Before I start this, I need to explain a bit about who I am. I’m a very spiritual person and have always believed in signs. I know, it sounds bananas, but think about it. Let’s say we’ve been surrounded by the color blue our entire life. Our childhood bedroom; blue. Our elementary, middle and high school colors; blue. Let’s say we get to college and do something we said we wouldn’t do; join a sorority. Let’s say that sorority was blue. And white with pearlz oh so fine. I had to throw that in. So as a person that believes so heavily in things meaning something, this post is dedicated to Zeta.
I didn’t grow up around a lot of women or Black people. I was the only daughter in my house and as tough as that might make a person, it cancels a whole social networking that most women can gain. Naturally, I flock to a more ‘masculine’ environment and the majority of the crowds I was around were predominantly boys. I think it’s because I have a flirty, weird, slightly bossy personality that attracts them like ants. Not to say I didn’t have women friends, but it felt like there was a struggle to find the ones I connected with. Which makes it slightly ironic that after I graduated and started college, I looked at sororities. Just like every non-Greek individual, I had my skeptics about it. When we grow up watching teen-targeted dramas about college, there’s an image that gets portrayed. Sorority life is all fun and games, pool parties, boys, getting trashed at the sorority house. We know the cliches. For me, that was a danger that I was intending to avoid. (My mother literally said to watch out for all that.) What I didn’t know was Black Greek Letter Organizations. Fraternities and sororities founded by Black men and women during the 1900s when Black communities had little rights on campuses. Not that much different from today, but that’s for a different blog post.
I lived in this bubble that didn’t allow me to branch out and find the things that I should identify with. I didn’t know about HBCUs until after I graduated. Never even heard of BGLOs. So when I got to college and saw these organizations, I was bamboozled. It was like seeing the Clovers for the first time in Bring It On. Strong, intelligent Black women who wished to better their community. Who actually cared about the work desired to be done. It was…eye-opening. Everything I thought I knew was altered. That’s what college is for finding out anyway, right? Sorority life isn’t just about partying and fun. Wild, I know. I remember the first time I truly met the Zetas. I was checking out some other organizations when I noticed a sea of blue and sharply dressed women. While everyone else was dressed fine in their shirts and pants, there were these women formally dressed, wanting to stand out. Presentation: all around 10s. Now I really had to find out about them.
(Check this part out. We’re about to get into some foreshadowing.)
I did my research on any other organizations I was looking at, obviously. I was basically about to sign up for a lifetime subscribtion of responsibilities. That’s a big deal. But ultimately, Zeta was it. After a long and steady ride on the train into Zetaland, I became a member in the Spring of 2018. All alone. #So1oGang. Not gonna butter your biscuit, it was definitely difficult and tested my entire spirit. Out of it, I became something different. So allow me to introduce myself;
My line name is UnfaZed, Solo Ace of Spring 2018. My ship name is The ReZolut1on and both of these are a true testament to the representation of me. UnfaZed because nothing can faze me and The ReZolut1on because that means to stick to a decision. Whatever that may be, stick to it. And I was determined to do exactly that. During that Spring, two fraternities had new members come out as well. I have a picture of most [not all] of the Spring ‘18 initates and it’s one of my favorites because I’m a tiny woman standing in the middle of these men.
[Side note: my show was somewhat outstanding so watch that here.]
Since I joined, I’ve had my ups and downs. The learning process never ends and I’m trying to figure it out. More than anything, I have been piecing together what Zeta means to me since that’s a question we often get asked. There’s always a generic answer that I give because if I spoke from the heart, we’d be there for 30 minutes. Look at this post, it’s taking forever. But my truth is I didn’t choose Zeta, it was meant to be apart of my life no matter what. I’ve never told anyone this, but the moment I became a Zeta, I had this strange feeling. Without sounding crazy, the only way I can describe it is as if the chalkboard of my existence finally got erased. Then a whiteboard was put up with a clean slate. I’m not saying that my sorority was a new life for me, but I truly felt it in my soul that I had been reborn. The mess I was before had gone and that felt freeing. Now there was new standard for me to live up to; be UnfaZed. The thing that took so long to realize was I can’t be her, I am her.
I look at all everything in life that I have struggled in, that I’ve had to fight for, that I’m still fighting for and it’s something amazing that I’m still here. Between years of mental illnesses, self-harming, suicide attempts and abuse, it’s strange to think that I got to this point. I understand why now. It’s no mistake that everything happens by design. I was meant to be exactly where I am because I gained a new family out of it. Funny that the only daughter in her family became the only woman of Spring 18. Funny that after years of being surrounded by blue and cats I found Zeta. Funny that the car I got for high school graduation was blue! (I actually think that’s a crazy coincidence.) Funny that my name is UnfaZed. I always saw myself as something broken down and in distress, but Zeta made me see that I am strong. No matter where I was in life, I always managed to stand out in a crowd. For good reasons and bad. But no matter what, it was my reason. I always fight with passion and more often than not, I do it solo. I always have. There are certain things that get to me, but I don’t let that stop what I’m trying to do. Zeta taught me that I am me and I am enough.
Zeta means so much to me because I have been wandering in this world alone for so long. Constantly questioning why life has gone this way. But now I found that missing part of me. Like a section of my heart got unlocked. I love Zeta because it connected me to a part of my history that I never even knew. It gave me the family that I never had. Zeta was supposed to be in my life and give me the hope to continue living. To create a bond with people anywhere I may go. To learn and live and find my Finer. I feel honored to be a little part in the history of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. What a moment to be alive. So I thank you Zeta. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have you.
Happy Centennial to all my SororZ!
Peace, love and happiness,
L.A.M.P – UnfaZed