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Allow Growth

Good morning all my beautiful people! It’s another Monday and what better day to get a good message for the week. This is such an important week in our country, but I couldn’t find a better week to start this conversation. With election day being this Tuesday, November 3, I hope everyone has either already voted or has made a plan to go out tomorrow and do your part. Now that we’re past the “remember to vote if you haven’t” part of today’s message, let’s get into the juicy stuff. This week I want to focus on allowing growth.

In a recent IGTV post, comedian Amanda Seals made a statement on the importance of allowing people to make mistakes and grow from them. Watching that video actually gave me the inspiration to write this post. Although she was speaking on the presidential candidates and politics when she made her post, it doesn’t change the fact that it still applies to our regular everyday lives.

We’ve all been there, holding on to a mistake; something that seemed good in the moment, but was ridiculous in hindsight. The question is always “how can I be better,” “what could I have done differently”, but the truth is there’s nothing. In Amanda’s video, she talked about how easy it is to speak in hindsight and that’s so true. Looking back, it’s always so easy to say I should have done this or I should’ve said that, but we only work in the moment; we can only control our moments.

In our moments, often enough, we mess up. It’s okay to mess up, as long as once we realize our mistakes, we allow ourselves a chance to learn and grow from those mistakes. Allowing growth is a thing that has to be done intentionally. It’s entirely too easy to get caught up in the things we’ve done wrong, or even the things we didn’t do that we should’ve. In order to allow growth, you have to first accept whatever happened and let it go. I’m not saying you have to forget about it, but you shouldn’t dwell. That sort of obsession, the kind that comes with dwelling, isn’t conducive for growth. You have to let go, move on, if you plan to truly grow.

Allowing growth is such a relieving thing; being able to look back later and see where you started and how far you’ve come is truly the best feeling. So this week, let’s focus on accepting the things in our past, letting go of our inhibitions, and making space for growth. Grow into your true selves; don’t let anything hold you back, don’t allow any swelling or regretting to get in the way of your growth. It’s so crucial to allow growth; allow yourself to grow, allow others to grow. You have a bigger issue if everything and everyone always stays the same than you do if you continue to grow. It can be scary, it can be uncomfortable, it can even cause friction, but you must accept and allow growth in your life. “You’ll never get anything new if you’re always doing the same thing.” Grow, today, tomorrow, and forever.

Wishing you all a happy and safe Monday. Don’t forget to vote if you haven’t yet, and tune into my Facebook live tomorrow at 7pm EST for live election updates, what to expect tomorrow and everything you need to know about this 2020 presidential election results.

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Know Your Worth

Good morning, good afternoon, good whatever time it is that you are reading this. The start of another week is finally upon us so as always, happy Monday. I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m really excited about this week. It’s definitely a super busy week, but honestly, I love to be booked and busy. I just know this is going to be a week full of tests and opportunities. With that being said, there’s really no better week to remind you guys, and myself, to know your worth!

It can be so easy to get comfortable in places that accept you. I’m not just talking about work; you can get comfortable in a specific area, in a relationship, in a mind set, at a pay grade, literally any situation that is accepting can become comfortable. Knowing your worth is knowing when to leave comfort. Being comfortable or feeling secure in a situation that is no longer benefiting you can really become detrimental. The biggest part of knowing your worth, in my opinion, is knowing when to move on.

There are things that are meant to last for life. Things like true love and peace are qualities that we should strive to keep forever. Now that 9-5 that won’t give you a decent raise after all the years and skill you’ve put in; that relationship you’ve been in all this time that’s not producing more than a headache and an occasional good time; that house you’re renting that always has 100 things wrong with it and your landlord is giving you shit about fixing it; those are the kinds of places where you’re apparent comfort is costing more than it’s paying you. Those are the situations where you need to either demand what you’re worth (and settle for NOTHING less) or find a new position for yourself.

There are opportunities meant specifically for you; rooms that your feet are meant to enter, places that your eyes are meant to see, experiences that you’re supposed to live and be a testament for; but you’ll never make it there if you don’t know your worth. People will put limits on you that are less than what you’re worth, and at the expense of comfort, you’ll end up settling for those limitations. Now I’m not saying you should go quit your job if they refuse to give you a raise, I’m not saying you should let your mouth write checks that your ass can’t cash, but you know what you have to offer. You know what you should be getting in return for your work, for your love, for your time. It’s not always a price in dollars and cents, but sometimes it’s as simple as getting around new people in a new environment.

Let this week be good to you. Let this be a week that you really consider what you’re worth and what you’ve been getting. If you find that you’re in a position where you’re not getting a proper return on your investment (whatever you’re investing in that situation) then it’s time to find a situation that better suits you. It may be scary and it may be uncomfortable and it may be outside of your norm, but there are people that are willing to give you everything you want plus some. You just have to know what you want. So make this week the starting point of knowing your worth and not settling for anything less than.

I hope everyone has a great Monday, a great and safe week, a week full of blessings and opportunities. Know your worth this week and have a very happy Monday!

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Believe in Yourself

Good morning and another happy Monday to you all! I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m feeling really optimistic about this week. God’s got some big things brewing and I just feel it in my spirit! Something’s about to shift, about to change for the better. So today, I want to encourage everyone to just believe in yourself!

If you really know me at all, I am super self critical. I can always find something wrong with my work, I can always improve somehow, my stuff is often not good enough for me, and I know I’m not the only one. Over the course of this year, (and maybe my whole life honestly) my biggest barrier to progress has definitely been myself.

I can be such a perfectionist. Everything I do, I want it to be the best thing I’ve ever done. Even with the joys of the journey, once the end of the road is in sight, I tend to drag my feet rounding the corner because I always know I can do so much better. The truth is though, as long as I look at my own work, it’ll never truly be as great as I want it to be.

There’s always so much learning to do, but one of the biggest things I can say I learned recently is to step outside of my own head. I am so filled with joy and a sense of accomplishment knowing how many of you love what I have to say, even when I think I could’ve said it better. That’s the way the world works though; you got a gift to share with others, not to hold it all in for yourself. So whatever it is you do, put it out there, believe in yourself! When you believe in yourself, other people do too.

I hope everyone has a great day, a great week, a great life. Let’s remember that we are our biggest enemy sometimes. Don’t let that self doubt come and steal your joy, or your peace, or your purpose! I want you to say this quick prayer: “Lord, thank you for my gift. Thank you for giving me a way to commune and fellowship and truly touch and inspire other people. Please give me the strength, courage, a perseverance to use my gift in it’s maximum capacity. Amen.”

Like I said, big things are coming, great things are coming, but you’ve got to believe in yourself before you can see them too! Happy Monday!

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Take A Stand

Good morning my beautiful people. Here we are again at the beginning of another week. I hope everyone’s weekend was splendid and you all got the rest you needed to head into this new week the right way. Here in Georgia, today marks the first day for early voting. With election day only right around the corner, I want today’s inspiration to be one that you use not just at work or school, but also at the polls. This week’s theme and the motivation to get us through the week, it’s time to take a stand.

I know how easy it is to get caught up in the way things are going sometimes. In this day, it’s so easy to feel discouraged and defeated, but I’m here to tell you do not falter! Whatever it is you believe in, stand up for it. We’ve all been in so many testy situations; things that may make you question how you feel or what you believe, but if you believe it, stand firm on it! I believe in Jesus and equality and respect and hard work and human decency and southern hospitality; and even though everybody doesn’t believe in the same things as me, it doesn’t change what I believe in.

We know the difference between right and wrong. We know what’s expected of each of us, and even though everyone may not want to admit it, we know what we expect of every other person too. I’m not saying that we should all believe in all of the same stuff. There’s a lot we can agree to disagree on. One thing that stands true regardless, without any solid beliefs, you’ll always be lost and susceptible to being mislead. Alexander Hamilton once said, “those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” It’s so important to have principles and beliefs that you stand on!

So this week, as we move into placing ballots, and just through our daily lives, let’s be sure to stand for something. Everything in life is not simply black and white, but certain things are and it’s important to choose which side of those things you’re on. Regardless of what you believe, let those beliefs be your boundaries, your foundation, and your sense of solidarity as you wander through life. Don’t turn from your beliefs, don’t be swayed another way; it’s okay to believe differently than others as long as you’re respectful about the fact that they are just as entitled to their beliefs as you are. We’ve talked about setting boundaries and being kind; all these things intertwine on a daily basis, especially now as we talk about standing in your own beliefs. Be sure to stand for what you believe in, and even though you may disagree with someone else’s beliefs, you should expect them to also stand in theirs. This Monday and this election season, and really the rest of our lives, we should stand firm with heads held high in our beliefs; and in this season of change, let’s simply be kind to others, pray for others, and respect that all people simply will not believe the exact same things as you.

I hope everyone has a great day, a great week, and during this election season please stand for something or fall for anything that comes. Remember GO VOTE!!!

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Plant Parenting

It’s finally Friday and I can’t say how excited I am for this weekend. I don’t even really have anything planned, but I just know I’m going to do some great cleaning and relaxing. I’m not sure if it’s just been me, but this week has been a DRAG! Everyday this week has seemed to just been long and either really busy or really boring. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m glad it’s finally over.

One exciting thing that happened this week despite the drag is I adopted two new plant babies. I technically just have temporary custody of them, but it’s still exciting. I brought them home from work, they were holding on for dear life in that office. I’m not good with remembering plant types, but I did give them names. Added to our little plant family this week is Tam, a vining plant that only had two surviving leaves, and CB, I really don’t know how to explain to you guys, but it was suffering too.

I have a couple other house plants, Carlito the Cactus, Nina, and Terrance. Other than Carlito, I really don’t know the specifics of my other kiddos, but I really can say that I do love them. The same way that you feed and care for yourself, your children, and your pets, is the same nurturing love you should give to your plants. Make sure that you know how much water they need and how often they need it, when to repot your plants, and how much light they need.

There are studies that show the many benefits of having house plants. Things from boosting your mood and decreasing stress, to cleaning indoor air by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen, indoor plants are great for every household. I know you may be thinking, “I don’t have enough time for that” or ” there’s no good lighting in my house” or even “I’ve got no clue what I’m doing.” It’s all okay. There are plants that require low maintenance, survive well in low lighting or shaded areas, and even all kinds of websites and stores with a variety of beginner friendly plants for those of you just getting started.

On my very short list of things to do this weekend, I do plan on trying to find a few more babies to add to our plant family. I encourage everyone to start a plant family; make sure to name each one and raise them well. The best reward of plant parenting is looking back and seeing the growth. A great addition to every home without breaking the bank is a new plant. Remember, the grass is greener wherever you water it, why not get some new perspective on that statement?

From left to right: Carlito the Cactus, Nina, and Terrance on their new shelf
Tam and CB when I got them home
CB after being repotted with new soil after removing dead leaves
Tam’s only surviving leaves in water waiting to grow new roots so I can repot her.

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October Surprise

The first thing we need to discuss is the elephant in the room: what is an October Surprise? An October Surprise is defined by Wikipedia as, “in US political jargon… a news event that may influence the outcome of an election (particularly one for US presidency) whether deliberately planned or spontaneously occurring.” This year’s surprise is one that has definitely thrown itself into our faces with impeccable timing.

On Sept. 29, the first presidential debate for the 2020 campaign period was held in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a disaster, to say the very least. According to a report by CBS News, Donald Trump interrupted Joe Biden around 73 times during the nasty squabble. Another report by the Slate, estimates that Trump interrupted both Biden and the moderator of the debate at least 178 times. The debate turned for the worse after the moderator asked a question to Trump about if he would condemn white supremacists and tell them to stand down at protests. After being told that he was being expected to condemn the ‘Proud Boys’, 45 said in response, “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what… somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

After being nationally and globally criticized for his role in the debates and the news of changes coming to debate rules, Trump issued his familiar sort of apology, saying he didn’t even know who or what he was really talking about. Of course, it seems like 45 has a history of news coming forth more shocking than the previous day’s headlines. Only two days after the debate, on October 1, the surprises began to roll in. News broke that Trump’s close aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for coronavirus. The ball only sped up from there. The morning of October 2, we found out that Trump and his wife also tested positive. By the fifth of October, there were a confirmed 14 members of government, white house staff, and Trump family with positive Covid-19 tests.

As much information as this seems to be, the last October surprise, in 2016, involved much more dramatic information being released over the course of a single weekend. In the weekend of October 7-9 of 2016, we learned of Russia meddling in elections, Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” interview, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails, the dis-invitation of Trump to a rally with House speaker Paul Ryan, a classic Trump “apology”, the second presidential debate, Trump’s impromptu press conference right before the debate that included 4 women (three of whom were accusing Bill Clinton of sexual harassment, and the forth whose rapist was represented in court by Hillary Clinton in her attorney days), and an attempt by Trump of ultimate intimidation by trying to have the 4 women sit in the family section of the debate audience.

We have endured these foolish antics for too long. The president has endorsed white supremacists, police and government agencies are preparing for mass turmoil on election day, we are one of the most affected/infected countries in the world in terms of coronavirus, we are the laughing stalk of democracy around the world. Now is seriously the time to get out and vote. It’s time to get rid of this kind of clownery.

We already experienced one jam packed weekend last election cycle and here we are at the start of a week that has already seemed to put the icing on the cake this year. The thing is we still have two presidential debates, a vice presidential debate, and 25 days left until this month is over; the real question on everybody’s mind now is what else is in store?

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Do It With Passion

“There is no passion to be found in playing small- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living,” a word from Nelson Mandela. I’ve spent my whole life writing. I wrote in my journals and for my classes and for other people. Writing is a thing that I’ve undoubtedly always been passionate about. Until just recently, I never thought that my writing really meant much. I always knew I was good, I knew that people showered my work with compliments, completely in awe whenever they read it, or I read it for them.

When I went to college, I originally majored in chemistry. I figured I could always write on the side without a degree, so I went with what I liked and where the money would be. By the end of my second chemistry class, I was MISERABLE! I almost had enough credits to start my junior year, and I decided to essentially start over. I changed my major to English; my school didn’t offer courses in creative writing, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do, but I settled. One semester later, I was back in the same predicament, MISERABLE! So I figured I’d take a semester off, and try again in the spring; the third time was definitely a charm for me. I decided to drop out and try to find a path outside of school.

I got a job, started participating in open mic performances, finished writing my first book, got an apartment, things were going well for me. I wasn’t miserable at every turn anymore; not until I decided to focus on a career and put my writing aside again. This isn’t meant to be a life story, but this is my testament. It took a lot of praying, so many sacrifices, trial and error, and a whole lot of doing things wrong, but when I finally decided to follow my passion, I found true pleasure, true happiness. I’m not at all saying that this is the easy path, but it’s been the most rewarding.

I’ve lived a short life, but God gave me a gift that has not only empowered me, but so many other people. We all have a gift, a fire that burns inside of us regardless of how much we try to put it out; we’re all passionate about something. Every move isn’t about the money. We so often hear so many stories of people coming from nowhere, sleeping in their cars, no job, no money, just following the light that their little fires created. When you work in passion, everything else falls into place.

This week, let’s focus on getting back into those things that we’re passionate about. Let’s try to take out some time to pray and focus and study on our passions. Sometimes, the best move you can make is a move based in faith; faith without action is dead. Allow yourself to indulge in those little things that really ignite your fire. “You have to be burning with an idea , or a problem… If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” (Steve Jobs)

If you take nothing else from this, take this and hold it tightly: “Whatever you do, do it with passion and everything else will come to you.” Have a great day, a great week, a great month, and a great time burning that fire.

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20 Things I Learned Before 21

Well today is my favorite day of the year, it’s my birthday! I finally made it to 21, whew! I know Tuesdays are usually political, but this week I’m going to switch things up in light of the Facebook live broadcast I have scheduled for this Thursday, October 1st at 7:30 pm, regarding the case of Breonna Taylor. Make sure to check out the post that I wrote last Thursday, to be engaged in the conversation this week.

Today I just want to share with everyone twenty things that I learned while I was 20. There definitely were more than twenty lessons this past year, but these are the top of the list, so without further ado, here’s twenty thing I learned in year 20.

  1. Every problem you have, no matter the cause or who else is involved, is YOUR problem to work through.
  2. Credit is a game, but we all need to be on the winning side. Build your credit by making purchases and make sure to always pay AT LEAST your minimum balance when things are due.
  3. You will find peace nowhere if you don’t have it on your own
  4. Mental health issues are real and it’s okay to not be okay sometimes
  5. It’s okay to get/want/need help
  6. Everything in life is a game of balance, keep your scales even
  7. Love alone is not enough to fix things with people
  8. When you invest in yourself, you are not missing out on anything
  9. Live life in terms of sufficiency instead of scarcity; if you’re always worried about what you don’t have, or running out of what you do have, you’ll never be able to truly enjoy anything
  10. Don’t kill yourself for a job; they don’t give a damn about you
  11. Invest time in things that make you happy, regardless of the stigmas that they may have.
  12. It’s okay to be passionate, loud and outgoing, but it’s also okay to be shy, quiet, and reserved; be you at all times
  13. Speak up for what you believe in
  14. Make boundaries EVERYWHERE and stand on them; if you know you do/don’t want to do something, say it and mean it
  15. If you want to smoke weed, grow your own because this stuff out here now is getting crazy
  16. Move at your pace, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re moving too fast/slow
  17. You don’t have to be 100% sure of every decision you make; trial and error is a great teacher
  18. Keep all receipts and important documents stored in a single, organized location
  19. Save money; trust me, that food at home still tastes just as good today as it did yesterday
  20. Live in love, passion, and understanding for others

I am so grateful, so blessed to have made it this far. I am constantly learning and growing and I accept all the things that life has for me. Thank you to everyone for all the birthday wishes, for all the love and continued support. I hope this day is as great for everyone as it has been for me.

Thanks for another chance to #TakeALook at things with me this Tuesday!

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Lose that Worry

I know so often, especially in today’s climate, it’s so easy to be overwhelmed with doubt and worry. Everything seems like its moving a hundred miles an hour, every day seems like it comes and goes in a flash, there’s all this stuff we had planned, stuff we were used to doing, all gone with no sure sign of when things are going to turn around. Trust me, I know it is so easy to worry, but let me say this too, it’s so freeing to put that worry to rest.

“Three little birds, sat at my window, and they told me I don’t need to worry.” Corinne Bailey Rae said these words on one of my favorite songs, “Put Your Records On.” This week’s theme is to not worry.

We’re officially in a new season, in three days we’ll be in a new month, and in 3 months we’ll be in a new year. With all the things to worry about in the world, let’s take this week to really unload. New seasons bring a chance for new change and new opportunities. Let’s spend this week in good spirits, spirits free from worry.

Let’s start this Monday with a simple prayer, “Lord thank you for a chance to start new. Thank you for this new season of change and blessings and opportunities. Please free my mind, body and spirit of all worry and negativity. Allow this freeness from worry me to follow me through this week and the rest of my life. Amen.”

Just like that, even without three little birds on your window sill, you have the same reminder not to worry. Enjoy this day and everyday from here. Be blessed, be safe, be worry-free and as always , happy Monday!

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Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment: what is it, who is it affecting, how do we deal with it? According to Oxford Languages by way of google search, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation.

In 2017, the spark of the “#MeToo” movement brought sexual harassment back to the forefront of media and conversation. Through this hashtag, many people told their stories, shared information, and stood together against sexual harassment in different industries. We were flooded with information in the news and on social media from all walks of life; men, women, gender neutral, musicians, actors and actresses, janitors, CEOs, and various types of professionals were included. I took the liberty of interviewing a few strong and willing people that wanted to share their stories. All names and jobs are changed for the protection of these people, but their stories, just the same, are ones that need to be told and evaluated.

The first interview I conducted was with a gentleman we’ll call Sam. Sam works in the warehouse industry and has for many years. While working as a forklift operator, Sam encountered an older woman that had a sort of leg fetish; the woman said that she “liked calf muscles.” She took it upon herself to comment on and even touch/rub on Sam’s legs whenever she saw them exposed. Sam, wanting to avoid issues and respect his elders, awkwardly laughed and asked, “why are you touching me?” The laugh may have thrown the woman off as she never stopped. Sam said he never reported the incidents because “she’s a lady and I’m a dude; people would call me gay.” While he said this was not his first experience of sexual harassment he said this was the one that made him feel the most uncomfortable. When asked for one suggestion towards reporting, responding to, and/or preventing sexual harassment, Sam suggested “keep pepper spray” as a deterrent and mechanism for defense if necessary.

The next interview I conducted was with a young woman we’ll call Susan. Susan worked in child care as a daycare teacher. Through the day, she was surrounded by other women at work, but her issues came when it was time for the children to be picked up. There were always comments made by some of the fathers that made her feel uncomfortable, but no one had the persistent or gall of one father in particular, let’s call him Will.

Will, a married man with a daughter attending the daycare that Susan worked at, would hassle Susan with inappropriate comments. He engaged in slightly touching her saying things like, “you can watch my daughter at my house” and “I’d love to see you outside of here.” Susan initially just ignored her harasser As she was not his daughter’s teacher, she would try her hardest to avoid him altogether during pick-up. This didn’t help though. Will would ask the other teachers where Susan could be found, and although they knew that she was essentially hiding from the man, they would still point him in her direction.

Susan eventually addressed the man and his wife. His wife defended his actions by saying that he was just joking and being nice. After being blown off by them, Susan took her complaints to the director of the daycare looking for some sort of solace and solution. This also got her nowhere. Despite the strict rule against teacher-parent relations, the director of the daycare told Susan to “be lucky; you get all the compliments.” To make matters worse, Will eventually found Susan’s social media accounts and attempted to engage with her via personal messages. All these things combined lead Susan to finding another place of employment; she decided to completely change industries to avoid any possibility of running into another father like Will. When asked for suggestions on reporting, responding to, and preventing sexual harassment, Susan said, “every time an employee seems or reports being uncomfortable, coworkers and employers should take the situation as seriously as possible; regardless of opinions on the situation.”

The last interview I conducted was with a woman we’ll call Sally. She works in the automotive industry. Sally commented by first saying that her job depends mostly on group work and being able to be reached for communications. Although she did have a company email address, she was not provided a laptop or cell phone, so all her communications were done through her personal phone number. She describes her most uncomfortable sexual harassment experience as one that started at work and tended to follow her home. After giving out her phone number to a group of colleagues, one of the women in the group started to make advances. It started as slight comments and sort of “class clown” notions while at work to get Sally’s attention. Once when shaking hands at the end of the day, the woman, who we’ll call Kate, kissed Sally on the hand. Kate’s actions only escalated from here. She began to text Sally everyday. She sent good morning texts and instead of acting out in front of the group, Kate would send text messages complimenting or even complaining to Sally. Eventually, the two stopped working together, but they were still at the same job. Kate’s text messages became more and more personal. Text messages included Kate saying things such as “we were meant to be together,” and expressing anger when she felt that Sally was being too personal with other coworkers.

In this time, Sally expressed on multiple occasions that she had no sexual intentions when agreeing to work with Kate or giving out her phone number. Despite this, Kate persisted for months, essentially having full daily conversations with herself as Sally did not respond. After Kate transferred to another location, the comments went from sexual and possibly inviting, to threatening and more stalker like. Kate would call and text from different numbers and email addresses to try to get a response. She would send Sally text messages whenever they were on the same property. Comments would include, “I saw you today, and there were two seconds that you looked at me and I knew you’d eventually be mine forever.” Sally says she never saw Kate on the days when Kate remarked seeing her.

Sally ended up reporting these issues to the HR department of her company. Unfortunately, Sally was not at all satisfied with the results of this report. She said although the company addressed Kate and told her to stop, they tried to make a lot of the fault seem like Sally’s. Why had she let it go on for so long, why didn’t she block the numbers or change her own number. They also made the case seem to Sally like it was one of just custom harassment and not sexual harassment because both parties involved were female. While Sally reports the personal messages have stopped, she suspects that Kate has made fake pages on social media to follow her, as names much like Kate’s often show up in her views and messages. When asked for suggestions to aid in reporting, responding to, and preventing sexual harassment, Sally said, “just try to go to work, keep your head down, and go home. Hopefully they won’t notice you then.”

These are only three private instances of sexual harassment at work . All of these in different industries, under different circumstances; yet, we see how each situation is one that can and was severely uncomfortable. In one instance, it lead to the need to seek other employment altogether. While I am not saying that all employers don’t take sexual harassment seriously, I sat through interviews with people that admitted to originally being scared to even say something to their employers. People fear retaliation from their harassers or employers, being blown off, and even their story trying to be turned against them.

Determining what is sexual harassment is a call for employers to make. Although there is legislation about it, legislation states that there has to be a determination of frequency, severity, if the action is threatening/humiliating or just offensive and if it interferes with performance at work. Most of these things are based on perception beyond the victim’s. Despite all this, there are ways to report sexual harassment until it is taken seriously. If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, report it. Even if you only report it to a fellow colleague, sexual harassment claims can be reported by anyone it affects or makes uncomfortable, not just the victim. If things persist, take things up the chain of command. If possible, keep a log of every offense and communication so that people cannot try to contest your claim. There are sexual harassment hotlines that you can find for your state or job based on your location. If all else fails or you feel the need to go straight up the latter, you can file a claim with the EEOC.

I know that all these things seem long and tedious. I know that we all wish there was an easier way to avoiding, reporting, and responding to sexual harassment; but honestly, there just isn’t. The best advice I really have is to start by speaking up for yourself. Whenever you feel uncomfortable, make it clear to the person making you feel that way; don’t laugh or brush it off or take it lightly. I know that we try to be nice and avoid issues at work, but harassers often say that they “didn’t know” their behavior was inappropriate because the victim never spoke up, or laughed/chuckled at the comments.

As we learn to recognize and properly approach sexual harassment at work, let’s be sure to keep ourselves, co-workers, and employers in line and held accountable for all actions and claims of sexual harassment. Let’s remember to look out for each other at work. We all go to work to do our job and make it back home to our families; why not keep an eye out for people feeling uncomfortable in these professional spaces. Lastly, like yesterday’s post said, let’s remember to be kind. It is never easy to speak on being a victim of anything; remember to be kind with yourself and with others, especially as it relates to topics as sensitive as this.

As always, be blessed, be safe, and thanks for tuning in for another #TakeALook Tuesday!