These past 3 weeks have been very productive for me inside and out. I feel more confident in myself and like I have so much more to offer than I give myself credit for. I’ve started to shed the apprehensive and nervous shell around my heart and spirit and have begun to embrace my new place in this world. What that place is, I don’t know; but I know that I will learn more as the weeks come. Before I came to YWEB, I felt like my future was bleak and filled with worry, submission, and unhappiness. I had goals and let them burn out. I allowed mental illness and negative circumstances to rule my life. How bizarre it was for me to have this point of view when I have proved that I have survived despite the odds. I survived toxic masculinity, emotional abuse, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, pneumonia, endometriosis, and a concussion. I put myself through school despite the major financial obstacles. I finished school despite the inner daily struggle inside my brain and my heart. I fought and I won. Despite the odds. Despite the fact that I am a first-generation college student. Despite that, I live 3 hours away from my support system. Despite the fact that I had to do it ALL. BY. MYSELF. I won. I graduated. And then, I regressed. I exhausted all of my steam. All of my moxie. I graduated and then fell into myself. I felt regret about how long it took for me to succeed. I looked at my accomplishments and compared them to others. I self-sabotaged because I was afraid. I was afraid of success. I didn’t know what to do. Somewhat like Chollie Breedlove in Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye”, I was free. I was free and had NO idea what to do. I got a job at Covance that I hated and never believed was a good fit for me. I needed the universe to give me a wake-up call. I went to sleep and dreamt of being in school. I was in a class of white men, a scenario that is very triggering and also very reminiscent of my college experience. I was scrambling to find the group where I belonged. I needed to know where I fit. We all had to find our group designated by a color, Red, Gold, and Green. I couldn’t get to my name and be frustrated. I screamed out, “What Color Am I?? Where do I belong??” Then all of a sudden I saw golden ribbon fly past my eyes. I am golden. After I woke up, I reflected on the fact that I’ve always thought I was meant to be great. That I would be a leader.
I hope I am right.
– Victoria Guerrero