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6 Things you Can Do and Not Do to Improve Your Relationships!

I want to preface this blog by stating I am NOT a therapist or a relationship expert. I am simply sharing observations and insight from conversations all that said I am thoughtful and I work to manage my relationships, because people matter!

Throughout this post you will see friendship and/or relationship used. Friendships matter and so do intimate relationships. So the advice can apply to both. That said I hope this touches something in each of us. Some of the items on the list I struggle with myself, so this acts as a reminder to me as well.

6. Do not let your ego over shadow your friend and/or relationship.

When I look at some lasting relationships I see people who can laugh at one another and also laugh with one another. Some of us let our ego over power us and our partners. We are too good to be wrong, we have to be right and we get in the weeds of things that do not matter. In your relationship your credentials, degrees, cars and age should not be used to trump your partner. EVER! Throw all that out the door. Yes you worked hard to attain and accomplish certain things, but your friendship and/ or relationship should not be the place you prop yourself up in, it should be a safe place to just exist.

5. Respect your friend and/or partners time.

This may seem like common sense, but it is vital. If you have a commitment meet it or give notice prior to the date and time you cannot meet the commitment. Things come up. We overbook ourselves and sometimes we forget, but if you consistently drop the ball or disrespect their time, then you are communicating to that friend and/or partner that they are not valuable.

4. Publicly Show Respect to Your Friend/ Partner.

Acknowledging your friends and/or partner is important. Be sure you are not spending all your time arguing about a sports team, movie, singer, etc. At a party or gathering mention how proud of your friend/ partner you are. Social media is inundated with arguments over people many of us do not know, but what about that/those special individual(s) in your life. When is the last time you bragged on your friends and the work they are doing and the achievements they are completing?

3. DO NOT AIR YOUR LAUNDRY IN FRONT OF PEOPLE!

Think of it this way. When your apartment or house has a leak or broken appliance. Are you going to post about it on Social media for days or even weeks before fixing it or are you going to get to work trying to fix it? The same goes for friendships and/or relationships. Do not vent to social media about your relationship have a conversation with the person(s) you’re in relation with unless you are prepared to share ALL OF YOUR shortcomings! Do not try to show up or embarrass or send a message via social media.

2. Be respectful of your friend and/or partner’s other friends and family and expect the same.

You may not like one of your friend’s and/or partner’s other friends or family members, but instead of trashing and tearing them down and involving your friend or partner have a respectful adult conversation to try and resolve or mend things. Nothing good can come from you libeling, attacking and attempting to discredit someone else. Make an effort to be in a healthy communicative interaction with people that you WILL have to share space with, that your partner love.

1. Actively work on you.

Friendships and/or relationships are the process of evolution. Your friend(s) and/or partner should be able to support you and you do the same. However if you are simply knee deep in their business and their endeavors you cannot evolve on your behalf in the best way. Yes you may have times where one of your friends and/or your partner may need you, but to completely dump your dreams and abandon your own ambition is a recipe for disaster.

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Before Moving to LA Read This!

My move to LA has been one of the best moves that ever happened to me, but I wish someone gave me a guide book to the city before moving here.

LA has so much to offer and it also has some very real challenges. To help you prepare I came up with a guide to help with important things to consider.

  1. Financial Preparation-

I am starting here, because this can literally make OR break you. The stories of coming to LA with $1,000 are great and good inspirational stories, but you are going to be in a word of hurt if you do that in or after 2017.

Here’s why. The cost of living is something we hear a lot about as it pertains to LA, but that does not put into perspective what it means. Groceries are more expensive, housing is not just more expensive, but it can be extremely to have a safe place to live if you are not prepared to drop in excess of $2,500 for a studio, and then buy appliances and a window unit. You read that right not central a/c a window unit and buy appliances. So if your mental calculator is not the best, your total move-in costs could quickly exceed $3,000 for a studio with no real updates completed since 1990.

Another aspect to prepare for is the super competitive housing market. Here today gone today explains apartments in LA. If the apartment is a great deal, comes with a stove and fridge (or 1 of the 2) expect it to be gone quickly. Shopping around is a luxury in LA.

Check out the housing links for Craigslist, HotPads, and Westside Rentals to help you find a place to live prior to moving so that you can unpack your bags and not find yourself couch surfing for months on end.

  1. Physical preparation-

The hustle and bustle of the city is real. That said you need a healthy outlet to sweat out the alcohol, possible stress, and being photo ready for the LA weather.

Start early. Before you move find a park near you to go running or map out a route in your neighborhood. LA is a city where a gym membership is nice, but plenty of people stay fit with a hike and boot camp.

  1. Spiritual preparation-

This is probably the biggest and most important point. Know who you are before you get here. Something a sound spiritual life can only provide. Moving to LA you are going to encounter your favorite actor or singer in random places. You may be invited to countless events, and there is always something to do. Be sure those opportunities do not define you and that your self worth does not need a backdrop, exclusive party, or celebrity picture to let you know you belong.

The amazing thing about LA is there are great spiritual outlets. There are churches, Buddhist temples, and everything in between to meet spiritual and religious needs you have.

  1. Work Ethic-

Point blank have it before you get here. You may be the best in Middle America, Dallas or Houston, TX or even Miami, but there are 100k people in LA who are just as good and probably better. What is going to differentiate you is your work ethic. No is going to be something you hear a lot of. It may come in the form of “let’s talk later”, “let’s do lunch”, or “something came up”, but be diligent and stay ready. You have to be prepared like never before which is why your spiritual preparation aligns with your work ethic.

  1. Professional Preparation-

Be good at many different things and master one. LA is the land of opportunity. You should be knee deep in what you say you want to do. You may be moving to be an actor, but do not be afraid to dust that degree off and find a 9-5 until things get moving for you.

You may DJ on the weekends or in the evening, but drive for uber/lyft until you establish a network. In LA most people have multiple hustles.

This connects to the spiritual preparation portion, be kind and be humble. The person in yoga pants could be a yoga instructor, the VP at a major network, or your next publicist. LA is a casual city. You just never know who is who. I know social media makes you believe you have to dine at $100/plate restaurants nightly and brunch every day just do not fall into the trap that if that becomes your lifestyle you no longer feel the need to be kind and to stay humble.

  1. Learn the Areas-

Prior to moving to LA I thought I knew where I wanted to live. After over a year in Los Angeles I now realize I knew nothing. Here are a few neighborhoods I have learned about.

Hollywood

I first crashed with a friend in Hollywood. I loved the walkability and inexpensive Uber/Lyft in the area. The downside can be pricing and parking. Be prepared to only have street parking except from 8am – 6pm and not on Mondays for the street sweepers, which I never saw.

The Valley (Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Van Nuys)

Surprisingly this area comes with some fairly nice spaces. You can get more bang for your buck and you can get some good updated spaces. The downside is you are far from a lot of things and rarely does anyone travel to the Valley if they do not already live there. The area is also great for those who work at studios and dancers. North Hollywood also has a train station to help get you through the city.

Mid-City/ Koreatown

This area has decent apartment pricing. The challenge is parking. There is rarely parking available so if you live in one of those areas be prepared to pay for a spot if the option is available.

Ladera Heights

This neighborhood is a true gem. You can find homes that remind you of suburb from your local community. For me it reminds me of some neighborhoods in Houston. After taking a look at my place I walked to Starbucks, the cleanest one I have EVER seen, and found nearly 50 people playing Chess and checkers. Everyone seems to be friendly and it is not too close to the airport, but close enough for you to get there for $5 in an Uber/Lyft.

Good luck with the LA move. May it lead you to the next level of your journey!

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Thanks, But No Thanks!

Can you imagine how communication channels would open up if we listened with the purpose of actually hearing what people are saying?

Recently I did some soul searching as a result of some encounters that made me look at who I have been to people.

Sometimes in an effort to help or aid people we do more damage to relationships. I am sure you are asking how is that possible?

Here is how, when someone shares an issue, incident or road block, and without even hearing what they have done already or the attempts they have made to solve the issue some of us begin sharing unwanted and unnecessary “solutions”. We say, “what you should have done or what you could have done is.” Now the person who shared their issue with you is not only frustrated, but insulted. Especially if they have already gone to great lengths and tried what you suggested, plus some. 

Consider this, the next time you want to offer up advice or help solve the problem, ask the question, “Is there anything I can do to help?” Or “Would you like help?”

Can you imagine how those two questions may open the door for communication, salvage a relationship or you may uncover the person just needed to vent. Think about that person in your life who has annoyed you when you were dealing with an issue that you exhausted nearly every possible solution for. 

Often times people are not the issues our communication methods/styles are the issue or lack there of. Try something new when encountered with the opportunity to respond. Listen and then ASK if they want the help you are itching to provide. 

Good luck as you go and interact with friends, family and the world. 

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I Traded Financial Stability for Mental Peace.

In 2014 I realized I no longer wanted any parts of Corporate America and the hustle and bustle of working a 9-5 where I had to wear a suit and tie regularly. I knew I enjoyed the perks of being able to travel when I wanted, earning a great salary, but I hated working to live. I will not make this about race, but I will say Corporate America is not always the friendliest if you look like I do.

It seemed no matter what I made there was always something coming up that I had to work to pay off, pay down and contribute to. I admit that was me. It was spending habits, social circles and coping (as Solange explains it in Cranes in the Sky).

Like so many years 2016 started with me discussing moving to Los Angeles and quitting a very good paying job, but I did not put a date on paper. In February of 2016 after a weekend trip to New Orleans I discovered that a longtime friend had passed away due to complications during a surgical procedure.

It was literally at his funeral that I became inspired. Seeing a church with standing room only for a 31 year old shook me as if I was in a bounce house with twenty 5 year olds. I walked to my car thinking that my friend who passed, figured it out. He was determined to enjoy life as it is supposed to be enjoyed. Despite his health issues he never stopped pursuing his goals and his dreams. It was that day I looked at my calendar, decided on a date and made a declaration that on this day I would not only leave my comfortable job with a company car, good salary and ridiculous bonus, I would take a leap of faith.

I had applied to jobs in Los Angeles for nearly two years with frequent interviews and no job offers. Every job wanted a candidate to start or to come in to interview the next day. So I decided to trade my financial stability and move to Los Angeles with no job. I tell this story, because despite moving here without a job, a car or a place to call my own I never felt better. There was a huge mental weight lifted off my shoulders and I spiritually I found myself in a place of peace I had not experienced in at least 18 years.

That move not only, blessed my spirit it made me a better at managing my finances, my time and protecting my peace. I have become more clear on who I am, who I do and do not fit with and I have been able to grow.

Though my bank account is not as large, I may not be able to go out as much (on my dollar); I may not be able to eat out as much I have everything I need. If I never knew before I know now what faith looks like and what stepping out on it yields.

Though I know this may not work for everyone, I encourage anyone reading this to find out what it is you need to do to get mental and spiritual peace and go after it.

#iamjoecarnell

PRESS RESET

PRESS RESET!
Today I am pressing reset on life. My move is not just a move it is literally the pursuit of happiness. 

Over the past few years I have been comfortable. Comfortable with my jobs, comfortable with my circles yet something inside of me was unfulfilled. I made a decent amount of money in a city that’s fairly inexpensive to live in. 

Though I have been promoted at every job I have ever had it has not been enough. 
Several years back I got clear on my purpose in life. I knew my move was imminent I just needed to press the button.

I encourage anyone reading this who is feeling unfulfilled, maybe feeling like there is more you want to do. Take time to look at what you love/ enjoy what you are good at and find a way to marry the two. Do not let life’s circumstances constrain and restrain you. You may even see an opportunity to develop to get to where you belong.

Once you determine what it is you love/ enjoy and/ or were destined for, set a date, then work in reverse to think through how you can make it happen.

Though I know my next chapter will not be easy. I have no doubt that I will learn and truly LIVE.

This is not goodbye forever, but rather see you later. To the city that groomed me, the people who prepared me and experiences that shaped me. 

So don’t be afraid to press RESET on your life. It may not be a move. Maybe it is a new job. Maybe it is pursuit of an education. Maybe it is even a business venture. Set a date. Make a plan and Go! God will provide the thugs you need for you!

🙏🏾 PRESS RESET!

Prerequisite

For many the word prerequisite reminds us of the term we became familiar with while taking undergraduate courses.

The term, identified courses you had to take prior to taking next level courses. In many cases it meant taking your basics or making sure you mastered the basics.

Prerequisites, are also a must depending on the type of job/career you have. In the workplace a certain amount of work experience and practical knowledge is necessary to get and maintain your job/career.

Now that we all have become familiar with the term prerequisite is it safe to say that many of us have the wrong set of prerequisites when it comes to dating? On any given day as I scroll on social media or even view posts in one of the Facebook groups I am in, I notice individuals stating their prerequisites are a job, car, education, passport stamps and financial stability. For many years I too placed a good amount of weight on those qualities and add in education (formal). I felt like those things would yield an ideal partner. Am I the only one who has done this? The question is, “Is that all it takes?”

As I have matured my prerequisites are no longer the same. After having a fairly successful professional life (before the age of 30) I decided to stop slaving away for others to pursue my own passion. For about a year and a half I transitioned out of a life of excess and into a minimalistic life style. That transition taught me a lot. I found out who I really was and not what my car, trips, house, bank accounts and passports stamps portrayed me to be. I value integrity, a spiritual connection with a higher being (for me that’s Jesus), someone with a zest for life (with or without me) honesty (with or without me) and a intelligence (formal or informal). The reality is all of those qualities do not coincide with a certain vehicle, education or even home in a certain area.

I found that the superficial and dare I say materialistic prerequisites I had longed for were often masking ugly spirits, unattended insecurities and spiteful behavior. That is not to say everyone with an education, who is well traveled, drives a nice vehicle and had reached a certain socioeconomic level.

What I found is the qualities that I now valued were someone’s character and their aptitude had little to do with where they received their degree, their formal education (or lack there of) or even how many passport stamps they had. My prerequisites changed.

The the number of dates began to dwindle, when cute just did not cut it anymore. The number of nice restaurants I visited on dates significantly decreased and my bank account was happier for it. Intimacy was few and far between, because of the mental stimulation I now required. I rest easy knowing I have not wasted time seeing potential. Instead I see reality.

So while reading this I hope this does not read as an indictment to the well educated, well spoken, lavish home living, frequently passport stamped and well funded. In fact I hope it is encouragement to reveal more of who you really are and to require more than just the superficial as your prerequisite. A man/woman who works hard, has integrity, intelligence and is honest can achieve and attain as much if not more than the individual who is simply book smart, fiscally successful and cosmopolitan. You just cannot build character in a person who does not see the value in it.

What are your prerequisites?

Transition

This weekend was so memorable for so many reasons. Not simply because of the trip I took, but because the growth I’ve experienced over the last year.  Last year, on September 5th, 2014, I lost my job. I didn’t really share that with anyone at the time. Part of it was shame and part of it was self doubt, I am writing this blog to encourage someone who may feel stuck or feel like they aren’t progressing at a pace they would like.

At the time I was let go I had a mixture of feelings. I felt relief from a stressful environment, but I became stressed at the thought of having bills with no income. Upon losing my job, I no longer had a career to attach my ego to. It was a life changing moment. Throughout the next 5 months I did not know what God would have for me. My faith was tested, my finances were tested, and my ability to remain confident was tested.

Fortunately I saved about 3 months worth of money to be comfortable, however like so many Americans I was not prepared for the nearly 6 month transitional journey. I took on marketing communications consulting projects throughout the time while working a part time job and applying for jobs. That period of time developed patience like I never knew I had. Applying for easily over 750 jobs, over 5 months across the country does take a toll on your confidence.

I won’t delve too deep, but as a person of color we face an unemployment rate nearly twice the average I mention that, I hope in my lifetime we will have laws and penalties for companies who shy away from diversity. Both were more educated than I was. Throughout my transition, I thought back frequently on how two men I can call friend’s both overcame periods such as mine. They both have gone on to prosper much more than they previously did and came out better than before. The thought of their stories and their perseverance stuck with me. Their journey’s stuck with me.

As God would have it a couple of months into my transitional period I was transparent with a friend I regularly volunteered with. I shared I was looking to change industries and roles. He referred me to a colleague, Tanya, who owned her own career services company. Tanya improved my resume and highlighted skill sets I hadn’t given enough credit and gave me a great boost of energy and confidence. Shortly after the meeting with Tanya I received a call about the job I currently have and I interviewed with them from November to January. To date it has been one of the best professional experienced ever! The benefits I have are amazing and I’m on track to make more than I ever have before. I work with a group that embraces diversity and has been like family.

During the time I was unemployed I enrolled in classes to freshen up on a few areas. I am thankful for the educational opportunities I have received and worked for, both formal and informal. God has allowed me to do things with just an undergraduate degree that many with two or three don’t have the opportunity to do. That’s a blessing in itself. I’m thankful for the mentors I’ve had and for the people I’ve been able to witness grow in front of me. All of those experiences prepared me and made sure I was ready for life as I live it today!

The reason why this is important is I’ve learned to save even more than I did prior to my last career. I manage my time more efficiently and my confidence is no longer attached to what I do, but who I am. I know what’s important and I’ve made the commitment to stay encouraged despite my circumstances. During that time I never missed a meal. I could even still hangout or go out. So I know that though things may look well packaged on the outside that things can literally be in shambles or shaky underneath.

So to anyone in a transitional period learn from the situation. Start creating habits for the life you want AFTER that transition. Start doing the things you WANT and NEED to grow spiritually. Most importantly never lose sight of what your end goal. I had countless interviews, 2nd interviews, and 3rd interviews, but it wasn’t until I was where I was supposed to be, that I received what I was supposed to. Don’t give up! Your transitional period may not be unemployment. It may be the end of a long relationship. It may be the death of a loved one. It may be financial hardship. You may have a family member who’s decisions are weighing heavy on you and affecting you, but don’t give up. Don’t lose sight! Stay faithful and God will undoubtedly do what he said he would for your testimony. It will require you to step out of your comfort zone. My pride was a killer in my past. I wouldn’t ask for help, I wouldn’t open up or be transparent, and I wasn’t able to stand in my truth. Do not let your pride prolong a transition! Be encouraged.

Ringing of the Bell

Last night my Uncle Carnell lost his battle with cancer. About a year ago he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. 

Despite an ominous diagnosis he was optimistic. His first few treatments of radiation and chemo were extremely harsh. 

My mother being a resourceful and determined person she is found new doctors for my uncle. Thanks to her he was able to receive great care from the doctors from Methodist Hospital. 

At the time my Uncle was receiving treatment I was able to take him to and from treatment. We were able to bond like we hadn’t before and I’m extremely fortunate for that. I also was able to see what determination looked like. Whether it was raining or cold my uncle got up and went to treatment. When he didn’t feel so good and maybe he felt a little down he got up and he went to treatment. As a result, my uncle responded to the treatment a lot better.

I learned something so valuable about support systems during his first round of treatment. Our family took turns taking him to treatment. We visited with him. The kind staff at Methodist were supportive and very Friday therapy dogs came to visit. We were also able to fellowship with the therapy dogs care takers and they prayed for my uncle. 

Sadly the cancer spread and the treatment coupled with the cancer overtook him.

As I write this I can’t say that I’m not sad, because I don’t think I’ve stopped crying since I started writing this entry. The tears aren’t all of sadness, but tears of good memories. I remember growing up and even as an adult my uncle was never afraid to tel me he loved me or that he was proud of me. However I hope he heard my words that I was proud of him and that I loved him for sticking with his treatment. For continuing to be a brother to my mother despite his struggle. For continuing to be a uncle to my sister and for always honoring my grandmother, his actual step mother, as his mother.

I wrote about flowers before this, but I reiterate to anyone able to or who took the time to read this, give the ones you love their flowers while they are still here.

I acknowledge that cancer may have won the physical battle, but it never won the spiritual battle with my uncle. My lasting memory won’t be of a hospital bed he lay in, but of him ringing the bell when he finished his first round of treatments. 

RIP to my Uncle Carnell

  

Impact

In 1999 my life was changed and I could never have imagined the impact.

I was a freshman at Robert E. Lee High School. The high school would serve as a holding school for many students transferring to Westside High School the following year. At Lee High School I like many students, had a counselor. One day my counselor said she wanted to introduce me to a program called Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT). 

I had never heard of it. Like most freshman I wasn’t interested until she said I could have a chance to take free trips. I thought wow that would be great. I loved to travel and had great opportunities previously thanks to my family.

The counselor said I would have to interview for a spot in the program. A few weeks passed and my interview approached. My little brother lived in Tennessee at the time and sent me a Tennessee Volunteers sweatshirt, he lived near the University of Tennessee and like most basketball fans I was a fan of Pat Summit and her UT teams. On the day of the interview I happened to wear it, because it was cold in the school. 

I walked in and introduced myself to the man interviewing me. Little did I know that the man who would interview me would have a tremendous impact on my life. Turns out Eric Lyons, the man who interviewed me, was a graduate of the University of Tennessee and native Tennesseean.

While I’d like to think I was just a great candidate I can’t the favor that God imparted on my life. Mr. Lyons as I still call him has been my mentor for over 16 years. 

The LOT program would allow me to break out of my introverted and quiet shell. The LOT program, which is hosted by the National Black MBA Association, provides young African-American, high school students a mentor and professional development. 

The trips that the program allotted me were nice, but I’m more grateful for the grooming and lessons it taught me. When measured against my peers I’ve usually been able to be cool under pressure, I’ve been able to understand my impact in situations, and more importantly the program taught me the importance of giving back.

LOT taught me to make an Impact! My mentor Mr. Lyons was very different from most mentors, on birthdays and/ or Christmas he never gave me items that were meaningless. He always gave me items that I could use for years to come. Items like a portfolio to take to interviews, watches to wear with my suits, and ties. I didn’t get it then, but I get it now. The items he provided were to help carry me to the next levels of my life. Mr. Lyons is the reason I made the decision to attend Hampton University intially and he was instrumental in helping me get accepted with scholarship money. That said I am not his only mentor, all of the many other young men he has mentored are all making tremendous strides in our communities and in the board rooms across the world.

 
Mr. Lyons has always served as a great sound board, an non-judge mental member of my family, and a great role model. I’m thankful for him and the many other mentors I’ve accumulated throughout the years. I learn from them, I’ve prospered because of them, and most importantly I’ve become who I am because of their guidance. 

I hope this blog entry encourages someone reading it to make an impact. Start small with the people next to you, in your family, or even in your church or religious houses. Your impact can never be measured, but it surely won’t be forgotten. 

This Saturday there will be an opportunity to become a mentor. 

See the picture below to get information on how you can make an Impact!
  

You Never Know!

I struggled with whether or not to talk about certain things, but this is a poignant topic. Hopefully this helps someone.

One of the topics that has saturated the media as of late is the accusations that Bill Cosby, actor, comedian, producer, and philanthropist, had raped and or sexually by drugging them.

Upon hearing the initial accusations I didn’t flinch. Nothing surprises me anymore. I was definitely disheartened and I was curious to know why the accusations came out now. 

Then I heard several more women come out with similar stories and even infamous celebrities. I then raised an eye brow. Those individuals didn’t stand to gain anything surely they had “made it”. It took me back to my own experience as a victim.

I was about 10 and I was touched inappropriately. It wasn’t a family member or anyone either of my parents dated (they were no longer together). I didn’t understand at that moment what had happened, but I knew that it wasn’t supposed to at leas not with someone my age and someone older. However I would struggle for many years afterwards with the effects. Realizing that I had been violated made me more defensive, almost angry, and more than anything else quiet. 

If anyone knew me growing up I would speak to you if I knew you, but I definitely enjoyed my solace and quiet time. I was always afraid that someone could see or knew what had happened and that I would be judged. As if I had asked for those experiences or encouraged them at 10. I was ashamed. 

So it took me back to that mindset when I saw the accusers of Bill Cosby come out. Everyone from media, to social media journalists, to some of my social media friends and real friends asked, “Why wait so long?”

I can’t imagine what the accusers felt like. Being women, assaulted by a notable entertainment powerhouse, with access power clout and the ability to sway opinions without saying a word. Surely they felt the same guilt, the same shame, and the same fears I shared x 10. 

It also took me back to an experience later on in life that caused me to seek counseling. I had just moved back to Houston after spending about a year and a half at Hampton University. I was working at Best Buy. I met a young girl who worked in the same department as me. Were roughly the same age. I believe 19 at the time. We became close while working together. We shared similarities and talked about our dating life and school. One day I caught her in the break room crying. I asked her what was going on. She shared that her uncle had sexually assaulted her and several of her other female family members. She had been the only one to speak up and it caused a rif in the family. Some of her family didn’t believe her and said she waited too long. Some said she enticed him and brought it on herself. Some of the other victims were upset she brought it up and denied any involvement. All for fear of shame. I often wonder what happened to her. I stopped working there after about 9 months, but i know during our time there she was always sad about the way she was treated by her parents, her siblings, and other family members.

I share this not as an indictment on Bill Cosby, but m hopefully to humanize what many of the women could have experienced at his hands. Too many stories from too many women with similar outcomes from the same individual. I hope this softens someone’s heart and opens their mind that no matter who the celebrity is, be it the family celebrity (that popular uncle or even someone’s dad) should be questioned. 

People do lie, but the consequences of not questioning and taking accusations of sexual assault are serious. The young girl I worked with at Best Buy had contemplated suicide. Though she had passed that stage of wanting to take her life the judgement from those around and lack of empathy made every day a struggle!

Listen to hear what people say. Their intent will show through.