I Thrive on Obstacles

By Kristian Taylor

“Honestly, everyone needs a good quote to live by and this is mine: “I thrive on obstacles. If I'm told that it can't be done, then I push harder." - Issa Rae.

With it being Black History month, I wanted to take some time and not only reflect on Issa Rae's quote, but also how her actions to fight against society for the uplifting of black people called me to do the same for myself.

This quote is a reminder to me to not back down from anything that I want, no matter what. As a child I was not aware of the obstacles that would be placed in my life just because of my skin color and my gender. You do not notice those types of obstacles until one is placed in front of you.

My first obstacle was to discover myself because society will try to conform you into whatever shape it wants. Overcoming the stereotypes of my culture that I did fit into, and the ones that I felt I needed to fit into to feel accepted by my culture, allowed me to gain the confidence I needed to face every other obstacle in my life. I realized that I did not need to be anyone but myself. I took my new-found confidence and the quote and ran with it. If I want something, I go for it, no matter the societal circumstance because I know I will prove anyone’s negative judgement about me wrong.

The quote by Issa Rae was and is especially impactful to me as I continue to take on challenges. I use this quote as I continue to break down barriers created by society, as well as the verse Psalm 46:5 “For God is within her she will not fail,” to provide me with all the strength I need to face any obstacle placed in front of me.