Monday, November 30, 2009

be who you is...

Recently I've been labeled as being urban or ethnic. Labels may be a simple way to categorize and organize groups, but it also compromises diversity. I find the label comical since I've been out of the 'hood for over fifteen years. Apparently home school, public school, private school, and graduate school can't cover my roots. Maybe Snoop Dogg was right when he said, You can take the boy out the 'hood, but you can't take the 'hood out the homeboy.

While in New Jersey teaching at a women's conference, a very sweet woman came up to me with her eyes bright and hands excited as she communicated with every ounce of her being. I love when you talk your ghetto-talk when you share. It's so fresh and real! I know she meant well and her intentions were flattery, but she solidified deep fears. I was the only woman of color speaking at the conference and I felt different, odd, slightly out of place. It was if I spoke like Rosie Perez or Bon QuiQui and simply needed fake gold hoop earring and bangle bracelets to complete the image.

I called my dad and he siphoned through the jokes. He saw the hurt from 3,000 miles away.

Words dipped with honey soothed my soul as he assured me with the words of Paul--we all belong to something bigger than us. A body is comprised of different parts, even parts darker than others, but all parts are necessary. His accent permeated the sentence, his life has permeated this belief. Be who you is, B. Be who you is.

There's something great about being different, odd, and slightly out of place. Different exposes new possibilities; oddity reveals diversity; slightly out of place expands territory. As members of something larger than us, expose new possibilities, reveal diversity, expand territory. Be who you is.


Kayla said...

Oh my gosh, honey. I love you so much. I know she didn't mean it in a bad way, but I'm so sorry that it hurt you. *big hugs*

jamiedelaine said...

Aw! This is a great post Bianca. I'm glad your Dad was able to encourage you with that.

p.s. i'm a big bonquiqui fan. biggg.

Catie Ronquillo said...

Amen sista! I've felt/been/labeled different my whole life. I never quite fit into the cookie cutter example, but I learned to be okay with it. I now embrace different. I embrace being out of place, even when it shakes me up.

Love this post girl! Be who you is. Your pops is a wise man. :)

Diandra Ann said...

Why do I always cry when I read your words? This hit my heart. I love you.

Jenn said...

Amen! I'm a white woman, lover of Jesus, mother of none and friend to many.

Raquel Rodriguez said...

Great Post!
It took me a long time to truly grasp the awesomeness of this verse:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

We are all being transformed from glory to glory. When asked by the Pastor's Wife to pray about leading a small ladies group I felt so honored and humbled. When I found out that these women were all the age of my Mother I felt so out of place. The insecurity hit me even deeper when I found out that ladies all had over 23 years of marriages each I felt so inadequate. She very lovingly reminded me that I it was Jesus who would lead through me. That made a big difference. It didn't matter that I was 25, single, childless and eventually unemployed the Lord transformed me from glory to glory into His perfect image while ministering to those special ladies. Today I call them my babies, my daughters and sisters. I too learned so much from them.

Anonymous said...

AMEN! Great post B!


Sare said...

I thought this was a brave thing to post about. I know how you feel in a slightly different way. People i know from the city all tell me that "i'm way less country now" and Country people all tell me that i'm too smart for them now.. it's hard finding that balance. Your Dad sounds like an amazing man and we share that too - My dad is the amazing Godly advice giver who i need to remember to always listen to. Isn't it amazing that God loves us no matter what we look like and who we were before we came to him. What AMAZING love. God bless

Oh and i'm now following your blog which i found through my sisters (iquittheblog) i love it and find it so challanging. Don't stop posting!

The Montgomerys said...

I love your Dad so much. I know you probably have no idea who I am but I remember you and your sister and family from Calvary West Covina long long ago. I remember going to camp and your Dad was so amazing. This is a great post, I wish I had a Dad like that! God Bless!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are who you are! It's funny because I view you in completely the opposite way. I see you as "intimidatingly" smart. (yes, I made up a word to describe you... which only proves my point, I think!). :P hahahaa!!

Thanks for being you and for sharing yourself with all of us. :) Just remember that the lady who said those things along with most of your blog readers (myself included) only know a "version" of you. So don't let our perceptions of you wreak too much havoc, K!? :)

Celia Jimenez said...

Aren't you glad that you are still who "you-is"!? If you were any different, Bianca, I doubt you would be able to minister to as many people. Praise the Lord for all that He's done and brought you through to bring you to where you are today!!! I am the youngest pastor's wife on staff at our church, I'm from the West, and I'm LOUD...I stick out like a nail in a slide. But I have stopped berating myself for who God has made me and realize that God WANTED me this way!!! :-) Loved your post! Glad you is who you is!!! I appreciate you!

Bianca said...

@kayla: tomorrow. skype. me. you. done.
@jamie d: i KNEW i liked you! bon qui qui is hilarious. welcome to king burger, may i take your order?
@catie: labels schmables! remember the maid for Troop Beverly Hills? i quote her religiously. "badges? we don't need no stinkin' badges!" we create our own mold, CR!
@diandra: we keep growing in our ministries! read your blog today and it was totally touching. you don't need a 5D anyway ;)
@jenn: from one lover of many to another, keep living out loud!
@raquel: thanks for commenting! where are you from? from your blog, i'm guessing Miami... what church? my word, you look familiar!
@sare: thanks for commenting! i love when people come out of the closet ;) please drink one of those mint morning mixers your sister loves. yum!
@montgomerys: i love my daddy too! if you don't mind, i'll send your greetings his way. it's great to connect with old friends!
@michelle: intimidatingly smart? you makka me laugh [said like a Sicilian mobster]. i'm just touched you keep reading. spokane or bust!
@celia: rep where you from, girl! be loud and proud :) it's what makes you, YOU. love out loud.

DJG said...

That is some super wise words from your Pop's! It's a blessing to be able to reach people and to do so in a way where they can relate to you and you with them, it makes both parties feel at ease and find common ground. It opens up a door and helps bring down walls that may have been erected by a person. Even better B - you can switch from super smarty pants intellectual to errrday urban dialect or Ghetto Talk as the well intentioned lady said. Either way keep doing what your doing and be You in the process. Keep reaching for the stars that are beyond your sight. God's given you that gift among many others!

Melinda said...

What? What? Miami is following me. haha, Raquel we haven't officially met, but we knows each other (my husband is in Shachah). B, she goes to CC Kendall.

Love that your daddy knows you and loves you. Great, honest post.

Candice {The Beautiful Mess} said...

very well said Bianca. thanks for your daily being who you 'is' exactly what speaks life into everyone you come in contact with. i know your blog has accomplished that for me.

Brianna said...

a couple things...

*that isn't the true version of how snoop really says it but i suppose it will have to do for the blog.

*that lady obviously doesn't know you and has NEVER been to the ghetto.

*your dad is awesome

*i love you and all your urban-ness.

Your ethnic friend,

Raquel Rodriguez said...

Like Melinda wrote, I live in Miami- Calvary Chapel Kendall. Your Dad's been here a couple of times, always rockin the house.
As for looking familiar... I have no idea.

Lindsay said...

Great post Bianca! :)

Annie said...

I find it more funny (well, at least after an hour or so) that people see the differences in one another BEFORE they notice the SAMENESSES (yeah, me & Michelle make up words). I have often walked into a room, been the only person of color there, and wanted to run in the other direction. But I have also learned that how I talk -with my hands- and how I convey my message -loudly- is just who I am... er, be. Sometimes it's more fun to be different than to be like everyone else! So, you just bring your "ghetto talk" up here to Spokane and let's shake things up!!!

(BTW, Michelle and I are TOTALLY concocting a scheme, I mean plan, to get you up here...)

Anonymous said...

Listen. They were blessed to BE EXPOSED TO YOU! God graced THEM with one of His prized daughters! Gone girl, and show'em how it's done! Let God 'expand' your territory.

ruthie said...

Awesome post. I know what you mean as a black girl in Vancouver, Canada. Especially as a daughter of Nigerian parents. Some people just see the colour of my skin and expect things due to stereotypes. But you know who you are and that's what matters. How you help people is what counts. As long are you're doing your best, we need not care how others see us.

Sometimes easier said than done, of course, but having a supportive dad is awesome!


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