Coming Out Again & Again
I have always fit in. I was popular in high school. Vice President of my sorority in college. I had friends who mostly identified as straight. Early on in my career, I spent happy hours laughing with my coworkers about bad dates with boys. I had a Patrick Swayze poster on my childhood bedroom wall (though to this day, I argue he is a man for all sexual preferences). I blended in while also marching to the beat of my own drum. I have never lived by the status quo, but also never truly wanted to stand out that much in that way.
It wasn’t until my early 20s that I came out to close friends and family. Overall, it was a wonderfully positive experience. There were a few people who recommended that I don’t tell anyone at work. If it was a “phase” or I “changed my mind,” I wouldn’t want to be labeled something I wasn’t. In the late ’90s and early aughts, there was no term for “gender fluidity” in the lexicon. No gray line to blur gender and sexual expression. You were either gay, straight or a “confused” bisexual.
We are all living in quite a different world than we were a year ago, there’s no denying that. With the changes that came from the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing pajamas to work, strategizing where to buy toilet paper, and baking one too many banana breads became the norm. There also came a major shift in everyone’s favorite four-letter word: work.
Similar to other companies and businesses that were able, Nebo shifted to a work-from-home environment effective Monday, March 16, 2020. We have maintained this policy to this day. With this shift, we have become ever reliant on our other favorite four-letter word: Zoom.
Since 1949, May has been Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. It’s a good time to break down stigmas, advocate for proper mental healthcare and, most importantly, take the time to check in with yourself. And this year, that’s true more than ever.
“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” - Blaise Pascal, mathematician, philosopher
This guy wasn’t even a writer, but he knew what was up.
Much like others who’ve also been credited with coining similar sentiments: Churchill, Twain, Ben Franklin, and Honest Abe to name a few, Pascal recognized that concise writing — better writing — takes time and effort. IMO, today’s writing could learn a thing or two from these wordsmiths of yore.
What’s your sign? How about your love language? Which Kardashian-Jenner would you be? It’s safe to say we can infer something about other people and ourselves based on these various personality assessments.
What about for the workplace, though? Sure, you could ask your colleague which Kardashian they’d be, but there are certainly better options out there that, based on your answers, can (eerily) tell you a lot about yourself that you may or may not have known or acknowledged before.
The past year has illuminated some of the unfortunate realities of the Black experience in America. I won’t rehash the play-by-play of Black trauma here for you — if you’ve been tuned in to the news cycle, you’ve seen the videos and heard the reports. By now, we should all be well aware of the reckoning this country is having with the history of racism, prejudice and bias woven into its foundation.