Friday, July 8, 2016

It's Okay To Walk Away: Be Strong, Be Beautiful, Be Bold

As I reflect on my relationships, I realize that not all people have been positive influences in my life. Family members have judged, mistreated, and disowned me, including my father because he didn't agree with an article I wrote. My grandparents, whom I was always extremely close to, disowned me because I dated outside of my race. They informed me that "We don't lower ourselves," and "You won't get jobs or opportunities because of your choices." But I am different from them. I told harsh truths about certain situations. I exposed the raw, the real, and the ugly. I flipped the switch on in a dark room, and, for illuminating a different viewpoint, I was labeled as "wrong."

Fast forward twelve years, I am the only member of my immediate family to graduate college not once, but twice. I am married to a man who is a different race than me, and he loves me completely. He has taught me about unconditional love. I have so many wonderful and genuine people in my life, that I do not need those from whom I have walked away. My husband and children are better for it too. I provide for my family. And I believe that all people are important, which is something I teach my children.

My mother and I have an imperfect relationship, but I've grown to appreciate her. She did the best with what she was given in life. She never judged me or turned me away, and for that I'm forever grateful.

My friends are amazing, and they are family. They are four incredible women, and each have a story to tell. I call one friend "my unicorn," and she means more to me than she will ever know. She improves my self esteem by leaps and bounds, keeps me accountable, and is a daily inspiration. Even though we have differences, we are the same. She accepts me for who I am.

"Arae" is another close friend. She has a pure and good heart. We connect through our love of music (gangster rap) and she understands me even when I don't deserve it. She is giving, accepting, and badass all at once.

I call my third friend "my wifey," and that says it all. She has taken direction from me and still likes me. She does not have a bad thing to say, ever. Self-sacrifice is part of her nature, and yet she is the definition of a strong and independent woman.

And finally, my friend, "Breezy." As her nickname implies, she is a free spirit like the wind. She loves beyond necessity and takes care of me when I most need it. She is a force to be reckoned with.

My friends are ALL very different from me. Each of them is unique. Each one accepts and loves me even when we disagree. (Even when I'm a bitch, and oh boy, I can be a bitch!) I know I'm not for everyone, but those that love me, love me truly. I have walked away from some, and have been given the best by others.

Some people in your life will be afraid of your strengths and your passions, but this is okay. Do not be afraid to be a strong woman. Be a game changer. Don't take shit from anyone. Expose the wrong because it's the right thing to do! Change the world for our daughters. Let them know you can be a woman and be strong, beautiful, and bold.

You really can be everything!!!

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