It was not my intent to post today. Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I had a weekend of travel hell. So all I desired of today was to focus on things I may have missed and to use a minimal amount of brainpower.
That was the plan anyway.
I woke up to an inbox message that tried to ruin my joy. Paraphrasing, I’m being discussed by those who I neither talk to or think of often, and this discussion centers around my supposed conceit and faux motivation. Who do I think I am?
What another thinks has not had an impact on the choices I make in life since ninth grade l when I pretended to not like Michael Jackson because he was “lame.” Screw that. Give me my HIStory cassette tape. But the message did bring up a question I used to struggle with. What causes some people whose existence I’m not always aware of to not like me?
Before, I would try to find out if I’d done something to them personally. Nope. Did someone tell them I’d said something negative about them? Nope. Is their boyfriend interested in me? Nope. Well, what the fuck? Why is there a problem?
As I got older, I realized what the issue was – confidence. I was confident in myself. Was I the prettiest woman walking? Nope. Was my stomach flat and my ass fat? Ha. Just the opposite actually. Did I come from wealth? I’m from Tallulah, Louisiana. Check the demographics for yourself. Was I the smartest? Arguably yes. (Eff being modest. I know I’m brilliant.)
I never sought another’s acceptance or approval. Hopefully, you like who I am. If not, that is just as well. I’ve always been a loner; thus, many people falsely assumed that it spawned from low self-esteem or my being introverted. It was neither of things really. I simply liked myself more than I liked other people. I didn’t get in trouble so I was called a goody two shoes. No, my mom had rules and a switch. People told me I spoke white. I didn’t EVEN KNOW any white people. I just read a lot and liked words.
People will create this perception of you from their own insecurities and false narrative. Instead of getting to know you, they place you in the box they want you in. If they determine you’re not worthy of the pedestal you place yourself on, you think too highly of yourself. If you are, then you’re conceited. You’re basically everything but an example of the Glory of God.
Either way, someone will have a problem with you. So be yourself and live in your truth. The people you need in your life will come. My best friends, three beautiful, powerful, successful black women, are a CPA, a Doctor of Psychology, and the second in charge at her state agency. We don’t compete; we cheer each other on until we’re hoarse. Then we jump up and down. My younger sisters are the most confident and resilient women I’ve ever met, and I like to think that’s partly due to the example I set. I knew the most efficient way for them to become the women I wanted them to be was to be that woman so they could see. And those are just the women I speak with daily. I’m surrounded by some of the most powerful women walking this Earth–single moms, domestic violence survivors, educators, achievers–and it inspires me to be and do more each day.
I know I’m amazing and I live my life knowing that I am. More than that, I know that each of you is amazing. Those are not just words. I truly believe that. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.“ And I really hope we start seeing other women as inspiration, not competition.
Today’s Soundtrack – Janelle Monae’s Queen “Even if it makes other uncomfortable, I will love who I am.”