Kermit Says: Dare to be Your (Awkward) Self!

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On Monday, November 9th, just a mere three days ago, I had the pleasure of attending a talk and book signing for one of my favorite web series creators, actresses, and writers—THE Issa Rae of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl fame and glory! Do a quick search of her name in Google, and you’ll find the New York Times and the Washington Post are just two reputable newspapers that’ve noticed her awesomeness and, of course, awkwardness.

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After years of frustration at the lack of diverse depictions of Black people in mainstream media, Rae used this absence as inspiration and created her own web series on YouTube to fill that void. Despite low funding and few subscribers, she persisted and eventually garnered great success with The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl in 2011. Now at 30, Rae has published a New York Times bestseller, is currently developing a series for HBO, and has over 150,000 subscribers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram combined!

As successful as she is, what drives me to write this is Issa Rae’s very being: the awkward Black girl in her and, quite frankly, in all of us.

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Kermit Says: March to YOUR Beat!

Dear Reader,

Brace yourself for what I’m going to say: the world is filled with haters and people who say and do hurtful and damaging things just to bring you down, throw you off your game, and make you sad, ashamed, or embarrassed about who you are. And while it’s easy to crumble under the weight of such pain, you have to be brave, strong, and remember to live in your truth and be authentically and unapologetically you! Whether you’re bisexual or transgender, Black or Asian, liberal or conservative, an atheist or Jew, there will always be close-minded jerks, bigots, homophobes, racists, sexists, and just plain ol’ idiots. You may not be able to change them or their minds, so why let their words and actions change yours? Never be ashamed of who you are, where you’re from, or the person you wish to be and love. 

You may not always feel like it, but you matter. You matter to so many people—don’t second guess that. You have already or will someday make a difference in the world—but that’s hard to do if you’re always trying to be like everyone else. You were born to march to the beat of your very own drum, so don’t let anyone tell you there’s anything wrong with being different. Why fit in when you were born to stand out, right?

There are people whose life’s mission is to make your life miserable—don’t give them the satisfaction. There are people whose life’s goal is to see you fail, who will frame you and defame you—remain undaunted in the fight of life. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Do you want to be the varsity athlete, captain of the debate team, and first seat violinist? Do it! You can do whatever you set your mind to if you believe. Believe. Believe in the beauty of your dreams. Believe in the goodness of your spirit. Believe in the power of your mind, body, and soul. Be(lieve in) YOU and, if you’re not harming yourself or others, live your life and live your truth. Life is already hard enough. Why spend it pretending to be someone you’re not? So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your drum and start marching!

Love,

Kermit