Let’s state the obvious. Black History is American History.
To me it’s important to say this out loud, because so often ‘Black History’ is treated like a special event that began during slavery, when Black folks existed and thrived before slavery even came into being.
Anyway, I was on LinkedIn the other day and saw at least 7 of my connections celebrating themselves or somebody else on being ‘the first Black person to do xyz’...and for it to be 2022, that was mind-blowing.
Clearly, there’s a lot of healing and work to do.
So a little back story.
Because I have dual-citizenship, and spent most of my childhood in the Bahamas (a predominantly Black country), my skin color wasn’t something I had to think about daily until I moved back to the States for college in 2001.
Talk about two different worlds.
This is when I learned how to code switch. And it was actually easy to learn, because soooo many of my friends did it effortlessly.
But let me tell you, even though I eventually mastered how to code switch, I hated that I automatically went into that mode when I was around White people.
That’s really why I didn’t last in Corporate America for too long after I graduated college. It was just too much to have my actual job that I was hired to do, and then the added job (with no pay) of fitting in and making White people feel comfortable.
So, I chucked the deuces, and started my own business.
But the ‘making White people feel comfortable thing’ didn’t really go away then either. That’s when it dawned on me that this is the culture of America.
And to be authentic to myself, I would have to rebel against the status quo.
I know it’s said a lot and it’s kinda watered down at this point, but life is really too short to be performing to be accepted.
So now, I’ve come to a place where I really and truly feel honored to be a Black Woman, married to a Black Man with a Black son and daughter. I feel deeply connected to the work and sacrifice that our ancestors did so that my generation and generations to come can have a better life and be in a position to do the same for future generations.
I’m also present to…
…as part of the process and requirement of daily living.
I imagine that during slavery especially, that our ancestors wished they could have more of this.
I’ve been a mom for almost 2-years now, and never imagined that my experience of motherhood would be happening at the same time as a pandemic.
Nobody. And I mean nobody, saw this coming.
I’m in a ton of mom groups on Facebook, and have a few mom friends here in Vegas, and the sentiment is the same all around - women are more tired and stressed than they’ve ever been, and in my opinion, the added workload for moms is untenable.
So for me, the existence and work of Gorgeous Confidence is just beginning. I’m clear that we have a lot of work to do.
Because our mission, and the reason GC even exists, is TO HELP MOMS THRIVE.
We want to assist with practical tools for ‘pouring into our cup first’. Also, known as self-care.
On a personal level, now that I have a daughter, I’m hyper-aware that I have to be a really good example to her on how to take good care of herself. Key word here is ‘example’.
I grew up watching the women in my family and community work their behinds off. I often heard “A woman's work is never done!” - and - then witnessed that happening in reality. As a teenager, it wasn’t uncommon to interact with mostly exhausted women limping along marking things done on her to-do list.
The truth is there’s always things to do, but if you’re always doing, doing, doing, then when do you get to just BE.
BEing is what recalibrates us spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally.
And so, the questions are always, What recalibrates me? What resets me? And, What do I need to do for myself so that I always feel good?
These are not pipe dreams.
This can happen.
My Self-Care legacy is this:
- Be a GREAT example to my daughter on how to take good care of herself, always.
- Help Moms THRIVE, which is the mission of Gorgeous Confidence.
- Take good care of myself and show women what’s possible when this is a priority.
Cheers to a reflective Black History Month!