I Am Not Done Yet.

I have survived being teased.
I've survived being pigeonholed
I've survived being mocked for my accent to the point that today I unconsciously pick up accents to blend in
I've survived sanctioned discrimination by people who look like me
I've survived abusive and hateful teachers
I've survived malice and gossip and lies
I've survived rejection and heartbreak
I've survived reaching for the sky and falling, big and small failures
I've survived being told I am too thin, and being told I am too fat
I've survived being Black in America, complete with rampant explicit and implicit insidious discrimination, and crushing racism
I've survived double standards, harder standards, shifting standards
I've survived people trying to sabotage my career and undermine me
I've survived cutthroat workplaces and folks who will take money from the mouths of my children and steal clients
I've survived natural childbirth, and medicated birth pushed on me
I've survived losing a baby and that grief is always there
I've survived religious violence
I've survived political violence
I've survived sexism and pushes for conformity that the average Western mind cannot even comprehend
I've survived being told I'm not good enough, I don't belong, I am no good, and as one person said, "not loveable."
I've survived exclusion, in small ways and big ways
I've survived going days without meals, wondering how I would survive
I've survived almost dropping out of school and leaving the country before being deported if I didn’t have a student visa
I've survived a deep, harsh, aching loneliness and homesickness
I've survived thinking I couldn't tell my parents my struggles and going it alone
I've survived harsh winters, walking in feet of snow to get groceries and to school, ill dressed and needing to work
I've survived the limitations of poverty - job opportunities limited by public transportation, lack of funds for appropriate work wear to interview and more
I've survived standing in line in 30 below zero temps at immigration for hours because...that's how we treat "aliens"
I've survived wondering how I would make it through with no safety net.
I've survived work place bullying and harassment
I've survived being underpaid and unappreciated.
I've survived depression.
I've survived health conditions I never planned on struggling with
I've survived grief
I've survived the kind of disappointment and pain that causes people to walk away.
I've survived malaria, vaccines, and the diseases they say are still killing millions of people
I've survived navigating multiple very diverse cultures daily 
I've survived speaking up and out when others have been silent
I've survived people taking pot shots at me because they want what I've earned and been favored with
I've survived people taking credit for my work and stealing my intellectual property
I've survived much more than this, much more.
I've survived. I have thrived. I am thriving.

And I am not done yet.