Perception

~What’s up y’all? I pray this week allowed you to see yourself from the viewpoint of someone else. So often, we create an unrealistic view, in our heads, of how others see us. We have to remember, the way we see ourselves is not how others see us. Also, it’s not right (nor is it possible), for us to impose our opinions, of ourselves, on to our peers.

Before we get started, I just want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! Aside from all the amazingly wonderful gifts you receive, remember why we celebrate this season. Anywho, are you ready to explore? Perfect, let’s dive in. Indulge and Enjoy!~

I remember applying for my first job. My freshman year was coming to an end, and let’s just say I wasn’t on my best behavior. If you’ve been exploring with me, then you know from previous journeys, I wasn’t the sweetest in grade school. But, at 14 this was my first job, and of course, it was my first list of requirements.

So, I’m ending my first year of high school, and my mom is trying her best to keep me out of “trouble,” throughout the summer (easier said than done). At the time, there was a program called Summer of Opportunities, for the youth to get their feet wet with employment while school is out.

There were limited spaces, an extensive application process, and a lengthy hiring advancement. One requirement was a letter of recommendation. I had no prior bosses, and at 14, any adult I knew was family (which they specifically told us we couldn’t use). So who do I ask? Well, even on my worst behavior, a couple of teachers took an interest in me and drew me close to them.

One of the women who played a major impact in high school, (she continues to play a role in my life), was my history teacher. She’s like an Aunt… you know, the one that’s stern and refuses to allow you to “play yourself,” yet, you love hanging around her (even if it means assisting her with grading papers.)

Terrified, I asked her to write a letter of recommendation, on my behalf, knowing it would be tough to find good characteristics to speak about. To my surprise, she agreed without hesitation. The next day, she placed a sealed envelope in my hand, labeled “Alyshia-Mae’s letter of recommendation.”

YOU MEAN I CAN’T READ WHAT SHE WROTE!? I just knew I wouldn’t be getting this job. I didn’t have anyone else I could turn to, so I decided it was best to just submit her letter. A couple of weeks later, I received a letter from the city I lived in (also the city the program was through). Bam! I had a summer job to look forward to! I was elated!

Of course, I went to school the next day proud, and ready to share the news. Approaching the teacher that had written my recommendation, she must have seen the joy on my face. Right away she smiled and said, “You got the job!”

I confirmed and thanked her for the letter. Then I asked, why was she so confident I would be accepted. Smiling the entire time she said, “ You’re an intelligent, beautiful, poised, young woman. I never doubted your ability to success…”

Poise

/poiz\

Noun

Graceful and elegant bearing in a person.

I had never even heard the word poise before this conversation. If I did, it definitely wasn’t in correlation to me and my appearance. How did she see me as poise?

According to me, I was average, intelligence wise, and I lacked beauty. I was a young woman though. She got that part right.

So did she lie? To me, at that moment, she definitely lied! Now, over 10 years later, I realize she was giving HER perception of me. Mine nor anyone else’s mattered.

Yes, sometimes, my perception of me won’t align with my peers, family, and/or friends (quite often actually). This is completely fine! My goal… is to make sure I have no, well, very few, negative perceptions in the world!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

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