Before the name 'Karen' became a social norm for a person who felt that their belief of entitlement trumped my personal boundaries and basic human decency and respect, I was used to it. It never stopped me because I moved forward in life with the unwritten understanding that I have to be emotionally stronger, educated, focused, healthy, and in sync with my morals and purpose.
Now our country has started to identify persons who feel that they are superior in knowledge, rights, and power over others as Karen.
I recently encountered and had an interaction with a 'Karen.'
I know it is a trending word, but I don't know what other words to use to fit my situation. I would not say racist, but a strong word to such intense action is needed.
I was selected to be part of a leadership team to help with a new community project. The project's mission is similar to what I strive to do in my daily work. During one of the in-person work sessions, a person in the group repeatedly demanded that I produce my personal information on the spot to validate my contribution to the team.
What do you do when you have been treated this way?
For nearly a decade, I have been sharing my talents with my immediate world. I handled the complete disrespect, dismissal of my skill set, and my difference of opinion by creating my form of excellence.
During this moment, I did what I usually do, say a sharp comeback with the hope that the 'Karen' stops and realizes the behavior of assumed privilege. Then I take a physical break from the situation, re-motivate myself, get back to the room, and move forward.
Emotionally, It felt like I had rightfully earned my documents declaring I was free, but still had to produce my "freedom papers" on-demand to prove that I was a free black woman. I knew I was already a free law-abiding American citizen, which was reason enough to treat me as an equal human being. I learned none of that matters to a Karen; only their self-declared judge status.
Is 2020 the year of accountability, adaptation, and innovation?
Since this encounter was not recorded and shared on the internet, there is no reason for the Karen to actually feel that they did anything that affected me personally.
I could just sit here and allow it to consume my thoughts and energy or continue to move in my purpose.
So, I have been Karened.
It sucks, but not a surprise; I have been here before. The only thing new is the term 'Karen.'
The difference today is that more people recognize that this behavior exists.
Don't mentally permit anyone to believe that they have authority over you or can determine your worth; Move forward in life knowing that entitled people come in all forms. The only way to beat the master at any level is to gain experience, confidence, and decide to play the game better.
EVERY TIME I hear this song I cry and smile; to finally see the video to it
I cry because I wish I had this when I grew up and I cry because this song exists. I smile because I live in a world that people are starting to understand and the people growing up now and the future will just be people minus the extra language ( pretty vs pretty for a dark girl, first black XYZ, too dark, darker than a paper bag, etc.)
One day the extra language will not be said as an insult or rarity.
Maybe songs like this will not be a necessity
Is it almost over? Racism and Colorism
Growing up the one thing I knew was that I am an athlete. Being an athlete made me feel like a person, a valued person despite the internal and external struggles of my life. School wasn't number one in my mind as a youth, that was just something I had to do so I could do a sport. I recognize what's going on in the world. But I also recognize what being a part of a team and having a shared goal does for your mind, body, and soul. Feeling you are not alone
If you can't be a part of a sport, workout on your own; if working out on your own does not work find a private coach. Keep your skills up. Knowing that you're working towards something and mentally you can keep you feeling like a valued person. You are not alone.
Enjoy the below video; let it help you remember your own feelings. For those whose season has been cancelled. Decide to come back stronger.
I love this video and appreciate the master level craftsmanship to bring this video together.
Looking for a sport performance coach? Book me: https://www.feliciamycyk.com/speed.html
Story time. I was asked to do an interview during the height of the quarantine. This was before we went into the phases of opening the state again and before the protest of masks and the BLM protests.
I wasn't sure if the story they interviewed me for was just not on the level of interest that it was at the moment because it's now mid-July.
I was wrong.
They released the story; I am speechless. I'm overwhelmed with emotion on how much effort was put towards telling a story that just made sense to me to do.
Below is the YouTube video Chapter 1 of 3.
Thank you Chris and Erin for giving some motivation to continue moving forward when others tried to intimidate me. ( that's a story for another day)
Chapter 1: https://lnkd.in/eaE-A9H
Chapter 2: https://lnkd.in/eR8hyJN
Chapter 3: https://lnkd.in/esMVTzf
I had the honor of being part of a panel discussion on change
Why say Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter? How do white friends help, do we say I am your ally in all of this? We will ask the uncomfortable questions to ignite the change
Co-presented with the Point Park University Center for Media Innovation, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation - PBMF and YaJagoff.
YaJagoff Co-hosts John and Rachael will be joined by Olga George, Jim Rooney, Frzy, Andrew Conte, Felicia Mycyk, Sarah Aziz and Arthur Moats.
The uncomfortable, difficult, racial inequality questions do, and not for controversy, but to encourage listening, understanding and change.
Discussion titled “The Change Exchange,” available on multiple platforms including Ya Jagoff Facebook Live.
Pittsburgh notables have agreed to not only participate as panelists but help develop the discussion through compiling the difficult questions. The panelists include: Jim Rooney, author of A Different Way to Win, Dan Rooney’s Story, Emmy and Grammy Award winning artist, FRZY, Public Speaker, Leadership Coach, and Ambridge Connection Publisher, Felicia Mycyk, Sarah Aziz, Program Manager of Festivals and Special Projects at Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Arthur Moats, self-motivation author, radio personality, and retired Pittsburgh Steeler, Andrew Conte, Center For Media Innovation Director at Point Park University and author of The Color of Sundays, a book about professional football and civil rights, and Vice President of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, creator of OGCooking and Emmy-nominated Producer, Olga George.
Over the past 2 weeks I have received a number of calls, visits, messages, and texts checking in on me here is a bit of advice
As many of you are learning about the blind eye and silence moments that you had during the time our lives intertwined. Realize I don't want to relive them, I don't want to be considered a victim of them. I want you to look at me today and realize that I am dope and I chose to move forward without giving in to the stupidity, arrogance, narcissism, and pridefulness of others.
I created my own way when people tried to silence me. I didn't get invited to events so I made my own events. I saw not all youth were included so I decided to include them. I spoke up by becoming excellent at what I can do.
Every moment of racism and microaggressions that I have experience in my life, I do remember. I decided to move forward. It happened to me. I cannot change that. I chose to empower others by educating them and letting my movements in life speak louder for me.
I am willing to have conversations about the past but in order for me not to relive them, you have to be willing to listen without being defensive. otherwise, you are not calling to have a conversation you're calling to tell me again why I don't matter.
Easiest action step you can do today is to look at your own life and the groups that you're involved with and know who you are allowing to carry racist viewpoints to the decision-making process. Don't laugh or sit in silence, speak up to those people. Also, notice if people around you who want to talk about black people are trying to be saviors or if they want to celebrate and empower people.
I went to support the youth who wanted to do a protest in Ambridge. I did not realize what seeing signs saying reading black lives matters and strangers of all color and ages standing together to call out racism was going to cause an emotional reaction from me.
My goal was to show who and support them. But what happen was a relief that came over me that finally someone in my community cared enough to speak up and speak out against the the few who are holding the community back from becoming great. Well at least to me that is what I was hoping for.
I shared this on my personal Facebook page and got such unexpected overwhelming positive feedback that I wanted to give a little more insight.
My goal is to always empower others to self leadership and move forward and take action. There have been times that I have personally struggled; I did not share because I don't want to paint a picture of a victim with my life. A stranger caught me on video talking with a few in my local community; No one knows the silent struggles that I have persevered through. Seeing a variety of people protest together with signs that say Black Lives Matter in one of my local communities; I was overcome with emotion. My professional, personal, and coach voice blended. I share with you because I want the motion to continue, I can't force people to care, but I can encourage.
Below are a few words shared with me that made me smile.
I have so many life experiences from having dark skin that I at times I am numb and have to sit back and take care of my mental health.
Do a social experiment for yourself, If you want to know how it kinda feels to have brown skin. Put on a red baseball cap that says make America great again and do not say anything. Go outside your home and around in places of work, community, and go to places that have people who do not know you personally.
Listen to what people assume about you. Some may even tell you without you asking, some may even call you names, some will just give you looks or do little microaggressions towards you. Just because you wore a red hat. Do you think all of the comments, looks, or reactions are valid or unfair? Do you wish that people would not assume the worst from you? Or are there pieces of what they said fits you but not all of it ? Again, valid or unfair.
My dark skin has been one that I wear with pride. Growing up I did not have that opportunity to fully love and understand myself due to the ignorance of so many. Now I get to see so many people fight for others like me it makes me happy.
We do have feelings and we can feel when you make our skin the reason why you treat us differently. It does still happen. Oh, the stories I could tell.
Nothing new to me. But glad y'all finally heard it and accepted it; if you have yet to understand and need to have a conversation hit me up. Virtual coffees are my new norm.
If you want your group to want to include more diversity, make sure it is healthy enough to attract the right person to want to apply, to want to volunteer, or to want to move into your area.
I have been the first black person or first female for several boards, committees, awards, positions, and sometimes friends for others. Depending on the situation, it was rewarding, challenging, and at times lonely.
Fred Rogers said it best " There's a world of difference between insisting on someone's doing something and establishing an atmosphere in which that person can grow into wanting to do it."
When you have a group of like-minded individuals, understand that you could be limiting your potential for growth. Want new ideas, but make sure you are at a decision table of people who value and handle differences in opinion.
I AM NOT PERFECT -- I have and will mess up again. People who appreciate what I can do take time to speak life into me. They make an effort to help me continue to move forward because they see what I have done and what I am capable of doing. Those who do not really care will be upset because I did not do what THEY thought I should have done. To do the right thing at the right time always is what I hope to be able to do.
Until I am perfect, understand this
I can not make everyone happy. You will be upset because I am good at me. You will be upset because I do me. You will be upset because I do not live my life for you. Or you could choose to celebrate. You will be happy because I am good at me. You will be happy because I do me. You will be happy because I do not live my life just for you.
My movement and growth are a part of my life, and I am proud of what I have accomplished and excited where God is taking me next. It is your choice on how you choose to view me. My decision on how I react to your opinion.