Coping with the pandemic is hard for all of us, but most of us have found the strength to deal with adversity before and we will find the strength to deal with this, too.
Just Three Months Ago, Things Looked so Different.
Children were preparing for the last semester of school and dreaming of a fun and adventurous summer. Seniors in the class of 2020 were preparing to make their exits, but first, they anticipated prom and graduation.
Others were planning weddings or scheduling flights for getaways. Some people were just living ordinary lives, occasionally enjoying some routine dinners out at restaurants.
In the midst of all this everyday life, COVID-19 showed up like a bad nightmare. Now all of those life milestones, events and everyday human routines are gone or changed.
More things moved online. Playgrounds were surrounded with yellow tape. Only those deemed essential were still going off to work every day. Stimulus checks went out, and we started to see more delivery trucks in our neighborhoods.
Some people believe things will be back to normal soon, but nobody knows for sure what is coming next.
Normal? It Hasn’t Felt That Way for a Long Time.
After being on lockdown for three months the rules have been released, but we need to wear a mask in public, something we should have been doing from the start.
In stores, you have to stand 6 feet apart or wait in line outside because only a handful of people can go in at one time. We took for granted being able to walk into a business freely.
Every parent out there became a teacher overnight and the class of 2020 had to accept their diplomas in online ceremonies. Who would have ever known when 2020 started that this would be our fate?
Concerts and new releases in movie theaters are on hold until further notice. Unemployment rates are soaring and Americans are overwhelmed. Business closures are rampant. And at just this moment in time, society begins to boil over with a demand for racial justice after the police killing of George Floyd.
These are times that call for inner strength, something I had to develop at a young age. I was born and partially raised in Newport, Rhode Island, but when I was 10 I moved to Chesapeake, Virginia. My mother had died and my father had a mental breakdown, so I went off to live with my aunt.
I have always refused to be defined by adversity. I rose from the ashes of a difficult life. I now excel as a hairstylist, co-author and full figured model. I am blessed with two beautiful children, Azaria, who battles ADHD, and Elijah, who is nonverbal and autistic.
The Road to Success Was Never Easy.
In summer and fall of 2015 I experienced homelessness. I obtained housing in January of 2016. But emergency surgery in 2016 left me unable to work. I lost my job, car and eventually my housing.
My children’s father walked out and left me with two kids in a hotel. I didn’t know how I would make it. But even in the midst of all these trials, I found joy and peace and trusted in God. You can, too.
- Our world is bleeding and crying. It is time to come together, pray and fight for justice.
- Change doesn’t happen overnight; it is something that we have to work on every day.
- Change can start by following the golden rule to treat others the way that you would like to be treated.
- We need to fight with our votes and fight with minds to become a part of the solution and not the problem.
- We are one, no matter our skin color, nationality, gender or creed.
- We are coming out of this together as long as we focus on one thing, which is oneness and togetherness.
Things will get better and we will make it through this. Let’s just keep uplifting, inspiring and encouraging each other. We need each other to survive.
LaTonya Spates always wanted to be a model. In 2016, she auditioned for Virginia Full-Figured Fashion Week. She would then go on to walk in the 2017 and 2018 shows. She was a contestant for Cycle 2 of Curvy Idol. She appeared in the “Fierce Face of August” 2016, the Fourth Annual Heartbeat Gala, 50 Shades of Shears Hair and Fashion Show, and was the face of Queen of the Curves September 2017. She has also been the featured Spotlight model for the winter edition of Size Overrated magazine, appeared in the swimsuit feature in Slay Queenz Magazine Vol. 2 in 2019, and was the cover model for Faschic Magazine in May 2020. Currently, LaTonya resides in Norfolk, Virginia, and is a brand ambassador for Flowture Designs and Beauty Rules Clothing by Dorlisa Graham. She is also co-author of a book called, “Diary of a Ready Woman.”