Girl, You Got This!
A conversation with my 16-year old self.
You would find me in the loan department of the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago as a clerk.
This was not my plan, but my dad’s big idea to which I unenthusiastically complied. I finished high school at fifteen and a half. Dad thought I needed to be gainfully occupied while I awaited my ‘green card’ to migrate to the USA to join my mom. So he orchestrated this job; the bank manager was his friend.
What is an almost 16-year-old doing, hanging out with all these grown-ups? Or so it seemed until the conversations began and I realized they were just as silly as me, just older.
Enjoying daily catered lunches, fancy uniforms provided by the bank’s dress- maker and an ‘entrée’ into the grown up parties. Don;t stress there’s no card check in the islands. My oh my, I had no idea how good life was, an opportunity to observe life from a style and level I didn’t know anything about.
My dear 16-year old Sharon,
• Girl, learn all you can and enjoy every moment; a year goes by quickly.
• Be more observant, watch what they do, not what they say. You will learn a ton more with a keen eye
• I see you girl, building connections with people and enjoying it! Forget about Biology/STEM and family pressure. A life built around your natural inclinations/strengths will serve the world and feed the hunger in your soul
• What guy? Yes, that guy. LOL, he was the one…
• You will soon meet a nemesis called SNOW when you arrive in New York, and 39 years later you will still hate every encounter with that demon dressed in white…Lol
• Stop and repeat that poem you learned in elementary school by Mary Harris, “People will Talk,” you would need that wise counsel for years to come
An excerpt from People will talk:
And then if you show any boldness of heart, Or a slight inclination to take your own part,
They will call you an upstart, conceited, and vain; But keep straight ahead, don’t stop and explain
For People Will Talk
Now, the best way to do is to do as your please, For your mind, if you have one, will then be at ease.
Of course, you will meet with all sorts of abuse, But don’t think to stop it, it is of no use,
For People Will Talk
So my dear Sharon, please go forth and boldly show the world who you are, or risk bearing the weight of the definitions the world will create for you. Stop worrying, live freely, because People Will Talk”
You could read the entire poem here. https://njkatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/a-beloved-poem/