I remember asking myself “Nyasha, when did you realize you were different?” and it took me back to Kindergarten when a classmate told me we could no longer be friends and we could no longer share the scented Crayola markers. When I asked her why she looked down at her leg and said: “see, look, we aren’t the same color.”
I remember when my mom uprooted our families life and moved us to the “suburbs”. That was the second time I realized I was different we were the first family of color to move into the subdivision and is one of six African Americans to graduate in the 2009 High School class. I remember as the freshman my high school guidance counselor tell me I was probably only going to community college and my dreams were unrealistic.
So, I always knew my life was going to always be “different.” It’s funny to me because as I got into my early twenties and moved to NYC, everyone says how sorry they are and they are so glad things are better now since we had a black president. Oh, but how quickly things turn awkward when I tell them things are still very much the same.
Working in the sports industry hasn’t been the easiest for me. Although, my resume’ tells a different story. Both my parents taught me important lessons. My mother, “Nyasha you can have anything your heart desires” and my father “Baby, I didn’t have the opportunities’ you do growing up, but if you want to run a franchise/league you can do it, you’re going to do it.”
As a Christian, I knew with God everything my parents said, were possible for me and I was going to make it happen. However, being different have made things very discouraging. The worst part is when you make it to the final round of an interview and you don’t get the job and you ask for feedback and they say” Hi Nyasha, you were great, professional, and meshed well with a team, we just chose someone else who fit the company culture.” However, the company doesn’t have any “different” people there like me. So, I understood what she was saying. This isn’t a once in a blue moon time thing this happens all the time.
I started using recruiters to find jobs because there was a time when had to ask myself “is it me?” I remember one day after another no I asked the recruiter for feedback and he reached out and they told him “everything about her was great we just chose someone else.” He then began to apologize because he started to see although I’m great, educated, and have the experience I am always going to be different.”
I understand my reality. I’m different. But, my God chose me to be different. I want to be an influencer for women and all those who are to different. I accept the no’s defeats, hurtful words and feedback so I can be an example for those who feel like they are too different for this industry. I want to be in a place to change people’s mind on us, that are different. I want them to give us an honest fair chance in this industry.
I understand that when you first meet me you may be a bit intimidated by me and don’t be afraid. I just have a passion for this. I am hungry for this, I love this industry, I have big dreams that God had placed on my heart and I know with him the right opportunities’ will come. I will be able to work for my dream companies such as Sports Illustrated, NASCAR, and one day own a minor league baseball team with my sister. I just know that if God is for me than who can be against me.