I wasn't always recognised for more than by body ...
This might come as a surprise, but I went to a private primary school. Life was so different then. The specs I used to view life were designed by the elite, and in turn conditioned you to be like the elite.
I say ‘like’ because I was never ‘elite’ (well so I thought … what even is the criteria for this).
During this time I was living in Tottenham. Let’s say that's the Ghetto, compared to Woodford Green, where my school was located. “Your child is not suited to our teaching style” - this is what the headteacher of an earlier school told my mum. I was only ¾ years old. Hearing this now I’m like WHATTTT. Not being funny but I wasn't stupid. The only explanation for rejection was the colour of my skin. Thank God I never got into that school. I ended up going to the school in Woodford Green. I loved it! Although I didn't realise it at the time, I was the ‘black’ poster child, recognised for her creative abilities, but dismissed in regards to academic potential. I was the fastest runner, yes I felt like Usain bolt. I could runnnnn. I remember being the lead in a musical called Cats. When my music teacher asked me to lead out all the time, I never bat an eyelid. I just sang. It was my release. I only had white friends and they loved me off, which I also loved. I was so popular.
I was in a bubble at school. Then I would return home and be presented with another culture. A more down to earth culture. I think people noticed that I was ‘different’. “Posh” as they call it. I told my mum that for secondary I wanted to go to a public school. Not just any school, the ghettoooo. Well, It’s actual name was John Loughborough. Ahh man, I loved this school, like a mother loves a child. The first day I started I wore my little heel boots, when everyone else wore kickers. I was not accustomed to the culture there, but I was drawn to it. It’s like I finally was faced with the real me. The me that could be Jamaican and not be looked at funny. The me that could be smart and still be good at athletics. I didn't have to choose which traits to display and could let them run free. I could be free.
I was finally recognised for my mind.
The teachers believed in me. Now that I think about it, I was always pushed to create change, to be a leader. I was just following on, but now I understand that I can choose to create change and more impact. I value this experience, because it showed me how to deal with different individuals. Your environment shapes you, but it does not dictate what you can achieve. You do. You can let the negative shape you in a negative way or you can embrace the past and use it to your advantage.
I am Elite, because I choose to be, through the value I place in my self worth. You are elite because you are unique. Don’t let societal standards box you in. You are the head and not the tail and can achieve anything.
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