Negative self-talk will have you counting yourself out before you're even in the game.
Who I thought I was?
Growing up, I remember being teased and bullied by girls that had the notion that “I was better than them” because of my hair texture, unbothered attitude, and appearance. I was teased for having naturally curly hair as an adolescent and teenager. Sounds petty, but I was in fifth grade trying to fit in and be liked just like everyone else. By the time I had gotten to sixth grade, it seemed as if every girl in school had straight hair. Girls with naturally curly hair were far and few. Quite naturally, we all know that shrinkage is the devil himself and I felt like an outcast.
I started comparing myself to the other girls in my class, wondering why my hair didn’t look like everyone else’s. I'll never forget being on Homecoming Court and getting my first blowout. Baby, you couldn't tell me NOTHING! OKAY!! Until I looked in the mirror after lunch and saw that my blowout was now an afro. I cried like a baby.
What was I supposed to do? I made up my mind that I wasn't going through with it. I'll never forget being in the locker room with my gym teacher, Ms. Ray, and she just reaffirmed me. She spoke so much light and encouragement. I was able to walk down the football field on the Homecoming Court with my head held high and afro because of her. Ms. Ray, if you ever read this, please know that I'll never forget that day and I am so grateful for YOU!
Y'all, I went home and BEGGED my grandma for a relaxer.
Even though I concealed my thoughts and feelings, let’s be completely transparent, I started to develop insecurities. I became insecure and I masked my insecurities by bullying and lashing out towards others. I became very judgmental towards others. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, hurt people hurt people. I became one of the “mean girls” to protect myself.
I was the girl that the principal knew on a first-name basis for all of the right and wrong reasons. I was the smart girl with an attitude. Nevertheless, Mr. Hignite believed in my greatness and constantly poured into me. I am so grateful for him!
Fast forward to high school… This behavior continued and worsened. I was always in In-School Suspension or suspended for something, skipping, insubordinate, altercations with students, you name it. However, it had gotten to the point of no return. I was sent to Alternative School for the remainder of my sophomore year of high school.
I received my referral to Alternative School during December 2005, weeks before my Sweet 16 birthday party. Let me just tell you that my mother was not pleased and was very disappointed. So disappointed that my party was canceled. You can only imagine how I felt. This was one of many humbling moments in life that I will never forget.
Although, I went to Alternative School for all of the wrong reasons, it allowed me the opportunity to learn more about myself and reflect on my poor decisions. I am thankful for the experience because it lead to growth!
In retrospect, I can’t believe that I wanted to change something about myself that God intended for me to cherish and love. Now, look! It's 2021, natural is popping and I've been natural for years.
The message to my inner child is to be your own kind of beautiful. Never dim your light and shrink for anyone else. You are loved. You are amazing! You are perfect just the way you are and don't look to others for validation! Show TF up unapologetically and be a light to the world.
This isn’t to boast about my shortcomings or bad behavior. This is transparency. Those bad moments made me into the woman I am today. I’m not perfect nor do I claim to be! Self-awareness and accountability is a sign of maturity and leads to growth. Being able to identify your strengths and weaknesses will change your life.
Let’s be clear I don’t proclaim to be holier than thou. However, I am a God-fearing woman and He is #1 in my life. It is so important to develop a relationship with Him, especially in this cold and cruel world.
I am praying that “Fine and Fearless” will empower all women to overcome their fears and insecurities, both known and unknown.
Here's your reminder that you are loved and continue to TAKE UP SPACE, sis! What message would you tell your younger self?
Sending you love and light for an amazing weekend!