What got me here...
If I knew then what I know now, I would have felt, and lived, like the real me long ago.
At just 7 years old, it became very clear to me that I did not, and would never, “fit in.”
As the first generation in my family from Ghana, West Africa, the feeling of “other” in my neighborhood just outside of Camden, NJ couldn’t have been stronger.
The loneliness and feeling like an outsider was so scary that it consumed me.
I did everything I could to fight it. And that fight became a driving force in my life from that point forward.
Constantly fearing that I would be alone, I quickly became a people pleaser. I worked at reducing myself to mediocrity as to not outshine my fellow classmates.
I learned to keep my opinions to myself. I surrounded myself with people and built a community around me, but I never gave myself permission to truly be me out of fear that my true self would stand out in a world where everyone else seemed to blend in so easily.