This was originally part of my 11/18/18 newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
This week I learned about an event that was recognizing people in our community. I saw the program and recognized a lot of people I love and admire. But I couldn’t help feeling disappointed that I was just learning about this event and that I was not invited to attend or be spotlighted. Then my disappointment turned to shame that I would feel jealous about not being recognized. I felt so petty and childish that I was envious and felt left out, but I was also really disappointed that I was not included. I texted my good friend Marquise to just rant about this and to ask if I was taking things too personally. He assured me that I wasn’t being a baby about it at all and that my feelings were valid. I know that they are but feeling jealous, envious, or even just left out always come off as negative emotions. Others perceive you as bratty or ungrateful for the recognition and the accomplishments you have thus far.
When I started The Wonder of Ivy, I was not looking for recognition. I just needed to write and to express myself. Over the years as my brand and my mission has grown, that recognition factor has changed. Do I do The Wonder of Ivy for recognition? Absolutely not, I would have quit a long time ago if that was the case. But I also know that I have been working my ass off and just once or twice, it would be nice to have others aside from my amazing tribe to see that. Sometimes I feel like there is this circle in Reading that no matter how hard I work, I’m still not good enough to be let in.
It’s not all in vain though. My favorite project The Wonder of Ivy has done came out of not feeling recognized or represented in my community. The “Who to Watch” list was born out of inspiration from Forbes “30 under 30” because I would have loved to be included in something like that. But Reading didn’t have that, so I made my own. And a lot of the things I’ve done have come out of my frustrations of not feeling included and having to make my own lane.
I always say to myself “nothing misses you by accident.” I’m a firm believer in that because there is always something else out there. But even knowing that doesn’t immediately stop me from feeling down about not being included sometimes. I’m always on that edge of knowing it wasn’t for me but also feeling like it should have been for me.
I share all this today to remind you that it’s OKAY to feel left out, to feel like you should be recognized, to WANT to be recognized. It doesn’t make you a bad person, a person who just wants attention, or ungrateful. You can still be proud and love those who ARE getting shine while still feeling like you should be there TOO. You can still be grateful for what you do have and still feel left out or unappreciated. Just remember not to stay down for too long. Pick yourself back up and continue to work as hard as you can. Your time is coming. Keep grinding.
Photo: Taken by Lisa De La Cruz