Have you ever looked back on your life and wondered how you arrived at the place you are in today? What if you had taken a left versus a right? Did you make the absolute best possible choices for your life, or could you have done better? So many questions, with very few answers. At some point in time, most adults ponder over all of these things and even more before determining what course their lives will take.
Growing up, I was insanely shy, almost to my detriment. I rarely spoke up for myself, my head hung low, and my voice was so light you could barely hear anything I had to say. Being teased quite often in grade school didn't help with overcoming my meek personality. From the way I walked, the way I dressed, to my face's shape, I constantly felt like I was fighting an uphill battle while going in reverse. Many years after graduating from high school, I sensed a change in my demeanor. Although still very shy, I began to embrace who I was as a young woman. Looking back on the kids who teased me in school, I now realize it was necessary for my growth as a woman.
March is the beginning of Women's History Month. A celebration of the achievements of women around the world. I proudly hold my head up high and acknowledge the impact so many amazing women have had on my life. Women who are just beginning their journey of self discovery, women who have fallen down and finding their way back up, women who support one other, women who believe in themselves enough to keep pushing forward and women who continue to break barrier after barrier. From one end of the world to another we must normalize the importance of women standing tall with their ideas, visions, hopes and dreams.
As life continues, change is a constant companion that comes along without warning and, at times, uninvited. I had a conversation a few years ago with a young lady who reminded me so much of myself. She was timid and didn't have many friends. As she spoke, I could see the sadness in her eyes, and it truly broke my heart. The feeling of wanting to belong and the desire to fit in is normal. Who doesn't want to be liked, loved, and adored? I asked her if she could believe that I was once just like her, and she looked at me in disbelief. As I shared my story of growth on an emotional, mental and spiritual level, I saw her sadness change into hope. The voice of change starts from within, and it speaks volumes to the women who need you without saying a word.
Taking the time to celebrate women who have inspired, uplifted, supported, and motivated so many others brings me nothing but joy. I support you and I stand with you in all that you do!
"Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women." -Maya Angelou
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman