I’m back from break, unfortunately, and currently missing the 80-degree weather Orlando was serving before I left. Break was fun and I do intend to recap, but I’m backtracking a few weeks, to a brunch date I had with my friend Crystal. After the infamous Ceiling is the Roof win against Duke, we decided to finish celebrating with a Sunday brunch.
The weather was quite lovely so we embraced healthy living and walked over to Carrboro. Originally our plan was to grab a bite at a beloved local diner, Elmo’s. However, we discovered the wait would be approximately an hour, so we politely declined a spot on the waitlist. Our bellies were not having it! We weighed our options, evaluated our budgets, and decided to take a peek inside Tandem, a restaurant neither of us had tried before.
It turned out to be a cute little restaurant, providing an intimate and warm vibe and wonderful natural lighting. Not to forget a menu that had me going back and forth over which options to choose. *whispers * The Salmon Eggs Benedict is to die for!
Brunch Chats About the Real World
During our meal together, we found ourselves discussing the growth of our friendship, break plans, and romances. Of course we drifted into post-graduation talk and where we want to be geographically, financially, professionally, and personally. Crystal and I want similar things in life, yet we intend to pursue different paths to achieve them. While we both would like to work outside of the country, she sees herself in a place with a large black population, and I would like to move across the pond to a European country. However, we do share the commonality of our families believing we should stay stateside for safety reasons.
On top of that, we have both been told to seek job security even if we believe will not be a good fit for us; even if the job might be something that goes against our ethical values or personal happiness. We are of mindset we shouldn’t have to sell our souls to provide for our families and make a difference in this world. There is this common thread of our elder and peers subconsciously telling us to let fear dictate our lives.
It eventually comes back us being black millennial women entering the working force. We have been conditioned to believe our bodies do not belong in certain fields and our labour is not as valuable as our peers’. However, Crystal and I have spent the last four years de-conditioning ourselves of these alternative facts. Instead of approaching job hunting and grad school scouting as not belonging, we are choosing to look at it as “what amount of labour do we want to pick up?” and how this position will impact us 5 or 10 years down the road. Is it worth us pushing ourselves down particular paths in particular regions? Does this work offer transferable skills and growth opportunities? Will our decisions make the road easier for those coming behind us?
Where Did This Brunch Chat Leave Us?
It isn’t that we left this brunch chat with all of our questions answered. But instead knowing we are not alone in our journey. Sometimes it’s the knowing: knowing someone is rooting for you, knowing someone can emphatise with you, knowing someone loves you. That knowledge alone can quiet any doubt or fears or anxiety you might be experiencing.
No one can give us all the answers we are seeking. Sometimes there is not a universal right choice or a universal wrong choice. At times it is simply situational. We can only look at the options through our own lens and make the decision for us and us alone. We can’t let potential discrimination based on gender and/or race stop us from taking risks and exploring new possibilities.
There is a kinship in this journey, in our lived experiences as black millennial women. There is so much uncertainty, but we know if we take a risk, we will find a way to make it work. Resilience is in our DNA. At the end of the day, we will end up where we’re meant to be, doing what we love, surrounded by people we love. That was the takeaway.
Have you ever found yourself at crossroads or unsure about your career? How have you navigated the workforce? Do you have any words of wisdom for young Black women on the verge of graduating? Drop a line below!
Until Next Time,
PS: Shoutout to Crystal for allowing me to be a creep and take 50+ photos of her while she was eating.