Friday, June 4, 2010

The Commencement of Adolescence

Upon the encroachment of my 25th and a half birthday I have started to realize I am no longer blossoming into womanhood. I give thanks to the church that I have called home for over 20 years, the culprit for this thinking. This past week the church celebrated 125 years of serving the Richmond community! Take that you mega churches! Yes, Riverview Baptist Church has held on through the ebb and flow of all sorts of churchy drama, community changes, and still is standing like a beacon of light on the corner of Idlewood Avenue and um… Robinson Street :) But it was sitting on one of the back pews, probably one of the same pews I sat on when I was an infant in my mother’s arms, that I realized I was no longer in transition from adolescence into adulthood. I had arrived into Womanhood. However, there was no pomp and circumstance, no graduation ceremony, no Senior-itis, no party invitations and acceptance speeches. Instead it was a graduation of my mental ideology that initiated into the commencement of adolscence.

I started on this journey probably before I can remember. The date and time of my transformation was predestined upon my conception. Physically my body began to change when I was in middle school and I was physically a woman long before my childish mentality would catch up. I could bear children at the ripe age of 12, which only a few hundred years ago didn’t seem young at all. From my early blooming season, I navigated the often choppy and treacherous waters of adolescence with tremendous speed and agility entering into my early 20s full speed ahead. Those early years of being 20 something were full of a lot of good times and a lot of hard lessons. But none of it could prepare me for what happened when I turned 24. Something about that magical number, exactly 12 years after my body blossomed into womanhood my mind began to bloom. Since that date in December 2008 I have had the privilege of arriving into womanhood with the grace and fortitude of those who have come before me.

What college didn’t prepare me for, experience laid the foundation. I’ve been through some things, and my divine purpose has been laid in front of me. What once felt like I was wading in the waters of Jordan has now been replaced by the sensation of dry land. What I face before me is uncharted territory. This is the arrival at one of many destination points in my life’s journey. As I look back, I see my childhood, the memories both positive and negative I carry at my side. When I was a child, I thought like a child. Now that I am grown, much is required of me and I must cut a pathway for others to follow. Like the church I grew up in, I have made it through a few ebb and flows of life’s journey.

In my short years on Earth, I have blossomed into womanhood. I now march to the beat of my own drum. I walk in my own size 8 1/2 pumps. I now pause to marvel at how beautiful this world is, and shed a tear over its destruction. I have manifested into a woman of character, a woman of good reputation, a woman of her word, and a woman of steadfast prayer and praise, a woman of God. I am a woman on the grow! Just because I have arrived into womanhood, does not mean I have stopped growing and learning. I have loved a few with all my heart and soul, I have given time and space to those who didn’t deserve it, and shied away from those who did deserve it. I have made promises I have broken, and have been disappointed by others. Some friendships have been strained, and others strengthened. Work has been hard but fruitful, and I have given back to the community that supported me.

As I sat on that last church pew I saw the guest preacher before me materialize into a living and breathing God. The church walls dissolved and then God himself sat down with us to marvel at 125 years of service and devotion. It is a blessing when God sits down to marvel. It was in the vision that I saw myself sit down to marvel at how blessed I am and how I continue to withstand the ebb and flow. Twenty-five years may seem minuscule to some, but for those who have shared in my joys and pain know that 25 years into womanhood is indeed a blessing. I thank God for those who have been with me since the beginning, for those who have come and gone, and for those who remain!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Thoughts On Love & Relationships Of A Career Woman

High school romances were so easy and so much fun. They were innocent and romantic, and always full of X’s and O’s and smiley faces. But for most of us ladies it’s been many years out since we were in classrooms, gushing over how cute the new boy was… but in many ways, I feel I am still learning the basics when it comes to love. Lately, I find myself operating between my constant state of vulnerability and my more grown up attitude and beliefs than my past has been conditioned to be.

Maybe the choice between becoming professionally and academically driven and opening my heart is as artificial as my nail tips? My hair is natural, my lips and hips haven’t been surgically altered, but yet I can decide when and to which color I am going to paint my nails with far greater ease than the possibility of finding and falling in love. Living with an open heart takes far more emotional strength and calculated risk than my academic preparation has prepared me to be. So while pursuing success may be a grueling journey, it is far easier than say dating. Academically you can see the progress and at some point you reap your rewards. Perhaps us Black women find it easier to commit to professional relationships more so than romantic involvements simply in part because we trust the system. Navigating the economic ladder usually doesn’t require as much finess and social regurgitation as dating. To put it blatantly, if you could date knowing that it would be a success or failure based on calculated procedures there would be a lot less single ladies out there. But since it isn’t, some women are left wondering if there is a full-proof way of finding love.And if not, why even take the risk.

So eloquently put by Leslie Pitterson of Clutch Magazine, “Years of relationships with men of different shades of the same character can leave a woman of any color numb to the idea of the chase.” Honestly, how much can one woman take? Why is when she is ready, there seems to be a lack of guys ready with her? Guys say blame her, ladies say blame the the guys. Who’s to blame when love doesn’t stand a chance to gain? Then again, we ladies grow up with the hurt and pain of broken relationships passed down through generations, it’s in our genetic makeup now. We learn at the innocence of child hood to have guarded perspectives of black men from our mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, grandmothers and peers.

So woman to woman, I ask you ladies to take a look at whatever your guarded perspectives of relationships are and take some advice from a woman who is learned new things about herself everyday…. Remember to have fun! Ladies we could each write a book on the relationships, dates, one-nights, and pitiful excuses of a date we have been on, but in actuality if I had my chance, I’d instead tell the world how deathly afraid I am to ever give love again, because no one can love me better than I can love myself, I think. Maybe it’s time I take a leap of faith into love’s ocean and open my heart to its soothing touch. It’s time I had some fun with love.