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The Day After. Life. Politics & Friendships.

Please help me. I can not breathe. My chest is tight. And there are tears in my eyes as my son lies here next to me.

This is not about an election. It's about our ability to keep going - our ability to believe. You see next week my son; he turns three and as a former preemie that means we should be happy.

Another year. Another life. Another opportunity. Another chance to raise him to be an amazing, beautiful, kind, brilliant and loving man, just like his daddy.

As I sit here nauseous at 3:10 am I know deep inside that this has nothing to do with an election. This feeling is about me. I am a wife. A mother. A boss. People are counting on me. And tonight, as I sit here, I am struggling to breathe. This is not about an election.

An election is nothing but a process - it's just plans and forms which without context are irrelevant. They don't matter. It's the people behind the polls that count. It's my "friends," colleagues, teachers, mentors, and mentees that with all my positive vibes, charm and wits went into that booth and didn't think once about me.

It's about my former best friend, a woman who I have known and loved since high school, who believes that a Donald Trump presidency will be ok for me. She thinks that because HER children will benefit the same goes for mine because, in HER view, we're all the same, like a Dr. Suess nursery rhyme - we're just thing one and thing two.

It's about her husband who, she admits, has said Nigger more times than I'd like to count, but still is considered a "good guy" so his insulting, degrading and racists words do not count.

It's about how my friend's parents, one who is an immigrant herself, have been provided with the luxury of light skin and have chosen to use it to "blend in." Their kids do not have to worry because they are the epitome of white privilege.

This is not about the election. It is about the fact that we were never friends, just acquaintances, and I am heartbroken because I let you get too close to me. It's about the fact that I believed that we were equal; that we were free. But we're not. At least I am not, because as you wake up happy and relishing in your victory, my husband, my son and my family wait silently for a sign that it is safe to come out.

We. Are. Afraid. Don't you see?

The new president-elect is being supported by the KKK. They do not care about the issues impacting me and my family.

For example, did you know that one in three little black boys born after 2002 will spend life behind bars mostly because of racially bias government policies? Or that the black family has been dismantled and is suffering drastically because of issues that happened back in slavery? Nearly 70% of black children (that's seven out of ten) do not know what it's like to have a father to hold. How about the fact that as an African-American, a women and a business owner my path to success is so fucking rocky. No one believes in you but you. Every day is spent proving people wrong and in the world of "hustling," you are left physically exhausted, mentally beaten up, isolated and completely withdrawn.

As I said before, this is not about an election.

An election is a set of processes and forms. No. This is about the humans behind the booths who found the changing landscape of this country threatening.

It's about you. It's about me. It's about the fact that today, November 9th, the day after election day, America has shown it's true colors. We were never friends, just acquaintances and I let you get too close to me.

Right now I can not breathe because I believed it when you told me that I could be anything. I had hope after my friend's father made a racists comment that he was the minority. I sat silent after being raped in college because I knew no one would believe me. I ignored the sexist comments and worked my way up the corporate ladder in IT because you told me to "Lean In." I believed you when you vowed to protect and serve even after you put my husband's life in danger because he looked "suspicious." I was a good friend.

In your quest to make America Great Again you forgot about me. My son. My family. The America that you seek is designed for you, not me. It is filled with negativity, lies, and deceit. It embraces segregation and hatred. The America that you seek looks just like 1963

This is not about politics. This is about the pain that comes after you realize that a friend has betrayed you. This is what it feels like when you realize that history is and always will be true. There is no progress without honesty. There is no truth in our lies. And for this, I am saddened because I have to tell you goodbye.  

I will never forget this day and how it made me feel. Today I am left scared, lonely and confused. But tomorrow I'll pick my head up and keep going because I have to. I have a son to raise. 

But, today. Today, I am going to sit here and remember. Today, I am going to allow myself to feel this pain because some of us (people of color, women, Muslims and the LGBT community specifically) have been betrayed. 

Good luck as you work to Make America Great Again. Good luck as you turn it into a world that is designed JUST FOR YOU. I wonder if you'll notice that I'm gone. I wonder if you'll realize that this was never about me or us. No. This entire relationship has always been about you.

This is not about an election. This is about how when the time came to stand up for someone else, someone you called a friend, you thought about no one else but yourself. And now we have to live with the consequences for at least four more years. 

This is not about an election. This is, and has always been, about you looking out for you. 

Goodbye, Christine.

My grandmother died today. She was 92 or 93; I can't remember. I cried, but it wasn't for her. 

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Christine was in her 90s, either 92 or 93; I can't remember. In fact, I don't know much about her. She wasn't that warm toward me. We didn't cuddle like grandmothers and granddaughters do. She didn't attend my play when I was the lead character in elementary school, my softball or dance championships in junior high, my high school or college graduation, my trip to the women's college world series, my wedding, or my baby shower, nor did she visit when I was in the hospital in intensive care with my son. I have lived in Arizona for 14 years. She never visited me, and for years, she never called. So, as much as I appreciate her contribution to my being, she's a stranger. When I heard about her passing, it was my father who called. He's 60 years old and doesn't handle stress well. Since his father passed in 1985, he has been her rock. Through good times and bad, he was there - for her. He loved his mother more than he loves me; I'm sure of it. He would have, and often did, do anything for her.

I cried when my grandmother died, but it wasn't for her. Besides being told that she's related to me, I don't know anything about the woman. Instead, I cried for my father. He's a recovering alcoholic, located 3-1/2 hours away by plane. I don't know how he will cope. Will he learn to lean in and embrace everything beautiful that is still in his life? Will he take time out to bond with HIS children, the three kids who only have him as the man they can call a father? Will he take time out to learn about his grandchildren? He has five, three boys and two girls. Will he become the man I used to know - the one who was there? Or, will he fade further and further away? I don't know.

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When I was younger, I used to worry about my father. I would pray that one day he'd come back to me. I prayed he would one day choose us, but that was a long time ago. I am older now and more mature. I'm also a mother and a wife.

My grandmother's funeral is next week, right in the middle of a major launch for one of my companies.

In a perfect world, I would be there, right next to my dad, my mom,  my husband, my son, my sister, my brother, and my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, but this is not a perfect world. None of my father's children or grandchildren will be attending Christine's funeral.

I have been told that my grandmother was a beautiful lady - funny, happy and as beautiful as they come in her prime, just like my dad. But I don't know that person, and as of today, I never will. 

Today, my prayer is that one day my son will get to know his grandfather - my father, not the man that I call my dad. 

Goodbye, Christine. 

You leave behind three grandchildren; one grandson and two granddaughters, five great-grandchildren; two great-granddaughters and three great-grandsons, and one great-great-granddaughter.

One of your great-grandsons is my son. His name is Kayson. Kayson is kind, brilliant, funny, lovable, beautiful and destined for great things - just like me. 

Rest in peace, Grandma.

Please keep an eye on my dad. 

Jenny & Me: Behind every business is a person.

Paralyzed.

That is the best way to describe how I felt the moment I started my business.

I had just recently returned home from the hospital with my premature son. I had quit my high-paying job in tech and was doing everything I could not to sink into a deep hole of postpartum depression.

It's not that I didn't know how to overcome challenges. It's that I didn't have the energy. After overcoming so many hurdles—moving across the country for college, surviving a rape, spending ten years working my way up the corporate ladder, navigating through a career in tech as an African American woman, leading tech teams, overseeing global initiatives, showcasing new technologies, building strategies for Fortune 500 companies, making and saving the organizations I worked with millions, and delivering a premature baby—I was spent.

When Jenny Poon met me, I had already started and closed a business, lost some close friends and felt completely debilitated. It took everything out of me to get out of my yoga pants that day, put a smile on my face and drive 30 minutes to her office at CO+HOOTS. EVERYTHING. But I did it.

During our meeting, I presented two ideas to Jenny as my final push to dig myself out of this hole. The first idea was the creation of a product management team. This would be a collaboration of freelancers who would come together to support bigger projects and provide better services. The second idea was the creation of a program that would help people with families. Women, like me, who were navigating through the challenges of taking care of families while working.

After almost losing my son, entrepreneurship for me became a necessity, not a choice, and that made everything more challenging. I felt like I had more at stake, more to lose, and less to give, and if only there was someone or something that I could turn to for help, with no strings attached, I'd be ok. I'd be able to pick myself up and keep going, like I had done so many times before.

Entrepreneurship is the way out for many people. It is their way to freedom and balance. However, getting there takes work. It takes support. Being successful takes a village. You need people who genuinely believe in your success, who are willing to support you through your high and low times, and people who get you out of those yoga pants, send you encouraging text messages at 3 a.m., tell you that they believe in you, and, after being asked to sit on a panel with John McCain, the president of GE and the governor of Arizona, still finds time to swing your two-year-old in their arms and hug him after a tantrum.

Jenny Poon is my unicorn, my guardian angel, and one of my best friends. Because of her support, I am now the owner of Kayson, a strategy company that brings together freelancers to support small businesses, and MORE, a movement focused on helping working parents. Her husband and daughter, and my husband and my son, make up my family, and I am grateful for each and every one of them.