I’ll first start by saying I am in my feelingssssssss. I’m sitting on my now yellow couch, I landed back in NYC at 6:00 AM yesterday after changing my flight at 11:30 AM Cali time. A few weeks back a reconnection happened and during that conversation my friend said that “I think you’ll do great in Cali” after informing them that my move to Dallas didn’t work out. Not completely thrilled about the idea, I decided to look into the local cities of Los Angeles County. I applied to three jobs, all qualified for, and had no expectation due to the other plans I had in rotation.
Just a few days later and I received an email to interview for one of the cities I applied to. Overly excited because I had just discussed with my brother that I was ready to leave New York and where ever opportunity presented itself first, I was going for it including moving in with him LOL. Let’s be clear, my savings isn’t where I would like it to be but, I’ve survived other things and through that experience I am sure that I would’ve worked my magic. I decided to buy my tickets within 24 hours of finding out about the interview and booking my hotel stay in California. Luckily, I spent my birthday in Mexico the week prior and was able to think through my thoughts, plan this move if it does happen, and reach out to my Cali friends for advice and support.
I landed at midnight the day of the interview and was up way before I probably should’ve been. I thoroughly did my research about the city (fiscal year budget, upcoming plans, fiscal plans, underserved populations, high needs areas: you name it – I read it). I put on my business attire, packed my portfolio, and took another glimpse before I entered my Lyft. Listened to my driver tell me about my strong energy and his move to Cali for music, he wished me the best and I entered the city hall building ready for the interview.
I’m confident in my interview skills and super confident in my years of experience but something felt weary. I blamed it on my lack of sleep or my tummy ache but as I observed my surroundings, the way people starred at me, I knew but didn’t want to believe it. I was escorted to the waiting area by the room where the interview was held. The look on the woman’s face when she called to me said it all. I entered that room and saw the furred brows. Amanda? Dark toned black woman with natural hair woman? IMPOSSIBLE. They weren’t expecting that. I knew during and after that interview, I wasn’t getting that job.
Later that night, my friends invited me over to watch the Queen on Netflix and we spoke about my experience and they cheered me on, encouraged me to be positive, but I couldn’t shake what I was feeling. Not even 24 hours later and I receive an email informing me that I didn’t get the job. Adding to my feelings, I had been intimately identifying with my black woman experience. Discussing it with my old therapist and some friends. Recently saw that I’m not the only one because the struggle is real. I will continue to wear my natural hair, fuck your code switching, and walk proudly in my skin – fuck that I’m unapologetically black.
I will never stop hustling; more power moves to come.