There l was, enjoying a quiet breakfast this morning, when l got the text from one of my darling millennials who wanted to know how did l embrace my womanhood and what did it take to get there?
I read that text, chuckled and commenced to having a good conversation because she was shocked when l said, l didn’t fully began to walk into all that made me a woman, until l was about 40. Yep. I said it.
The first person l heard saying this statement and l looked incredulously at the television screen when she did, was Camille Cosby. I was all of 27 then, and just KNEW l was a woman, with all the mess l had experienced to that point and what was she even talking about?
But now that l am a half a century old, l have come to understand what she meant and the older l get, the more steeped l have become in being comfortable with who l am with zero apologies.
But to my millennials, it is indeed a journey-one that is fraught with second guessing yourself, making mistakes you swear you will never recover from, worried you will NEVER find the right mate, be a good mother should you so choose to become one,or be successful at anything long term in life.
You will lose friendships you swore would last your entire life, experience heartache that will have you questioning love and feeling fear when you want to feel hope.
So the bad news is that these experiences will shift in and out, one way or another for your entire life.
The good news is that you will be so settled into you are as a woman who knows herself and what she will not tolerate, that you will no longer second guess yourself to death or worry about that which you have no control over.
Someone doesn’t like you? Okay and? Keep it stepping.
That job isn’t working out? Move on in grace and find another.
Folks second or third guessing you on your decision to be an entrepreneur? Thank
Them for sharing and either fail or succeed splendidly for there are lessons to be learned in it all.
The bottom line is this- every molecule that is you, means that you are more than enough. Embrace your warts and all with as much dignity and grace you can muster up. Or not. Because the truth is, you have another moment to get it right.
In the meantime, stop being so hard on yourself and enjoy the journey to fully embracing the woman you will blossom into being.
Love, peace and fish grease,
Dear Black girl-
I have been watching your growth and contentment in the last few years and wanted to share with you, just how far you have come and the obstacles you leapt, with such faith in your almost five decades on earth. You see, you were born in a time and place where girls were not encouraged to be seen or heard and from your earliest memories, you bucked that trend to the detriment of your behind. You remained respectful but steadfast in a culture that expected you to grow up, learn all the social graces like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ so that you could get a decent job and marry a good man.
You instinctively knew that while you desired a good mate and wanted to be a mother, your desire to activate change for others was an ever present feeling you carried. And so, you did just that- spoke up, helped where you could and declared to your father at the age of nine, that you would do great things with your life.
If only you knew the journey it would take for you to get there and I still believe, you would not have changed a thing.
Do you remember the time when a boy told you that you were too opinionated and that you needed to have a man who would beat you and keep you barefoot and pregnant? Do you remember your sassy response to him? Today, he looks at you in awe as he got what he desired; the woman who would do whatever he said, even to her own detriment. You knew you deserved better by someone who would love you wholly, just as you were.
And so as a young adult, after confounding everyone around you, you struck out on a journey of self discovery and learned the hard way, that even the ones who said they loved you, had no idea what to do with all the energy you brought to the table. so you married and divorced. You had two beautiful babies and instinctively knew, raising them well, would be the best thing you could do for them and society at large.
You were told a thousand times what you could NOT and should not do; each time, you followed your gut instincts and moved ahead in prayer. the end results have been nothing but astounding. You understood that ‘belly- aching’ about a problem solved nothing and you also learned that everything happens for a reason and extracted the lessons you learned from each mishap in your life.
You learned beautifully, that building authentic relationships with others is the doorway to getting things done. You learned that doing things on your own was counterproductive. You learned the language and code words people used when they were scared of your presence and energy that floated into a room behind you.
You learned not to be naïve. You learned to have a vision and then work towards it. Vision boards are your friend.
That is you below after learning how to pit a race car and in the cockpit of an F-16 fighter jet about to take the ride of your dreams!! Who would have ever thought that? You have taught others not to ever limit themselves.
You learned to say NO when others said yes andYES, when most said no. You learned that the path less travelled, while much more difficult to traverse, lead to greater rewards. Doors have been opened for you on a national scale and you have been in the presence of those who have made huge strides for human kind. You have mentored and have been a mentee. You learned you do NOT have a poker face and it is okay.
You understood the value of having siblings who while they love you, would hold you accountable and honest in your actions and you knew they were blessings..
You embraced your health and well being by exercising regularly and because you love good food, that is a good thing. In that process, it became clear that you are not just mentally strong but physically and that too confounded many. You can flip 300 lb. tires, lift barns, push half a ton and the list goes on. you embraced climbing trees and haven’t found one that was too much of a challenge. You even climbed in flip flops!!
You understood the value in the wisdom of our elders and embrace them lovingly..You even got into serious trouble as a child, climbing trees to pick coconuts and using a machete to open it, all for the elderly man who had a heart condition. You gave YOUR own father a heart condition once he learned about THAT!
You learned that great friendships are like a balm to the soul and that laughter keeps you young at heart. You embraced being almost 6 ft. tall with zero apologies
You learned to accept people where they are and move on in love which meant holding no grudges. You are tenacious in ways that has been liberating because you understood that failure did not mean the end and kept going. You learned that without a strong knowledge of your culture and ethnicity, you were bound to accept other peoples definition of you and so you are not only steeped in your own, you are a voracious reader of others and embrace the differences we bring to the table.
when you got tired of fighting with hair, you made a declaration,cut that sucker off and remain blissfully natural, all the happier for it. You are no longer a slave to spending ten hours in a hair salon. Being black is no joke out here. And after all of that, the love you so needed, shows up and did everything in his power to convince you that marrying him would be an awesome thing. Took him several years but here you are and honey, you are glowing! The failed relationships taught you what you didn’t want, what you needed and that you had to always be your own work in progress so that you could take ownership of your own flaws.
I could go on and on but it all comes simply down to this- I am so proud of you and want to acknowledge your journey thus far.
rock on #blackgirl- rock on.