Usually it's major events, tragedy, milestone birthdays and such that force us to pause and think about big "meaning of life" questions. While I generally consider myself a thoughtful person (meaning I think about what I do and why), I came to realize earlier this year that I was spending a lot of time doing work that was taking a way from my quality of life and wasn't improving the lives of people I care about. I had been very focused on things that matter to other people but didn't even reflect my own interests and values. Why was I doing this? How did I let it get to this point? I got lost in trying to please others, not thinking about how it was dimming my light.
Yes, it is the prospect of a big milestone birthday that prompted all this thinking. It's crazy but it's taken half a century for me to get to the point where I can feel confident about doing what I want to do with and for the people who matter to me. I don't all the answers about what works, but over nearly 50 years I have learned a lot about what doesn't work. I had fallen in this trap of thinking that I needed to convince others of why they should support my work. Well, no more. I am committed to finding the people who get it already and who are just as excited to engage in this work and with this effort, AND who are fun people to be around. It's taken months of back and forth with myself but I'm finally in a good place to start fresh, leaving baggage behind, to work on making the difference that I want to make in the world.
All this thinking has let us to the Women of Color Connecting initiative. I am so excited about this work and feel so passionate about our vision, it gives me a renewed energy and sense of purpose. The issues that we are addressing have been my real issues in life and reflect the experiences that I and so many Women of Color face each and every day. I'm proud to be a Woman of Color and we're living in a time that we can feel good about celebrating ourselves. But let's be real...it's still VERY hard to be a Woman of Color, especially a black woman, in America.
So there you have it. If you notice a change in me, you're right...I have changed. My authentic self is stepping up and coming forward. It's been an incredible journey to this point, and I'm ready to move forward with more intentionality and conviction.
Even if you don't have a milestone birthday, the end of the year is a good time to reflect. Are you living the life you want to live? Is your authentic self out front and center? Do you have people in your life who help you be your best you? Take time to think about what makes sense for you. As an adult you get to do what you want and be who you are. So here I am!