This smile is unbreakable. In the words of Ktut from Eat Pray Love I’m smiling with my liver. As I bounced around my local park with Sara Dalrymple I thought about all the places these photos were destined to go.
I reminisced on where I had been and where I needed to go to be able to show others the way.
This is the smile of someone who:
– Has been bullied at work
– Has been paid less than my male counterpart
– Has been lied to and finessed
– Has been underpaid and undervalued
– Has had a panic attack in Aldgate station due to burnout
– Has been diagnosed with depression when she should’ve been living her happiest freelance life
– Has been on jobseekers allowance
– Has been made redundant
– Has pivoted industry twice
– Has worked 14 hour shifts for minimum wage
– Has been gas-lit and discriminated against
Yet and still I smile because this is also someone who:
– Has been promoted
– Has been valued
– Has built a business supporting and transforming others
– Gets paid to be her full-self
– Is treated fairly and leaves the tables where respect isn’t being served
– Has boundaries
– Is confident in what she brings to the table
– Is aware of her intersectionality, oppression and privilege all at once
– Is on a mission to change lives in a meaningful way
– Is a certified life coach obsessed with people amplifying their own voice and solutions
– Is a proud black woman in tech who was crap at maths and science but talks about analytics all-day
– Started reading scriptures in her grandads’ church and now gives keynotes to empower hundreds
I am all these things and I smile. This is who I am and why I do what I do.
I wise man once said, “Tough times never last…tough people do!” and I want you to know that and take heart.