Age 12 | 2nd Year at Bailey’s Cafe
I was here at Bailey’s a year ago. The first year was hard because I had no one to talk to. This year was easier because I have been able to talk and make friends with people here.
My favorite part of Bailey’s was talking to Kadeem, during Gender Studies on Tuesday afternoons, because he makes me feel good and makes me feel comfortable to express my feelings and makes me feel welcome.
For What’s in Your Hands? I worked with Brian, Zev and Shelby at the BedStuy Community Garden. The garden was fun to do but it was also hard to work with people. I had to learn that in order for people to treat me the way I wanted, which was to be nicer to me, I had to be nicer and not get mad and walk away all the time. When I had to overcome something I would sit alone and once I walked away and went back to Bailey’s because I was so sad and mad. All I really wanted was just to fit in.
What helped me to understand that by walking away I will never fit in or make friends was something Kadeem taught me. He told me I wasn’t allowed to say, “none of your business” in situations where people don’t understand why I am upset with them but need to explain my feelings so they can understand. Sometimes though, things can be overstimulating which make it hard for me to concentrate on certain things and to deal with this I sometimes still just have to walk away and take some moments for myself. But I know to fit back in I will need to explain myself so people can understand how I handle certain things.
I am looking forward to having friends who like the same things as me–like taking pics and videos and trains and buses. I am also looking forward to not being wimp but standing up for myself when I feel that I am being disrespected. I understand that if I treat everyone with respect they will respect me. I am anxious about going back to school but I have my tech teacher I can call and he will help me to feel better.