addressed concerns involving self-esteem, abstinence and family issues. Read more about Alicia here.