Posted in Life as Bianca, My Lenses on Life

Sharing My Testimony

This was a big step. It was the summer of 2020 after the protests and outcries for justice was everywhere. I wanted to do my part. I sat in my stuff and said to myself, “I can’t hide anymore. I have to be uncomfortable and make people uncomfortable.” But it’s in the most uncomfortable moments where we grow. It was the self-therapy I needed to not hide the repressive thoughts of unworthiness in who I was. It was a release in putting myself out there as fully me. I shared my testimony of things and emotions I felt in my racial identity as a first generation American of Haitian immigrants and Christian.

Remember this is my experience and my story to tell. I own every part of the experiences that have made me who I am today. I grew from that moment and continue to grow. I am a work in progress and learning that my voice matters. So take this with a grain of salt and listen to my words.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

My Own Advocacy

So in the past year, human rights and civil rights violations came at its peak. People were stuck in their homes and things were shut down. Almost every day, an unarmed black person was killed unjustly. Hate crimes and discrimination was rampant. There was a need for justice and advocacy.

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In the mist of that time, my thought was “How do I advocate for justice in my own world?” I can’t hide from it. Though I can’t save the whole world, I can be effective in my community.

I’m not going to lie: I did not go to protests then and I was not donating to any organizations. I was an unemployed, post-graduate struggling mentally, physically, and emotionally.

For most of my life, I have struggled with racial identity. It carried with the statements of not being black enough, “acting white,” and selling out all because of the environments I interacted in. I wanted to help my community but I did not want to hurt my white friends. I always hid parts of myself to my white friends out of fear of losing them. So that was where I was the summer of 2020, at a crossroads.

But as I researched and listened to different sources, a revelation came: Not everyone’s advocacy for justice looks the same. You have find out your own personal way to advocate for other groups.

What a relief.

I did not have to do what everyone else is doing. I can be my own person and advocate in my own way. So what was that? Well, I started sharing my story and speaking out about my experiences with discrimination. I had a diverse following so why not give perspective. Why not be transparent of the experiences that shaped me.

For the most part, people listened and empathized with me. I choose who to give more knowledge to if someone personally reached out privately. I did not allow certain narratives to distort the work I wanted to do in educating others. There were some who did not want to understand and wanted to refute everything I said. I even had people tell me I was race-baiting or making everything about race. For that response, I blocked them.

In therapy, my therapist told me how my purpose is being a bridge. My experiences are unique but no less black nor less white. I was just Bianca. I have always interacted with different people in my life and that is nothing to be ashamed of. So why not use that skill to bring people together. To find common ground and open eyes, hearts, and minds.

If you are struggling in how to be an ally and advocate for others, find what works for you. You know yourself well to know what you can handle. Everyone does things different and that is just fine. Do what works for you.

Sources I look to for news and ways to advocate is the NAACP, AND Campaign, ACLU, and Human Rights Watch. I am looking to expand my horizons so tell what you use as sources. It is a start. But do the research for you will get a worldview to personally and effectively serve your community.

Lastly, You and I can do our best. A win for me is when a person tells me, “Thank you for sharing. I will consider that in my own life. What you said made me think in another way I never thought.” Change starts with the heart. My form of advocacy is to tell my experiences and listen to others to cultivate a heart change that creates stronger allies. Remember we are stronger together and every little act towards justice can make a bigger change.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

Not Luck but Discerning Self-Care

God has been teaching so much in this current season of life. A big thing I have been working through is speaking kindness, grace, and truth to myself.

I am my own worst critic. I can speak kinder to a stranger than my own soul. When my plans don’t go as planned or I deal with setbacks, I just fall in despair and allow the Enemy to speak lies. My anxiety is heightened and I get into this headspace of hopelessness. I am blessed to have people in my life to encourage me, to lead me to Christ, and to pray for me. Though I am glad I have them, they should be the last people I go to.

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Sometimes I feel God is so silent, it’s almost like I am all alone (but that’s the Enemy). In all actuality, I’m not alone; I am just not still. That is a problem: It’s hard to be still when your mind is running 500 miles an hour.

I had a moment of anxiety last week and my family and friends said “Do not worry about the unknown. God has a plan.” I have struggled with when this current season will shift. I am in a season of waiting and it’s hard. It just weighed heavily last week.

And I was reminded of these verses:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 4:6-7

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-Jeremiah 29:11

So I am working on being kinder to myself. Give myself credit on how far I have come while waiting for the next step. Easier said than done but I am trying to take charge of my mental health and being. Knowing God’s Word helps fight the thoughts that can run me ragged. Doing my quiet time and being present in the moment. Interacting with fellow believers to keep me accountable. And stop and breath.

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A mantra I say some times is “daily bread.” I am referring to the Lord’s Prayer passage, “give us this day our daily bread.” I repeat it because it reminds me to be present now. I can focus what God has put in front of me and that’s all. That is what I need: daily bread from the One who gives it freely.

This revelation is not based on luck but on self-care and personal discernment for better. It is my form of self-care. Self-care is not just the physical things one does. I love to shop, get my nails done, have brunch, paint, etc. etc. But self-care is also the emotional and mental ways you care for your mind.

Like all of you, I am a work in progress. I am flawed but loved by a perfect Savior. I don’t reach perfection in this life. I have to keep bearing fruit allowing God to prune and grow me. So this is my growth and my self-care journey.

That’s me.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Believe with Bianca, Life as Bianca

Not Luck But My Work Ethic

New Life Alert: I found a job and have been working since December. YAY!!

A true blessing in the mist of the pandemic. The story is quite amazing and only God could have orchestrated the events.

Let’s go back 8 years. Fresh college graduate with dreams of being an attorney. Where to start..I did not know.

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My proud mom of a new graduate was telling her boss about my aspirations. Her boss said “I have a cousin who’s a lawyer. Let me call him.” Let’s call him Lawyer X. I got Lawyer X’s contact and emailed him. My mom’s boss said “He’ll be expecting you.” I emailed him, interviewed with him, and I became his intern.

It was a great experience. Being a lawyer is not like the television shows. It takes hard work and preparation to give adequate representation for a client. He was a quiet man but wise, really smart, and a Christian. I learned the best professional lessons of life from him.

Though it was only for the summer, we still kept in touch over the years. Always great encouragement and sage wisdom whenever we talked and emailed one another.

Let’s fast forward to November 2020 (I know..bad memories but bear with me). I was still looking for a job which was already hard as it was. I contacted Lawyer X and just asked, “If anywhere is hiring, please let me know.” He said he would be on the lookout. In mid-November, he emails me that there is a job opening: part-time and a lot of work but it will give me good experience.

I applied. I got an interview. I got the job. YAY!! (Mom gave me the biggest mama hug. She’d been praying really hard for me.)

I get there. I am getting acclimated to my new position. I talked how I was referred to this job by Lawyer X. My supervisor said, “Oh Judge X, we love him.”

HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE!!! I did a “That’s So Raven” vision vortex space out (90’s-00s Disney Channel reference) and remembered a few years back Lawyer X said he was a Judge at one of the local courts, part-time.

***Leaving vision vortex. Back to reality***

I totally forgot and did not remember which court Lawyer X (now Judge X) was at. Could Lawyer/Judge B have told my supervisor about me!?! Maybe… I did not know. When Judge X came to court for his hearings, we would talk some and get to our work. He never mentioned if he had anything to do it. But, I knew Judge X would never tell me if he had a hand in me getting hired.

About a month ago, I was doing some work for my supervisor. She complimented how I have been a big help and she is so glad Judge X told her about me. AHA! He did have something to do with it. My supervisor said how she was asking Judge X if he knew anyone who needed a job who was organized and a hard worker. Well not to toot my own horn, but I did a darn good job as a summer intern. She was hoping that I applied…she even said she waited for my application.

WOW! An internship from 8 years ago got me the job I have now.

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I know this is a long story but here is the purpose. My parents have always said ” A strong work ethic will bring you far in life.” It does and it did.

Yes, God worked in His providence to get me my job but also, my work ethic was my calling card and my resume. Showing your best work and skills will work out in your favor. It may not be immediate…it may take years but don’t fail to work hard in whatever you do.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.- Colossians 3:23-24

Whatever it is you are doing at a job, volunteering, serving your community, or a summer internship, DO IT WELL.

No matter how big or small your job is, your best work can lead to a bigger blessing.

I received rejection letters from countless employers. I was almost used to the rejection but God’s plan was bigger. My past experience led me to my job. My humble internship was not in vain. Lawyer/Judge X took notice and remembered and God made him remember me.

So it’s not luck that I got my job, it was evidence of God’s mighty hand through my work ethic as a former intern that got me where I am. I am truly in awe of how amazing all of this came together. But, I guess God makes things happen that way…and He’s not done yet.

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Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Blissful Favorites, Life as Bianca, My Lenses on Life

What is Black Joy to Me?

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Though I talk about black struggles, I want to end the month on a positive note. I want to express my idea of black joy.

Black Joy is:

singing Lift Every Voice and Sing

seeing Black Love

laughing no matter what the situation

seeing black excellence in all facets of society

watching the First African American male being sworn in as President

watching the First African American female being sworn in as Vice President

reading ignorance and racism to FILTH

uniting as one at the voting polls

looking fresh and fly when we step on the scene

seeing Black Fathers love their children

smelling our food

dancing and showing our swag when our song comes on

honoring African Americans legends and heroes who came before us

acknowledging the diaspora of blackness in our world

wearing my hair in various ways

memorializing our resilience through history

living as me though it is hard

This is black joy to me.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Believe with Bianca, Life as Bianca

A Blissful Salutation

Hello Blissful Fam,

I know it has been a long while since I last posted (i.e. March). The pandemic was intensifying and toilet paper was flying off the shelf (weird? I believe so). I thought that things would eventually pass but boy was I wrong.

At the start of the quarantine lockdown, I thought I would be at my peak in creativity. I thought that I would be a creative machine. A pandemic was not going to stop my optimism.

Well I was wrong. I got weary, restless, bored, and lost interest in things. Looking back (while still in the pandemic), I felt drained. I dealt with a lot of setbacks and disappointments during the quarantine. I felt empty and depressed. The anxiety of the pandemic and the rise of racial tensions made me feel hopeless at times. The weight of seclusion and helplessness came heavily and I shut down hoping that I would have the energy and the will to write and be creative again.

Blissful Lesson: You can’t pour out what you don’t have.

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I allowed myself time to come together. To rest. To recharge. To just feel better. So I stopped writing. I had to find joy and contentment again. I was not blissfully me so who was I to tell people to be positive. So, seven months later, I feel better. And I desired to write again to you.

I want my writing to be organic, not forced, from a place of authenticity and love for you all. So it was not intentional but something I needed to do.

So, I just wanted to say hello again.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

Take A Step Back

I am learning more each day about taking a step back. It does not mean you are incompetent but are aware of your boundaries. As a reformed perfectionist and people-pleaser, I am getting better in taking an intentional step back. I cannot give what I do not have. I need to recharge, rest, and have a moment of silence/solitude. It’s a form of self-care that I am tapping into.

So to start 2020, I am taking a step back. I am taking a little sabbatical till March to rest from blogging and work on life. Yours truly needs self-care. I want to focus on other things in my life.

Don’t worry. I have wonderful ideas for 2020. I want to continue to grow but also need to take a step back.

Keep reading and hold on. I will be back again. Love you all Bliss Fam.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

Hello 2020!

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The man said, “Let me go because the dawn is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.”-Genesis 32:26

I will not let you go until you bless me.

2020 is a new start and beginning to immeasurably more. I don’t really have new years’ resolutions but a theme for the new year.

Blessing is the theme. It is not “I want list” but believing that everything is a blessing. Whether good or a setback, it will birth a blessing down the road. Hard work and trials are building blocks and ways to grow. God’s “no” is not yet, there is something better. There is something better on the horizon. It’s something to look forward to

Don’t get me wrong…I do have goals to accomplish spiritually, career-wise, relationally, and mentally. How I get to those goals centers around my theme of blessing. I am blessed at how far God has brought me, I am blessed in the present, and looking forward to the blessings God has in store for me. But I know God knows my needs before I think of it. So that is why resolutions seem unrealistic to me. But that’s just me.

That is my outlook for 2020.

Blessings,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

2019 in Review

2019 was a great improvement from 2018. I experienced so many blessings and experience. Here is a recap of the 2019.

Luna– This year, we added our newest and 6th member of our family. Our Luna joined our family in February. She will be my sister’s emotional support dog but she is a part of all of us. This is a our pet. We have learned so much about ourselves. She brings us so much joy and happiness. Now I understand how attached people are to their pets. Luna is our family and she completes our family.

Reunions– With the end of the decade, this year was about looking back literally and figuratively. I attended my high school reunion this year which was not as bad as I thought. It was a fun summer day at the baseball game. High school Bianca has come a long way. Another reunion I had was former campus pastor’s retirement. I was honored to be there as a part of his legacy of ministry. I got to see friends that I have not seen in years. Both were great moments.

Two Angels– This year, Heaven gained two beauties: my dear friend, Mrs. Connie Gordon and my aunt (dad’s sister). I know they are safe in the arms of Jesus. I miss them every day but I know I will see them again

Concert Season– This year was a year of first enjoying concerts and festivals. It was lit. Shaky Knees was my first music festival EVER. My sister sang with a non-profit, Songs for Kids that deals with music therapy for kids with illnesses. It was awesome hearing her perform her original songs and killing it. Heize was my first K-Pop concert with my sister and her friend. She was so sweet and I got to hug her. AHHH!!! PJ Morton was my first STAN concert. It was a great, fun experience listening to live music and getting MY life with my sister. I just enjoyed time with my sister listening to great music and looking forward to do more next year.

The Leon’s Take Miami– Our family went south to MIAMI. It was an unforgettable vacation. We drove 12 hours there and back. We brought Luna with us. Even while on vacation, God really revealed a lot to me during that time.

New Home-To end 2019, we moved. It was a short but long process of searching, making offers, filling out paperwork, and moving. But we ended a 20 year era in our old home but it was time for a change. We are thankful to have the memories and are already making new memories in our new home. And yours truly has her own room. YES!

Celebrating 29– Well it is truly the end of an era. I celebrated the last of my 20’s in a classy way. Brunching and High Tea with friends was so much fun. It was a intimate brunch with family and friends. My family and friends know how to spoil me with love and appreciation.

All in all, 2019 brought a lot of growth, happiness, and new experiences. On to other new experiences in 2020! Excited to see what God has in store.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

The Greatest Lesson of 2019

The greatest lesson of 2019: Be open to God’s redirection.

I am a planner at heart. I am a reformed perfectionist. I am quite type A but am trying to let go of the reins some.

Since graduating law school, I had this grand plan of independence that would take less than six months. Well that was in 2017. God has stripped away all my “expectations.” As my plans started to fall, my anxiety went higher, I felt hopeless, and I became bitter.

But it was not until this summer where God woke me up. I heard a message about bitterness that brought me down to earth. My bitterness was preventing my breakthrough. Me. My perfectionist, type A self was preventing my blessings. I was not allowing God to direct me. I just wanted to be established and well off…with my plan.

After much prayer, God used my family, friends, and mentors to reveal my lack of contentment and my bitterness. The truth was t I was holding on to my law school season and wanted more. God gave me the season and I had to let it go. So I surrendered it for good. God was going redirect my life in this season of adaption and adjustment.

I started appreciating my blessings more while waiting for the next step. The more I let go, the more God could work through me.

God’s redirection is not easy. It is a daily surrender. I do not know what tomorrow holds. I do not know what 2020 holds but God will redirect my steps as He has done time and time again. And I will be open and ready.

Blissfully,

Bianca