Healing my inner child II

Opportunity. That’s all we need to showcase our superpower and spread our caged wings. 

You cannot expect one to soar in life without giving them the opportunity and the choice to show you their worth. This was brought up at a recent panel where the folks up front were speaking on the challenges of decolonising exhibition spaces and when I tell you I wept, GURL I WEPT. 

This was in the middle of last year when I was 1.5 years into trying to find a job that aligned with what I wished to leave behind in this world. Something I wished I had while I maneuver through this monopoly of life. 

I struggled to find work even with a First Class Masters Degree under my belt. Some folk, especially those who identify with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Colour), just need an opportunity. A foot in the door, a hand to reach out to, or whatever else you might call it. 

This opportunity may be through established programmes that support youth post-study or even leaders in the industry willing to share their knowledge and reach out to the pool of folk who struggle to find their feet in this rat race. It could also be through sustained support while they make their way through their employment because being BIPOC in a system that is built for the white man is no easy feat. 

After two years of tears, anger, medication, meditation, heartbreak, and depression, I made it out.

I am currently employed in a dream opportunity where I am surrounded by brilliant minds with similar life goals. This job has also brought me to a new city where I am growing and glowing into the person I was brought to this earth to be. I am still pushing for equity within the system (oh, I’m pushin alright), it is tiring but the fruits will come to bear.

SO KEEP GOING, FRIENDS!  

On the contrary to this, my parents had no such luxury. They did all they could to create this opportunity for me in this country. The land where my roots lay was not left in a state by its colonialists for its people to thrive equitably. So for some, the only way is out.

As mentioned in my last blog, they were thrown into adulthood before they could truly enjoy their youth and “do what people in their 20s do”. They were born into the generation where travel was finally made accessible, but not for my parents. Stepping on a plane was almost like stepping on a stairway to the heavens. 

Me, at 23 having stepped on many a plane exploring the world. This was taken on the Mediterranean shores of Malta, an opportunity I would not have had in my reach if not for the sacrifices of my parents.

I must admit that when I see my friend’s parents who are now CEOs, CFOs, Partners etc etc… I get jealous. Not for the money, not for their lifestyle but for the opportunities their parents must have had that led them to where they are right now. Yes, most of these friends I speak of are white and/or highly privileged in one manner or more which aided them to where they are now. 

I am aware that I do not have the power to alter the past but I am where I am because of the sacrifices of my parents and all I do is for them. To show them that it was all worth it. Yes, it was hard navigating through and building the relationship I have with them today, but… 

Let me do the work now mama and dada, go play amongst what life has to offer. Reap the riches you worked hard for despite the barriers and obstacles thrown at you. 

Published by Shawn Wimalaratne

Storyteller

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