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Society Confines

January 22, 2016

 

So . . . this post is going to be different from, I'm going to stop saying that. ALL my posts past and future will be different so it is what it is. I chose this topic for this post because I just finished a mini-look back at my life and where I'm at now. I'm 23 years young now. For those who don't know, I dropped out of high school back in 2009 (read my second book when it comes out, when I actually get to writing it to get all the juicy details behind that). I felt like a failure afterward because I never perceived the label high school drop out to be something that would be bestowed on my name, like Vanessa Whitney "high school drop out" Cine. Even further, memories of my father clowning high school drop outs and judging them as worthless fell onto my lap, lowkey saying you ain't shit nigga. You'sa dumb nigga. His words (in a broken Haitian accent with a slight lisp) "Education is da mos important ting." "You see young keds workin' at MacDonalds because dey didn't go to school." "Pregnant wit baby." "Life tuff man, dats not good, now pooshin' a baby (baby stroller) like a dummy." Earlier before that in life I repeated the second grade (details behind why is in the book MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD) and the word "dummy" haunted me from his lips and the humiliation factor from my family blasting my shortcomings scarred me. Now look at me, 16 and a dropout. I wasn't making good grades to begin with and school wasn't a place of enthusiasm for me, just a group babysit with madness. What do I do now? Would I end up pregnant now and bag groceries or flip a burger as Mickie D's? Am I a born failure?

 

Some monumental events passed and it landed me a second time to getting my GED. The first time was interrupted by one of the monumental events. I attended Bridge Over Troubled Waters in 2009 that's located in Downtown Boston. But I didn't do it for me. I did it so I wouldn't be deemed a failure, a less than, a dummy! I already knew a lot of the material just the math part stumbled me, but math always had a way of making me feel anxiously annoyed. Jim and Jennifer I believe were my teacher's names. A chain-smoking hyperactive guy and a vegan, yoga life woman. The whole class was made up of Blacks. Black Hispanics and Black African Americans. We were all relatively young, I the youngest. Some were young mothers, others were like me, a dropout. Not because of early promiscuity or because we chose to pursue partying and bullshitting over education, just life. Life happened. Life is always happening. Fast forward I was registered by Jim to take the GED test on a Saturday. I was nervous, to me, it was like the SATs. The definitive measurement of how smart I was and if I failed, what would they say about me? Would I really be a dummy with proof? Jim calmed be down and said it's easy, I was going to pass and if I didn't I could always retake the test. Oh, and did I mention the test wasn't free. The last week of December for the second time I went to Madison Tech high school in Roxbury to do my GED test. The first time I went, the testing person said my name wasn't on the sheet. I was pissed but it gave me time to practice some more, and when I mean practice, I mean go to a few more GED classes before being rescheduled. I took GED seriously in class but outside of class, that was my time.

 

I passed. My grades were decent, I would say around a B. To me a B was good, of course an A is best but a B is better than a C and a whole lot better than an F. In the reading portion the test grader was astounded, a little old white lady comes up to me and says, "You got a 99 percent," she smiling ear to ear like I solved the answer for what's the key of life. She reminded me of my high school sophomore math teacher Miss Milli. A short Italian firecracker who was an empathetic educator to sum it up, good hearted lady. Plus, in a room full of Black kids she knew how to appeal to us and standing in front of a tall Black boy who towered over her didn't bring her fear, it brought her understanding. I responded, "Yeah" in a voice that could have said 'And' like I was impatiently waiting for the conversation to be over. She says, "Do you know what this means?" I'm like, 'Eh not really' but audible responded, "No." She says, "In a room with 100 people only one person would get a higher grade than you." I said, "Okay," totally zoned out and more concerned if I had bus fare and some change for some chips.

 

College, Cambridge College. I registered for classes at Cambridge College that was literally around the corner from where I lived. Well, up the street, around the corner, down the street but you get the picture. I was nervous. At first, I didn't really think college was for me. I never wanted to go but because it was expected of me to go to college, especially now after I dropped out I had no other option. I tried the job thing but I was turned down consecutively. So why not? Truthfully, Cambridge College wasn't my first choice, I wanted BU or BC but their deadline for applications was the same time I was getting a 99 percent on reading comprehension so I settled for Cambridge College. Plus the requirements to just smell the building wasn't as extensive as Boston University and Boston College. But let's take it back. I was going to do Everest. Yes, 'It's not just a job, it's a career.' I thought that would be a good fit for me. Massage therapist seemed easy, why not? The closest location was in Brighton. Brighton always brings me back to nostalgia. Again, the first time I was scheduled to come, I got lost and missed the appointment. The second time I went I begged my mother to come with. She wasn't proud to boast about my GED accomplishments, after all, "You were suppose to graduate from high school." "A GED is for people who weren't born in this country.""If you took school seriously . . ." (all said in Haitian Creole) I drown her out most of the time. We get there after trooping up the steep hill of Commonwealth Ave because my directions game was weak and we stepped off the Green Line earlier than we should of. At the place it looked like a hot mess, I see little clusters of cubicles like gray honey combs. A woman leads me to her's. She thoroughly explains the sign-up procedure and what the program had to offer . . . except massage therapist. I guess Brighton had no need for it, but the Chelsea location had one. If you're from the Boston metro area and don't own a vehicle or have access to it, you know how much of a troop it would be to get to Chelsea, not even the exact location. So I chose Dental Assistant even though, that wasn't something that interested me and the thought of rancid breath hitting my nostrils and traveling down my throat already prepared by gag reflexes. I sat listening to her intensively, but something wasn't right. It felt too 'sales pitchy' like 'if you buy into one program we'll throw in one free scrubs!' and I was like nah. Something in my gut felt like I was walking into my impending doom. She takes us on a tour around the building, I see some of the young ladies who were performing on a model mouth. They were all Black. We exchanged greetings and quickly the White woman exits us to other rooms within the building. The tour ends and I make an appointment to enroll with her into the Dental Assistant program. I came in and she took me to the financial aid department after I had to complete a bogus "entrance exam" type assessment that allowed anyone with half a sense and a pulse to complete. Some people were talking during the exam, others barely knew the language, I would know because some of them were middle-aged Haitians asking their counterparts for help. She leads me to a room where a Black bald headed guy sat. He got to the point, straight no chasers. He basically told me the program would cost me about $16,000 for nine months. This includes book, models, and the education itself. In the back of my mind, I'm like, 'Wayment! This isn't a real school, why are you charging real school prices?' He watched my face, he saw my no poker face expression and said all I needed were my taxes. I told him I didn't file taxes. He tells me, my mother's taxes. Something about a sketchy sales pitch, all young Black girls caught in the web of comercial glitter, then to stab me with a bill that I believed was way out of the price range for what I thought the program was actually worth had me hesitant. My face which probably gave away my concerns amped the baldy to kick into high gear his trained speech. I wasn't having it. I shut him down with "I don't have my mother's taxes." He said that was okay and that I could come back with the taxes and then we could get started. But not before at least getting a social security out of me, my mother's. At the time, I didn't know it. I mean, I knew the last four because when it came to Comcast bill charges I was the one who always made the call but the five prior digits, nah I didn't remember by heart. He pressed me hard for something and I was getting really alarmed like, 'bruh I just told you I don't know. Stop fucking pressing me with your sketchy bald headed ass.' I left. I promised that I would be back but when my right foot touched the pavement I knew I wouldn't. I googled Everest scam and lo and behold pages popped up with people and their experiences with being scammed by Everest. That, and my mother's commentary, "Oh I know you shouldn't have gone there. That's for people who didn't go to school in this country. That's for people who don't know this country but I wasn't going to say anything." She always has something to say, so that was a lie. Both those instances validated my intuition to say, 'nah I'll pass.' Everest reps called for the next three months nonstop like I owed them money and luckily for me I left before I did. 

 

But that's not it. I also picked Le Cordon Bleu. Yeah, those daytime comercials got me good. I concluded since I liked to eat, that would correlate with I like to cook. I was wrong. The woman at the Kendal Sq Cordon Bleu location was calmer, it was just me and her and she gave me the run down. I felt at easy and she didn't pressure me like, 'Only a limited time offer. Sign up now and you get a free spatula. Have to be 18 or older to call.' She handed me the curriculum and how requirements were broken down. She reminded me that I could start anytime and if I needed help signing up she would help even with financial aid. I liked her vibe, but it wasn't enough to make me want to enroll. As I left a male in his full uniform like the commercial entered the building and acknowledged the woman, she proceeds to tell me he's in the program like I couldn't have came to that conclusion. Oh, and before Cambridge College, I mean right before classes started in the Spring I wanted to be a music producer. Now that's something I sought out. I have always had an ear for music. I loved music and still do. A day without music is an incomplete day to me. It was called RecordingConnections (I no lie went on google and typed in music producer and how to be a music producers and it came up like an ad.) I took a look at it and thought I should put int my information for more details. The next week they sent me a CD with their pitch and their artists, they also provided other programs like communications or something, basically, a news reporter. I was inches away from scratching the idea of going to college all together but the shoe dropped. I needed credit to get into the program. At the time, I had no credit. I found out having no credit is WORST than bad credit because at least with bad credit you could tell what's the person's spending habit. No credit was a gamble no one wanted to take on, well, only credit card companies that still to this day send me a gazillion notices to get a credit card. So the guy at RecordingConnections asks me to use my mother's social. Before I gave it to him, I knew her credit was trash, my mother's philosophy if she doesn't want to pay it, she won't. And she doesn't. So he tells me a few days later that her credit was janky and I knew. He told me that I should contact a bank maybe they'll give me a loan. I go and contact my local bank, you know, East Cambridge Savings Bank. The one in my book, the one I had an account with since the third grade, yeah, them. They said no, well not no but no. I was shit out of luck, excuse my French. 

 

Now Cambridge College part for real, this blog post is running long and if you read all the way to this point, then you, my friend is for real for real, the real MVP because, in the world of ADHD, that's not possible. So I go for a business degree. I always had a liking for business, particularly the money part (at the time I was dating a guy and we had plans. We broke up later.) I took one psychology core class and I was hooked. I switched my major to psychology. My plan was to climb the highest heights, bachelors, masters, then doctorates! Dr. Vanessa Cine . . . towards the end up my major, I realized that's not actually what I wanted to do. I didn't want to be a doctor in psychology just for the titles and accolades. I wanted something more meaningful. Something that gave me purpose. Something that I can wake up in the morning and be like, 'I'm ready' *in my SpongeBob voice.* Not to mention I had little patience for stupidity and people who like to beat around the bush, I like to cut the bush down and say not what? This is what you're going to do . . . Thoughts of Here and Now episodes with Malcolm Jamal-Warner flashed in my head and I said that! I wanted to be Theo, well not Theo but you get it. I wanted to help young adolescents. But how does one do that? I googled it and found a nonprofit that was welcoming interns. Now earlier in my college history I was told by my adviser Malcolm to do internships. I took it as an insult, like, 'I'm broke and you want me to do free things?' 'My time isn't free.' So I humbly declined which looking back at it might have been a bad decision. College is about making connections by doing free things, that's how you secure a job and/or reference. At the time, I was working a bummy a job that was damn near a state away, okay maybe not a state away but it was a HIKE. Two trains and a bus away and a walk over a bridge. I needed the minuscule money so I couldn't bug plus I borrowed money from my mother to be able to sign up for my last semester of classes that she accused me of lying to get my hair done instead. Because I'm a person of my word, I paid her back with proof that I didn't scam her out of $500 for genie locs that I applied myself. 

 

The nonprofit experience was great! Plus I substituted it for one class that I didn't really care for taking. I loved being there and I didn't feel like a staff or a resident if anything I felt like an observer. The boys (it was an all boys residential, all Black boys one was Hispanic) made the experience entertaining and the order setup was different from my experience being at a residential (it'll be in my second book when I get to it, it's a part of the monumental events). Towards the end up my internship, I was supposed to attend several trainings. At one of the training, the CPR and First Aid training I sat at a table with faces I didn't recognize, but there was a chair available right next to me that I propped up my badly beaten leather purse but in came a guy who I'll name 'Short Rick Ross.' During the trainings, I listened intensively to the complicated CPR counts, accurate form, and overall process. I guess Short Rick Ross was eyeing me while I was eyeing the speaker. After the training Short Rick Ross and I both stood next to each other to wait for the bus. He started a conversation with me and I being anti-social wasn't really trying to talk to him but I didn't want to be rude so I entertained him. He asked me if I saw him looking at me. I'm like, 'What the fuck kind of a question is that?' 'Nah nigga I wasn't stunting you.' "Nah, I was paying attention to the trainer" I replied. On the bus, I paid my fare and sat down at my favorite spot, the right window seats on the left chair. He has some trouble finding money to add to his Charlie Card put finally gets it together. Me being me, thought the conversation was over. What else was there to be say? I placed my purse again on a chair and he finds my taken seat and looks at me like, 'So can I sit here?' I removed my purse because what else could I do? He begins talking about how he finds me attractive and would like for us to go on a date. In my mind I was like, 'Umm no.' Why? I didn't like how pushy he was and simply I wasn't feeling him. He asked for my number at the bus stop when I told him to just give me his and I'll call (I wasn't going to but you know). He wanted an exchange of numbers and since we'd be on the same bus and at the same training the next day I couldn't lie and give him a fake number so I was forced to give him my real number. I told him, I was busy getting my major done and simply didn't have the time. He then continues lightly dropping hits in the boyfriend-ish-esque area and I'm like eject, Eject, EJECT! Where's the eject button when you need it! I shut it down like, no time and don't care. We finally settled on going to the movies after a few phone calls and me having to address to him that he can't call me at whatever hours and whatever numbers (he had a personal phone and a work phone from the organization I was interning at). He apologized and I accepted. A day before going to the hostage movie get together that he wanted to call a date but I was like nah, not a date. He texts me some long message that gave me the feeling of Biggie's "One More Chance" chorus. I couldn't take the indirect direct brushing off to spare feelings and I told him straight up like, 'No I don't want to date you. I don't want a relationship. I'm focused on bettering myself right now and maybe I'll date. Maybe I won't. Maybe it'll be you and maybe it won't but what I could use is a friend. If you want to be that, cool, but I can't promise it'll lead to anything because right now I'm not even concerned about that.' I could feel his chubby little heart ripping as his eyes read the screen's message that gutted his infatuation. He responded with a line like, 'Oh it's cool we don't have to date, we can just be friends.' Long story short, he totally ignored the movies confirmation via text and thank GOD I didn't get dressed up to get stood up. 

 

Last part, I swear, so I graduated. Feeling like I made something of myself. Now this must prove I'm not a dummy right? I couldn't find a job if I was an illegal alien at a construction site (no shade, but, you know). I reached back to the nonprofit and they inform me that the intern position I had didn't pay but I could work in other areas of the nonprofit. I interviewed for a whateverthefuck position and the woman who set up the interview was uber excited to meet me. The interview consisted of her and I and this other woman, I believe she was Haitian. It was a two-parter interview before the decision was made. The first part me and the women. The second part, me, the women, and the kids who I would be working with PLUS a mysterious co-worker who would also be in the same position I was. They delved deep into who I was. I sprinkled some of that Vanessa past history on them and the empathy over flowed from their eyes. I knew I got the job, but as life as it, a curve ball was thrown. Remember Short Rick Ross? Well, he was the mysterious person. How do I know, after what felt like a three-hour interview the women walked me out to the sign-in desk area where Short Rick Ross was leaning on the desk and talking to the receptionist. In my mind I was like, 'OH SHIT!' The woman who scheduled the interview was elated to introduce me to the hobbit and said this was the person I would be working with if I got the position. I knew I was screwed. Short version, went and had the second interview, I nailed it! The kids loved me so much one of them said right then and there, "Can we just hire her now?" I was gassed not even gonna lie, the first time someone went out of their way to vouch for me. But then a week and a half went by with no response. I called and left a message. I sent an email asking for any updates. A day later the woman who scheduled the interviews responsed back with a cold tone, I could feel through my tablet her frost bite of a response. She basically said, 'Nah bruh. We don't fuck with you.' I was devastated. Not because I got turned down for a mediocre $12 an hour for 20 hours a week position but because this was going to be the measurement of my success (plus another part time because really, who can live off of less than $1,000 a month?) Fast forward, a month and a half later I snagged a job at a nonprofit. Similarly to the previous nonprofit but the kids were younger, it was childcare services, and I would be a case manager. The interview process was a three parter. First, the supervisor and me. Second, the supervisor me, and the senior case manager (she was just employed there longer than any of the case managers). The last part was all of us and a parent ironically named Vanessa. I nailed all the interviews and signed up for a 35 hour and 14.08 an hour job. I felt accomplished. 

 

It wasn't a month in and I felt overwhelmed. Now the job was easy but the higher managers weren't. I loved the kids, of course, I had my favorite munchkins but overall I liked them all. The teachers were straight. Three older White women and a White Hispanic who all were overworked and underpaid but loved heir jobs. The parents were a mixed range of busy low-income parents, scheming parents (who took advantage of the program), neglectful parents, hands-on parents and fairly active parents. The children exemplified "diverse" all the kids came from different backgrounds like Haitian, Vietnamese, Italian, Cape Verdean, Black American, Latino etc. Yet I couldn't complete the day without a medium Dunkin Donuts ice coffee. I love me some DDs and the ice coffee is to die for but every day? No ma'am. I also noticed that most of the workers smoked and drank coffee. I pointed it out and stated it was a coping mechanism. My coping mechanism was music, my book (MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD rough draft). Thank GOD I sat in the back room doing paperwork as well as sneaking in time to write. One of the teachers accused me of being a spy for the supervisor, little did she know I was jump starting my career at my job. What stressed me out the most was the inconsistencies. The supervisor who has been in the organization for years had no idea what she wanted when she wanted it. She as a supervisor should know EVERYONE's job inside out. But she knew nothing. All she could do is write grants, go to meetings, be late and talk like Fat Tony from the Simpsons. I was at my wits end with her saying my case notes weren't up to par when she didn't know what was up to par nor how to explain up to par. No one liked her yet they all feared her, not cower in the corner fear but new better not to buck back fear. Me I can hold my tongue sometimes but my face, nah. It tells it like it is. I couldn't support my zombie-esque feelings nor my newly developed coffee habit so I knew I needed to leave which was kind of a hard decision. Like I said, I loved the kids but I HATED the job, specifically management. On summer break which was a break for the kids and teachers like other schools, I was working. I was asked to work the summers and accepted because Salle Mae wasn't going to stop sending letters because it was the summer. I landed an interview with Housing. I knew Housing because during sophomore year of high school I worked for them in the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program. I went in for an interview, I nailed both of them. It wasn't hard really, they were desperate and I was tired. I started the next Monday, remind you the first interview was on Thursday the second Friday. Both times I had to use my bargaining skills to break loose to go in for the interviews. Initially, I liked the job. It was minutes away from my apartment complex and basic as ever. I was making 14.91 an hour but 29.5 hours a week. Because of Obama Care aka Affordable Care Act anyone who worked 30 hours a week had to be offered health insurance, at least, that's what they told me. 

 

I know, I know, for real this time, last one. I worked there for a few weeks then at another site there was a major flooding at an elderly building leaving many of the elderly residents immobile because the elevator was down. Being the busy body I was I volunteered to help, plus more cash. Who says no to more cash? At first, it was all good until the Human Resources director started barking about not going over my time aka no more mo' money. And then it trickled down to me. I understood, hell I wasn't the one making the schedule, It was decided that the time between my original position and the elderly home was to be split into two. They had me running up and own stairs, posting notices, assisting elderly folk down the stairwell, answering phones, delivering meals, all shit that wasn't in my job description. But whatevz right? You're doing it for the better good and once they see your hard work they'll give you a permanent better job. I do this for about two months until they get the elevators fixed. Remind you, I put up with a screw face hateration Jamaican Senior Property Manager that looks like she wakes up hating life. Hopping in a cab for the elderly residents who were put up in a hotel because of the flood and needed their mail sent them to endure a Haitian cab driver say skeevy sexual fantasies out loud in Haitian Creole because he thought I couldn't comprehend. Staying out until 10 pm to walk home at night to do it all again. Moving right along, I was given the duty to work at another site that wasn't close to where I lived, in fact, it was further from the elderly home that was 20 minutes away from me. The reasoning behind this was the Shitty Shaped Property manager with her Shitty dog and Shitty life started spilling over her hate. For whatever reason me working on my book during down time infuriated her but more so I think I reminded her of what was and what would never be for herself. The Senior Property Manager played referee by sending me to the far far away Housing complex. The first day I got lost for an hour, I arrived on time but couldn't find the number. I was on Franklin Street, near Star Market, they were located near the library. I get there and accidentally interrupted a little pow wow between the Senior Property Manager and her Supervisor. I excused myself and waited outside the office. I worked there for about a month and a half because they needed an extra pair of hands to help organize the residents who wanted to move to another Housing location because the building was going to be remodeled. Some of the residents were Haitian and needed an interpreter plus since I was there they gave me the duty of doing recertifications. Basically, information to know the accurate about of money to charge you for sucking on Uncle Sam's Tittie. 

 

I did my job and people once again were throwing accolades that I meekly accepted. Then the gig was up. Oh, but not before a slap in the face of course! So the last week, I'm sitting at my assigned desk at the original job location to shred old documents from before I was alive to make room for new boxes of paper The boxes of junk paper were huge but easy. I'm down to my last two boxes and I ask the Senior Property Manager what's going to happen after I shred the papers? You know this heifer straight up tells me, "Well we won't be needing you." "I spoke to Kevin (her supervisor) and we decide there won't be any more work for you to do because right now we're working on the budget for next year." In my mind, I'm like, 'Bitch you could have told me this! How the fuck you talk to Kevin before me about me and not fill me in on this? So what, I was supposed to come in on Wednesday and you were going to be like surprise no job? What the fuck!' But I said nothing. She informs me that Housing is always hiring and that if I wanted to find another job within Housing she'd give me a reference. I coldly accepted. So I go back to my desk and crank open all the employment websites I knew and started replying to job postings by sending my resume in mass. I also took the time to print out my resumes, I made copies and I took my sweet ass time shredding since my ass was essentially fired the next day. I finished by shift and she smiles that fake sympathetic White smile that hides all the lies and tells me that I'll be missed. 'Whatever bitch' I hear my inner thought speak. I came in and continued my job like it was an average day except it was my last day. I finished my mass email blasts and printed at least 10 copies of my resume. I shredded the last pieces of paper and I was out. I took the office keys and unlooped them from my home keys and gave them to the Senior Property Manager. She again flashes me that smile that says nothing yet everything at the same time. She suggests that I apply for a position that was created to aid the residents at the apartment complex that was going to be remodeled. I thanked her with a stank smile and played into her fake sincerity because I knew, I knew I was blackballed. "Is there anything else you want me to do?" I asked her. She says no, "I'm good." She asks me if I was done. She inspects my area without being obvious, but she was and says, "Well I guess that's it then." She thanks me for working those few months and a flash her the same fake smile because I knew she was full of shit and so was Shitty Shape and the whole organization in itself. I refuse to beg, plead, and whine for a job. I've been broke before and I've managed, I thought to myself. I will not allow anyone to use me then dismiss me whenever they want to like I'm nothing, I followed. 

 

I applied for unemployment. Not right after being "let go," more like two months later. I wasn't receiving any call backs from jobs and the call backs I was receiving wanted too much of my time. From my experience with Housing, I learned NO JOB was worth my everything. So I wanted part time, but part time tends to be the bare minimum in pay, a step above slave wages(?) Again, I was shit out of luck and calling up the government to get some money felt beneath me like I was leeching off it. I was in great health, young, vital, robust (minus the twisted knee thing that I got from working at Housing), so why ask for help? But I did I couldn't see all my funds drain and not do anything about it. The process was a struggle because Housing was basically like I quit. A flat out lie. The unemployment rep was like it's your word against there's. Thank GOD my thinking forward-self saved email exchanges between me and Housing, it verified what I said and they had to pay out. Blackballed darkened. Fast forward every job interview where I got to the point of references and used the Senior Property Manager as a reference, coincidently the job never responded back. I knew they were working against me. So I said fuck it. I have my book, it's almost done. So FUCK IT. I don't need them and I don't need a job. I rather position myself right where I'll never need a job and that leads back to the very beginning. If you made it here, you are one of the few people who had the mental capacity to do that and I thank you. To the initial title, Society Confines. I made decisions based on what society told me to do that had nothing to do with my well-being, my satisfaction, or my happiness. I was stuck on find validation and acceptance from people who shouldn't have mattered. And when I was doing right, they came around and did me wrong. Are you asking yourself is she bitter? The answer is no. Ultimately all those decisions lead me to where I am now. I don't work for anyone and the time that's being consumed by others, it's either by choice or pay, my pay range. I took the captain seat of my life and chose to focus on me. Not family, not friends, not the latest gossip, not job performance, not fashion, just me. Something I had been neglecting for a long while and you know what? It feels good. I completed my book MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD on December 20th 2015. That was when all the acknowledgment and feeling of completion hit me. That's what gave me pride. I started writing this book on March 4th, 2014. Began typing May 12th, 2015. Finished editing December 20th, 2016 and nothing has given more joy knowing that I completed something that I wanted to do that will help others, and nothing could have given me much more encouragement to break society confines than this book. Thank You! For all of y'all who supported and rooted for my completion of this book and for y'all who have the attention span to read what's going on in the world through VIE's thoughts on your screen.

Be Entertained. Be Enlightened. Be Loved. ✌

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