Are We Ready for the Change We Need in America?

Or will we mask our ugliness again and place it back in hiding?

Photo by Vlada Karpovich via Pexels

The United States of America has a new President-Elect and Vice President-Elect. The news was announced by way of several prestigious media outlets on Saturday, November 07, 2020, after a grueling week of counting ballots and watching electoral votes. If you have been as anxious and fear-ridden as I have, then that moment created an emotional sigh of relief for you. But what does this mean for America?

The last four years revealed who we really are as a nation. America’s previous president, who currently feels there has been voter fraud, falsely and boldly claimed he had been re-elected and has filed lawsuits in several states demanding recounts, has no intention of conceding professionally. His brutally inflated ego is losing its air, and we all get to watch an epic meltdown during a time of collective exasperation.

We are tired. We are worn thin. We have had enough of the evil that exists in the White House for the last four years. We all just want to move on with no further trauma caused by a man who holds the highest seat in the land.

There are those devoted to him — many are heartbroken. For them, their brief coming out and reveal of deep-seated hatred while given the floor to flaunt it has ended. Who will give them the green light to be who they are? Will they go back to being subtle in their actions or will the removal of their king give them the ammunition they crave to act on their core beliefs and continue their lawless behavior?

We are tired. We are worn thin. We have had enough of the evil that exists in the White House for the last four years.


Let’s get ready to do the work, America.

There is so much work that needs to be done in this country before anyone who is marginalized, oppressed, and at an incredible disadvantage can feel safe again. A list of important key factors were my concerns when I went to my local Board of Elections to drop off my ballot. They are: eradicating the Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, implementing plans to end police brutality, recognizing that Black lives matter, climate control, and addressing the ever-present and undying elephant-in-the-room, systemic racism.

The shoes of the American president will be too big to fill this term. President-elect Joseph R. Biden will have to step up, stand tall, and prepare himself for a rocky and tumultuous ride in the face of a completely divided nation. Both he and Madame Vice President-elect Kamala Harris must be firm in their presence and forthcoming on their promises.

This will not be easy.

We are drenched in the scent of racism and cultural hierarchies, and the potency of the smell is getting stronger. What we have seen these last four years, and it is unfortunate to say, is the depth of what America looks like in her naked state. She has revealed herself to the world, and centuries of buried lies boiled to the top. The foam of our past will need much more than a spoon to scoop it from the pot. We need a complete overhaul and that will take more than the allotted four-year term.

Both he and Madame Vice President-elect Kamala Harris must be firm in their presence and forthcoming on their promises.

The damage is done.

The world watched us as we shook off our façade and they stood in total disbelief. But we knew — many of us have known for generations based on our ancestry and the history of this nation who America really is. So what will we do now to rectify this damage?


The optimist in me knows we will have to come together as one to make change happen. It should not be an US versus WE thing, it needs to be an ALL-IN approach and sadly, all of us will not agree with this. What will that do? It will keep America painted in its finest makeup for her public appearances while we continue to rot from the inside out.

Are we able to shift the hearts of our fellow inhabitants who have nothing but disdain and hatred for those different from them or will this wound deep within our hearts fester? The work necessary to bond a nation that has been torn in two will have to come from the core of every human being, and many will not be open to losing who they have been for decades to embrace who they should be for the greater good.

Are we ready for this kind of change?

The challenges that lie ahead for our newly appointed White House duo are many. How they operate to flesh out the parasites eating away at their hosts will be the determining factor of what and who we will be four years from now.

The optimist in me knows we will have to come together as one to make change happen.

Can America put aside its blatant arrogance, create long-lasting & authentic allyship, and move forward as one? Or will the vast majority of its children wear their masks until it’s safe for them to come out again?

We’ll just have to see. Won’t we?


Originally published via Medium.

Why Goodbye Really Isn’t Goodbye

And how I’ve learned to say “See You Later” instead

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Succulents (Luna, Venus, Mars, & Jupiter). Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Ihave learned to say “See You Later” when I am leaving people or a place I love. It’s more accurate than “Goodbye.” Goodbye is final — an ending. Everything in life may not always require an ending, especially when bonds and love exist for the person/people/things. Friday, November 06, 2020, was my last day at my previous job. It was full of tearful expressions, gifts, social-distance hugs, and well-wishes. I have stated this once and I will state it again — I am not (have not) leaving people I hate, I left people I love. It is hard. It has been hard. But ultimately, this decision is still the best one for me.

This week, I have had patients cry, want to hug me, and talk to me longer than they usually do as they learned of my decision to transition to our Central Scheduling Unit. Patients have brought in gifts, written up remarkable cards for me to hand to my supervisor, and shared their respect and admiration for me. The one phrase I have heard more than I can count this week was, “Thank you for making us feel safe.” I will miss many of them and others I cannot be happier to get away from — to possibly never see again in a professional setting.

I have learned to say “See You Later” when I am leaving people or a place I love. It’s more accurate than “Goodbye.” Goodbye is final — an ending.

The law firm above our facility consists of a team of one man and three women. Each of the women I have grown to care for and respect. The three of them got together to give me a card with such heartfelt notes written in it that drew tears from my eyes as I read them. As Ms. Leslie approached me and readied her speech, I stood there — fully in tune with her words and thanked her profusely for such a kind gesture. She made sure I knew how loved I was and how much my presence meant to them. She asked if I would train my replacement and I informed her I would.

So, this past week was made up of me training my replacement and getting her ready for the week ahead. I was thankful we did not have as much traffic as we usually get in the facility so it made training her much easier, but we had several instances occur of which she will need to be aware and ready to tackle when they take place with no one else around to assist her. After our third day of training, her question to me was, “Did you do this by yourself?” and I informed her I did. Her response to that was, “This is not a job for one person.” I agreed with her.

The one phrase I have heard more than I can count this week was, “Thank you for making us feel safe.”

Some days I would screen over two hundred people for Coronavirus, COVID-19 symptoms, and out of that two hundred, I would probably have to turn away five to ten per day for having symptoms or refusing to wear face coverings/masks. The job is taxing, and on my best days, it completely exhausted me. I am sure it had to be pure adrenaline and the high-energy of my nature that kept me afloat.

My replacement is a bubbly middle-aged woman who has a cheerful disposition and a need to be around people again. She is transitioning from a remote position back to a clinical setting. I could tell this past week that perhaps she may have made the wrong decision. In the middle of a global pandemic and at one of the busiest facilities in the area, trying to get as much information as I could transfer from my brain to hers felt like an act of futility. The job itself is tough, but having to train someone in the midst of the job made it even tougher.

Mymost important piece of advice to her was, “Find a groove that works for you. This foyer is your baby. You will have to own it or it will own you.” I could also feel her level of discomfort too as some of my coworkers came out to the foyer to bid me farewell in front of her. They were emotional, they kept asking me to think it over and to not leave, and others wished me the best but let it be known they were sad I stuck with my decision.

Regardless of what I did to get them to curb the conversation for a later time, they went on. I am a fan of giving people the floor to express themselves, but I am also a person who is constantly connected to the feelings of others. I wanted this transition to be smooth for the new Screener and not one filled with anxiety of having to step into the shoes of someone else before her.

The job is taxing, and on my best days, it completely exhausted me. I am sure it had to be pure adrenaline and the high-energy of my nature that kept me afloat.

We made it through the week with her trained as much as anyone could be trained for a position such as this — questions had been asked and answered and she will have many more; I am sure. They will not be for me. I left the entrance space of our facility in her hands. I hope she takes care of it.

I worked six hours that day, knowing in advance I would need to leave earlier than my normal to rest up for the new job next week. Prior to my leaving, I went to each modality to see their faces and spread some love before I turned in my keys. The blessings that flowed from the mouths of these beautiful people reminded me of why this decision is such a hard one. The plant you see above as the cover image is just one of the many gifts given to me shortly before I exited the building. I instantly fell in love with it.

One of my coworkers, the one in which I am closest to, grabbed me, and hugged me, and I felt her body shake a little and I said three times, “Don’t you dare cry,” and she didn’t. I said to her, “This is not goodbye for us — it’s not. This is, see you later.” And it will be.

I have learned the difference between the two. You say goodbye to those people or places you never intend to see again. Goodbye isn’t reserved for the team I had the pleasure of spending nearly three years with — no, goodbye has no place regarding them.

Not one bit.


Originally published via Medium.

Hello, Happiness. Hello, Sadness. Which of You Will I Feel Today?

On: moving through these two emotions as best as I can.

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Photo by DEVN via Unsplash

I am seated at my kitchen table in my breakfast nook — laptop propped up, my therapist’s voice in the background . . . We are meeting, but virtually. This has become — dare I say it, Our New Normal. I have adjusted my life in such a way that allows me an evening once per month with my therapist so I may stay on track in managing my emotions, dealing with personal breakdowns, and understanding the many changes happening in my life that have affected me more than I thought they would. For now, this plan is proving to be helpful and as soon as I transition to my new position, we will find a better time of day to conduct our sessions.

For those of you unaware, I will switch jobs soon. On November 06, 2020, I will say goodbye to the facility where I work and transfer to another department within our organization for a remote position. This will be good for me — it will keep me out of some intense situations with people who have proven to be more selfish than selfless. Screening for COVID-19 symptoms during what is now “Flu Season” is taxing. It was already a strenuous task hard on my body, but the level of exhaustion has increased in recent weeks.

I am open and honest when I say I would rather be at home during a global pandemic and I am overjoyed about this change, however, happiness is not the only emotion I feel as I count down to my last day.

I am leaving people I love

Although I will still work for the same organization, I will be in a different department — handling mostly different tasks. This moves me from a group of people I love — cherish as a family. My team is outstanding and walking away from them will leave me gutted in a way I had not prepared for.

I can already feel sadness settling in intermittently. It overwhelms me. It stifles me and drains my energy. It keeps me from being my best self at work.

When you learn and grow with an amazing group of people who go above and beyond in doing their jobs and have a mindset of providing remarkable care to patients, this is hard to forget or dismiss.

My team will be one person short until there is a replacement. I think about how that will impact them — how they will have to work doubly hard to keep up with our facility’s pace, and what that might do to them both mentally and physically. Ours is a fast-paced facility servicing a demographic that isn’t always responsive or respectful, so trying times come more often than not.

I can already feel sadness settling in intermittently. It overwhelms me. It stifles me and drains my energy. It keeps me from being my best self at work.

Making this decision to step down and away from my current position was hard because I am not leaving a place I hate . . . I am leaving a place I love — one filled with people who care, are concerned, and want to help others.

It was time I “chose” me first

I decided to do this for me — to put me first, and I will not back down from it. When I look at how what I do warps my emotions, pulls me away from others, and makes me want to retreat more than invite or welcome anyone in (be it virtually or while social-distancing), a work-from-home position could be the peace and safety I need to regain some semblance of my former self.

We are all quarantining or distancing ourselves from those we love — we’re all feeling the brunt of this global pandemic. My question to myself was, “How can you change one thing to make what you do better?” Given what I do, there is no way to change it to make it better. It’s a hands-on job with involvement and physical interaction with people who are seeing us for the care they wish to get. So, I then said to myself, “You can still be in the medical field, but be hands-off.” And therefore, I applied to remote positions within our organization.

I know where my heart is, and it’s in helping others — it always has been there. I feel strongly about this purpose. Moving towards this position to schedule invasive procedures and imaging scans for our patients while still being able to communicate with them (over-the-phone or via our chat/email options) relieves me. I will still do what I love doing.

What day will this be? A happy or sad one?

As I work down the last two weeks of my resignation, I am moving through two emotions rather wildly. My sense of self feels off-kilter and unbalanced. One day, I’m happy to count down to my last day. The next, I am sad. I am moved to tears. The hurt cuts deeply. I know what I am doing. I know why I am leaving. I want to feel as though it validates my reasons for doing so without the added baggage of enhanced emotions.

I am open and honest when I say I would rather be at home during a global pandemic and I am overjoyed about this change, however, happiness is not the only emotion I feel as I count down to my last day.

My therapist to me during our last session: “You will move through those emotions as they come, Tre. What did we discuss during our last session about feeling all of them?”

“Feel them, then move on from them.”

Moving on is the hard part. I feel them just fine. They welcome themselves into my daily routine unannounced, and I have to reassure myself that what I am feeling is sound — it is normal. I have a right to be both happy and sad about choosing to leave my job and the people I love, but why can’t I understand this?

Quietly, I belittle myself for moving from one emotion to the next as the days pass. I have to learn to be kinder — to acknowledge that this is monumental for me and to give myself a little more love. It took me months to crack down on a job hunt and a few more weeks after that, to pursue the jobs for which I had applied. This was a process — a well thought out process. I did not make the decision in haste.

It all boils down to my reluctance to adapt to change — this, I know. I am aware of this. It crushes me to shift a routine, to uproot my habitual status, to move with the wind . . . I am happier planted — a tree should be my spirit object. I made a mental note of this to discuss with my therapist during our next session. Perhaps this is another reason both happiness and sadness have become my bedfellows.

The time is nearing and my team members and some patients who are knowledgeable are telling me how much they will miss me and sending me my roses while I am still alive. I appreciate them. I look forward to them. I am blessed to be a person so loved and accepted. I am happy they are allowing me to smell them before I leave — to embrace their compassion before I say “Goodbye.”

It crushes me to shift a routine, to uproot my habitual status, to move with the wind . . . I am happier planted — a tree should be my spirit object.

And as the days continue to dwindle down to the final one, I will continue to acknowledge what I am feeling and why.

Regardless of when happiness or sadness greets me, I will be ready to stare each down fearlessly.


Originally published on Medium.

gifts and blessings #3

Our trip to Asheville was such a welcome reprieve for both myself and my mother. We had such a lovely time and I was saddened to see the morning come as it ushered in our check-out date quicker than we expected. Although we only spent one day there, we were able to view some great sights, spend a bit of time with my friend E, walk Jernee and keep her entertained, and enjoy some great food as well. Here are a few pictures:

Steps leading up to the brewery across the street from where we stayed. Asheville, NC.
A creek along the trail near the brewery where we all walked on Sunday afternoon. Asheville, NC.
The river along the trail across the street from where we were staying. Asheville, NC.
A second shot of the same river. Asheville, NC.
The Buttermilk Chicken Plate (w/ gravy and two sides|fried) from Homegrown North. Asheville, NC.
Jernee, my happy Little Monster, sitting on the couch in our room. Asheville, NC.

As you can see, we had ourselves a mighty fine time. I intend to go back soon and Jernee will be in tow.


On the drive back to my neck of the woods for North Carolina, I received the call from the HR Rep/Recruiter who discussed the compensation (I’ll be making slightly more) and the end and start dates for my transfer. I am both content and relieved to have this hiring/transfer process complete. My last day with the facility (my current job) will be on Friday, November 6, 2020, and my start date with the Central Scheduling Department will be on Monday, November 09, 2020.

I can breathe a lot easier now and I will be more than happy when my last day comes. I am patient. I have been patient. And, I will end my last days there on the same scale I am on now–going above and beyond.

Thank you to everyone for the well-wishes!