Wow, what a year! I typically like to start my blogs off by stressing that its extremely important for me to write in an informal tone so that you can truly understand how I feel and how I meant it. Unlike my work emails, I like to use more of an edgy approach to get my point across - its how I remain true to myself. So in saying this, ALL GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOUND ARE INTENTIONAL".. Okay, so lets talk!
This has been a YEAR! An extremely hard one. The saying, "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans" is absolutely accurate. I had so much planned for this year. I kept thinking how I would go 100 times harder and do even more than more. Continuing to tell myself "Erica, you are not doing enough! Chicago needs more, these young ladies need more"..& I was ready to deliver. On January 9th of this year - a love just as meaningful to me as my own children was hurt tragically in a random act of violence. This shifted my core. Life as I knew it would never be the same. I would never be the same. I was so angry. My heart felt a pain that no words in the dictionary could ever describe. I was most angry with God. Not understanding how he could allow something so tragic happen to such an amazing young lady. I struggled with the anger with God for months.. Refusing to pray because I felt all previous prayer were ignored. I felt like he honestly said.."F her & your family".. My anger was DEEP!
I have always had a close relationship with God. Believing strongly that I was one of his favorites due to all that I have been through and he brought me out safely...So when I made the decision to stop praying and only existing - life as I knew it was different. I found myself losing sight that I was still a mother to 2 amazing children. There were times that I could not eat, shower, parent, work...all I could do is lay and cry! Having a nonprofit organization that focuses on community outreach - I knew there was no more I could do for this city. The same city that hurts and takes our loved ones away from us. I wanted to let go - walk away from my organization because I felt the evil people in this city did not deserve what good hearted people like myself was trying to offer it. For months I stopped. Refusing to serve out of heartache, refusing to empower out of heartache. All I could do is sit and try to accept the realities of my new normal.
As time past, I missed the relationship I had with guy so I decided to fast and pray for guidance. I needed my heart mended and although I was so angry - I knew there was only one way for that. In 2014, when I loss my daughter Khloe at birth I was extremely heart broken, I wanted her here with me so badly.. But even being notified from many doctors that she would not make it due to her severe conditions, I made best of the time I had with her until I gave her back to God. I was able to make peace with her leaving. Fast forwarding back to present day, I am thankful that Damia gave us 24 days before she transitioned. In the time that I grieved so heavily seeing her in the hospital, I was also able to make a small peace with her by reminding her how I loved her, how much she'd be missed and how much she was loved by everyone else. While fasting, I chose to still have faith in God. Reminding myself that we will all leave earth some day and although what happened to Damia was one of the most unfortunate and tragic events, we will all transition and....we do not get to choose how we will transition. She is Loved!
Deciding to continue with working on my nonprofit, I jumped slowly back into work. I had to remind myself why I started. I have always been a woman of strength..although sometimes I dont want to be. I question, why cant my life be easy like everyone else. Being a woman of strength means that I can get through anything - even when I dont think I can. I started She Is Undefeated Inc. for a purpose. One greater than myself. I wanted to remind women that there is no obstacle stronger than you. As long as you have breath, strength & Faith in God - there is no obstacle that can defeated you. WOMEN ARE STRONG! We are Powerful! We are creators. Being Undefeated is one HECK OF A STATEMENT, but Its TRUE.
When I decided to get back to work, it was a challenge at first - but this is my passion! This is my walk, my purpose. Speaking about my organization earned me the support of my coworkers and as well as management at my job. I cant speak highly enough regarding the my job/company. I have never received support and uplifting like this in my life. There's days when I dont believe that I can get it done but Im forced to push through because of those who believe in me. My bestfriend tells me "Erica, I need for you to see in yourself what others are seeing".. This is why I will continue to work hard. Push forward! Uplift Women.. People need me and believe that I can.
On this past Tuesday, I was awarded a $10,000 donation from Harvard Maintenance. How I was awarded this donation was due to others believing in me. My Managers and the corporate office of my job, pushed for me - believed in me and attended this event with & for me! That was motivation.. Truly a loss for words. I explained to them during the check presentation luncheon that I went back and forth with myself asking if I even deserved this. 2021 was hard. I didnt go hard enough. I didnt help enough people. I let heartache win many of my days and nights. I was grateful. I AM GRATEFUL. I am anxious for this new opportunity. As I work to develop financial literacy workbooks/workshops & programs to reward CPS & Charter school female students for excellent academics, I am more motivated to move forward. I cried each night since. OMG - PEOPLE BELIEVE IN ME.. Like real people. Not just my friends and immediate family that I force to buy my tumblers and tshirts.. Fancy Executives. This is even more reason to remain UNDEFEATED.
Currently, I am in the processing of rebranding my organization. My overall goal is to have more structure on our social media pages and websites. Hiring a team of all women that can help execute the Vision of She Is Undefeated Inc. As I sit here (IN TEARS). I am wholeheartedly GRATEFUL. 2021was hard. Is Hard! 2022 will possibly be hard as well, but I keep thinking how Loved Damia was for all that she had done in such a short time on Earth. I want to live up to her expectations and all those that believe in me.. Especially the Fancy Executives. She Is Still Undefeated.. Despite!