Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bravo to BBBB Reader, LaQT! Bravo!

My blog doesn't fit any of the blog rules. They are super long. I post one time a month. I have no advertisements on my site. I barely put in pictures and a whole host of other things.

I write these blog posts because I want to be the voice that REMINDS YOU, how fabulous you are. Too many of us are constantly bombarded with negativity.

Do I have it all together? Hah! Absolutely, NOT!

Just as much if not more than encouraging you to be beautiful, I try to encourage you that you have all that you need right now, to do what you need and want to do - successfully. Perfection is NOT a requirement.

On those few days when I think I am a 'sucker' for writing this blog, outside of the rules and think that I am merely just taking up space in the blogsphere, wasting your time and my time, one of you fabulous ladies steps out and reminds ME why I write these blog posts.

LaQT wrote in the comments section on a post of mine, on October 6th, that she was in the health care field but has always dreamed of being a doctor. Her concern was that pursuing her dream would be a burden on and to her family. On the other side of the coin, she wrote that in her heart she knew that she encouraged her little ones to be who they wanted to be. In the end, she wants to remain authentic and not be hypocritical or to not have regrets in her future for not pursuing her own dreams.

Then on November 21st, 2009, LaQT wrote another comment. She let us know that she is currently taking her prerequisites in preparation for: Entering a Medical Program!

Our girl LaQT is stamping down her fears and doubts, stepping out on faith, and pursuing her life long dream.

LaQT, I know that you will attain your dream and you will reach your goal. Bravo, LaQT!
Bravo, to you!

You should see how my little chest is puffed out, all proud. LaQT, YOU are the reason I write this blog. Not to define you, or tell you what to do. I write this blog to constantly remind you and everyone who reads this blog that within you, there is Inner Greatness! All you have to do is believe it, act upon it and watch your dreams come true.

When LaQT reaches the end of this leg of the journey, and attains her medical program credential, you or I may be in a situation where because of her, our life, or the life of someone we love, is saved.

Pursue your dream LaQT. I believe that dreams are divinely placed within us. Pursuing that dream and bringing it to fruition may literally help to save the life of someone else.

LaQT, thank you for the honor and privilege of being allowed to see you off, as you begin your wonderful journey.

Look back only for the briefest of moments. I'm the little one. I'm kind of in the back. The one with the tear glistening in my eye, in danger of having it drop fat and full and heavy down my cheek.

I got the proud smile, stretched from ear to ear, waving at you as you walk up the gangplank to board that ship that will carry you to places of which you have never seen and only dreamed.

And ya'll, you know she is going to look beautiful doing it, too! Beautify Bit by Bit.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Relinquishing and Silencing Your Voice or Your Choice

Despite what the movies and popular culture depict, silencing your voice and letting someone else make decisions for you, are not necessarily the characteristics of what makes a woman pretty or feminine or inherently a woman. Conversely, nor are the lack of these characteristics a condemnation that a woman is unpretty or unfeminine.

Before you naysayers stand up and say, "Hold up Chicoro, tell me something I didn't know, because you're preaching to the choir. These are BLACK women to whom you are speaking, and YOU know our issues are that we are often considered too strong, too vocal and too independent."

Firstly, I would respond with the rhetorical question,"You think so?" not to elicit a reply, but to make an assertion. That assertion or positive declaration, without support or reason is, you too do it: You relinquish and silence your voice and your choice.

We do it when we accept inappropriate or unkind treatment from a partner because we want to hold on to that partner. We do it at our jobs when we even just question whether or not we should go out with our natural hair. We do it when tone down the way we would normally say something on the job because of fear we might be perceieved as too aggressive. We do it, because so many of us are in jail because we let that person doing something wrong, lay up under us, and turned our heads from their wrong doing, because we 'loved' that person. We do it, ladies, we do it.

Secondly, I would say, "Be careful." Because although what you say or think you are, which may be uncharecteristically different than what and who society deems you to be as a woman-- voiceless and choiceless -- understand one other inference of this popular cultural argument. Because you are vocal and make your own choices, society may declare that you indeed are unattractive, not pretty and unfeminine. After all, if you subscribe to and perpetuate what you say you are, strong, vocal, autonomous, aren't you by logic, saying the same thing as society? That you agree with its definition of who you are by default of silent acceptance, a decision that you have unconsciously but willingly have made? I'm just asking.

To this I say, "Be cognizant and aware of societal perceptions of who you are supposed to be, voiceless and choiceless. Be cognizant and aware of inner cultural perceptions of who you are supposed to be - vocal, autonomous and strong." Why?

Although it is my hope that you will delve deep within yourself to discover and know who you truly are and who you wish to be, it is important to know how others think and feel about you. That is because to get from point A to point B, in fulfillment of your purpose, as you walk through this journey called life, you will encounter many obstacles.

In order to circumvent those obstacles and successfully navigate your journey toward your goals, you have got to know what may lie ahead. If there is a hole in the road, you want to know about it and be aware of it. Can you personally close that hole? Probably not, but if you are aware of it, you have some forewarning or knowledge to go around it. Will it guarantee your safe passage? No, by no means. But it certainly will raise the odds in your favor.

Don't ever let somebody else define who you are, whether it be the external society at large or your own tight knit family members. Don't get caught up in who you are supposed to be and what that makes you - pretty, or what it doesn't make you- not pretty.

Just be you. Sometimes, having no voice is a choice. Sometimes being choiceless is a way of exerting and empowering your voice.

Create and live your OWN definition of what it means to be beautiful and feminine. You do that by knowing yourself and being true to yourself, not just in the area of beauty and femininity, but also let this manifest as it pertains to your integrity and your Soul.

Beautify yourselves bit by bit.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

You Just Never Know...What Can Happen

Procrastination is not just lying on the couch, watching television all day. Procrastination can also be about focusing all your energy, time and effort on a goal that you really don't want. That goal could even be worthy, difficult to achieve and valuable for someone else, but not for you. Huh?

Ever wanted to be something, or do something or have something so badly, that whenever you thought of it or saw it, your little heart ached, or your stomache quivered? How many times have you given something half the effort, or none at all, because you thought you couldn't really reach the goal you set or have what you wanted? So not wanting to set yourself up for disappointment- AGAIN - to have to feel that ache in your heart or have to hear THAT voice remind you of the reasons why you should have known you'd fail, you just put it out of your mind, and try to act like it's not important to you. What if what you wanted seemed to require that you be well connected, lucky, born with 'it', or just plain ol' not likely to happen - to you?

Well ladies, I am here to tell you, "You just never know WHAT can happen!"Want that job but you know there is just no way you can compete with the other candidates? You don't know. You just never know WHAT can happen!

Want to live in another country but have a situation that is impossible to overcome to even begin to think about moving? You don't know. You just NEVER know what can happen!

Want to have long, healthy, natural hair, but know that what you got has been broken off, over relaxed hair that has never grown past your neck and thus never will? You don't know that. You just never know what CAN happen!

Years ago I wanted to move from an analyst position to a management position. There were several 'impossibilities' at the time. First, the person who was in charge of the management group was HORRIBLE. She would actually tell people that they were stupid, in meetings in front of entire groups of people. She was extremely FAKE and the queen of backstabbing and viciousness. I had just left a company where I had worked for another terrible boss and did not want to put myself under another one, knowingly, any time soon.

Second, I worked in a group of analyst. Of the seven to ten analyst, I was the most junior and had the least amount of time at the company. So, although there were courses and classes offered to help one move from an analyst to a manager, I was tenth in line to receive one course! In addition to that, one was required to take about seven courses in order to get the credential to be deemed a manager. Coupled with all this, was the fact that all those analyst in front of me, were allowed to take no more than two courses each - per year!

I knew that I would never become a manager in this organization. But the fact of the matter was that I DIDN'T know! Because you know why, ladies? YOU never know what can happen!

I resigned myself to the fact that it just wasn't going to happen for me. Soon after a management course become available at the local city college. It offered ALL the courses from beginning to end, required to become a manager. The price for the entire four (4) month course was 1/2 the price for just one of the ten courses offered through my company. So, I approached my boss, who was over the analysts and me and asked him. I asked him would he reimburse me for the four month course if I paid for it and got a passing grade. He said yes and I completed the course successfully soon after.

One day I heard through the grapevine my company wanted to enter into the Japanese market. I figured that there were probably no opportunities for me, but I could share what I knew from my time living in Japan. So, I wrote a white paper or document about what to look for culturally when trying to enter the market and passed it to a mentor of mine.

A few weeks later, I got a call from the Senior Vice President of International Marketing. He said he had been told that I was, "sharp" by another Senior executive and wanted to talk to me. That 'other' executive had read my paper on entering the Japanese market. At the time, I neither knew or had even heard of either of these executives.

The marketing executive flew me to his office for an interview and asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted to be a manager at one of the international offices. He gave it to me. You know why? Because you never know what can happen.

He paid for me to take those credentialed classes at the same time and way ahead of the other analysts. He helped double my salary and placed me in my dream position. It was a dream job. I was not well connected, was not stunningly beautiful, or had wealth. I did not engage in any immoral or inappropriate behavior. I did not mistreat others or step over and on people. Throughout, I remained myself. I never compromised my personal integrity.

It was not a fluke or never to happen again event. So I say to you, release the expectation of disappointment. Identify what you want to do, be or have. No matter how impossible something may seem, you just never know what can happen. Yes, you will have doubts, make mistakes and even risk looking the fool. But so what! Don't be that person languishing in regret for the rest of your days. I shot for the moon and hit a star. Were things perfect? Of course not! But they were worth it for me.

Be open to opportunities and events and life in general. There is so much that science cannot explain. Mountains can move. Don't YOU stop yourself before you start. Don't waste your precious focus and energy on something that you know you can achieve but don't REALLY want.
So the next time you find yourself in what appears to be an ugly duckling-situation, remember that it is possible to turn it into a swan of an opportunity. Why? Because you never know what can happen. Beautify bit by bit, one ugly duckling situation at a time. Beautiful is as beautiful does. Step on out there, you pretty beautiful things you!