In my first semester, I remembered being excited for school. I was a far distance away from my true aesthetic, but I knew my style was something dark and grungy and goth (very far away from my true essence, but more on that later).
I entered into my first art class basically thinking I was on top of my game, but I was shattered to pieces when I learned that my art skill was subpar compared to other students. Still, I was determined. I remembered wanting to learn to render dark skin tones, and my art professor (more on her later), basically discouraged me from doing. I don’t think she was intentional since she was a Black woman, but I felt like her telling me to ‘lighten’ my complexion was in a way telling me not to render dark-skinned women.
I was upset, but it was my first class and I listened to her anyway. On the last day of my art class, we all had to present our portfolios. We did two portfolios that semester, and my second one was inspired by Hayley Law who was in Riverdale. The collection was supposed to be a Chanel collection and we were supposed to choose a celebrity to design for. She was the celebrity I chose. I chose her because I liked her aesthetic and the fact that she was a Black girl. I didn’t see much Black girls with the aesthetic l liked and she was a perfect combination of both.
But as presentation started, I realized that I’d been scammed. A White girl in my class had chosen to be heavily inspired by African culture and rendered dark skin tones (and even a figure with vitiligo). I was highly upset. Why couldn’t I, a Black girl show my own story, but a White girl would? And that’s when it started.
At the time, I had very little form of spirituality, but that was the beginning of a journey God was taking me on. He had a story and He wanted me to tell it—I just didn’t know it then.
The Miracle – Someone Knows Your Name
I remembered going into FITNYC with the understanding that it was going to be extremely hard to make friends. But I was content with that. I wasn’t a very sociable person anyway and I just thought I’d eventually meet some acquaintances. In my first week of FITNYC, however, all that changed.
I wasn’t quite asking God for a friend—I didn’t think He would care. And I was at a bridge in my life. I believed God existed, but I also thought, it wasn’t necessary for me to have any sort of relationship with Him. As a matter of fact, I was more on the side where I was leaning toward being agnostic. If He’s there, He’s there. If He isn’t, He isn’t. But I did come from a Christian household. I was just too afraid to let it be known that I didn’t care to believe in this silly religion anymore. I didn’t care to believe in the bible anymore (after all, it was written by men).
So, I didn’t care to ask God for anything. But He answered my prayer anyway. He gave me a friend.
In that very first week, our RA had a get together for us freshmen and it was there I met a friend who would impact my life throughout my four years of college. We immediately connected because we were both Jamaicans who moved away from Jamaica at very young ages.
We became really close as time went on. We laughed together, cried together, went out together. She helped me with my assignments, I helped with hers. We were both born in December (yes, I care about those silly things) and we both had the same attitude towards society and politics.
She was the best friend I though I would never get. And I learned that God answers prayers, even when we don’t think we’re praying.