We left the rat race in the cubicle maze and we sought freedom. We left to blaze trails and create the games ourselves to ensure that we win- whatever the hell winning means anyhow. We left with nothing more than a burning desire in our heart and maybe a month’s pay in our bank account. And here we are…
I can hear the voice in my head singing, “Mama said there’ll be days like this. There be days like this my mama said (Mama said, mama said)”. Well, I’m not sure who's mama they’re talking about by I know my mama didn’t say anything about days quite like these! Then I think about if ANYONE has said that there’d be days like this. Nope. Not like this.
So I’m here to tell you- “There WILL be days like this”.
There will be days when you question everything that you have done thus far. Whether it be in the name of your business, your brand, your love, or even what you thought was for your ‘sanity’. You will question whether or not this venture was even viable in the first place. You will wonder if you ever knew anything about business at any point in time, ‘cause it sure as hell seems like you don’t know anything about it right at this very moment. You will even question who’s bright idea this was in the first place.
This life that we live is, in fact, quite amazing. The education that is obtained is subpar to none. We learn more about ourselves, and our world, in one year than an entire graduate degree. We get to be self expressed in the world and we see the human element being expressed in ways never imagined at times. Miracles? Yeah sure- typically a couple everyday. But still, there is this madness of sort. No matter the miracles that we create, we still question things.
So while I am here to tell you that there will be days like this, I am also here to say that those days will pass. Just as soon as you get a whiff of what brought you here in the first place, the madness will dissipate. As you are in the thick of questioning whether or not to go get a J-O-B and give up on this dream of yours, my wish is that you get a card or call from someone that you have influenced to do something bigger than they knew themselves to be: acknowledging you for who you are in the world.
Just in case you don’t get that card in the mail, please allow me. You are courageous. You are bold. You do not wait for success, you go on without it. You strive for something different than ordinary. You live your life with a different set of ideals. You long to make our world a better place. You take risks in following your heart’s desires and live a life with few regrets: For regrets lie not in the things that we have done, but rather the chances that we were too afraid to take.
Know that, despite how little others speak of it, you are not alone. You are not the only one that feels like you are just one step from losing everything. You are not the only one that questions themselves. You are not the only one who cries after everyone has gone to bed so that they won’t think that you are not brave. And, you are not alone in wanting to fulfill your heart’s desires anyway.
Every time throughout history we can say that “These are interesting times that we live in” and it is sure to be quite accurate. This time, we are redefining feminism and weighing its impact on our world. Look around you and then listen. Listen to how the conversation has changed.
Let me go back, not so far, to the early nineties. I had just enlisted in the US Navy and bootcamp was interesting- to say the very least. I already had a sense of determination and drive that was strong to say the least. I wanted to prove to myself that I was enough and that I could do this. It was not enough for me just to thrive in bootcamp; I wanted to train to be an aircrewman as well. Basically, that meant getting up even earlier than my company and running drills and long runs with the men with the possibility of going on to Aircrew school after Basic. I fell behind on a run, once. We had been running seven minute miles, for several miles, and I was exhausted. My feet and shins were killing me. I couldn’t keep pushing the speed that I hadn’t been accustomed to. With my feet screaming at me and my shins splintering a little more with each step, the company commander ordered the men to literally run circles around me while I continued to run. He ordered them to run circles around the Female. You see, as Female, I was less. I needed to be compensated for. I was a liability. I was also determined. I learned that I needed to be better in order to be viewed as an equal. I needed to prove that I was worthy just to be with them. It was something that my male counterparts assumed in each other that I had to prove on a near daily basis. I needed to outperform in ways just to be enough.
Enough. Funny concept, eh? We are enough only when we say that we are, really. By the end of bootcamp, I had completed the pre-aircrew school physical training and I was in the best shape of my life. I could carry my own weight and then some. The guys knew that they could count on me in the same capacity as their brothers and I was no longer referred to as Female. I was so much more than that lesser label. I was now Bitch. A strong bitch. A take care of business bitch. A head bitch. Not only that but an alpha bitch. A you can count on me for anything bitch, and still make that shit look good. Off to my first set of orders…
I was the first woman Navywide doing the job that I had. I was an aviation electrician and my specialty was supporting the navigation system for an anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Not that it is was really a big deal- it was just a position that had historically been held my men as it had to do with subs. In addition to that, I would go wherever I was needed. If there weren’t any components to work on, I could easily find myself in powerplants working on wiring harnesses of an aircraft engine. In this position, I learned how to make it “in a man’s world”. I started to deny even more of my womanly attributes and behave more like a man. I learned how to dominate. I learned how to be forceful. I learned how to win- because I sure as hell wasn’t going to lose. I learned how to focus so intently that nothing else in the world mattered at that particular moment. I even learned how to bring a sister down and not want her to succeed instead of me. I had hacked the hard wiring of a man and took it on as my own.
Over the years, I have been learning about the power natural to women. None of the aforesaid attributes are innately bad on their own. They are just not feminine qualities. They date back to when our men needed to hunt or be hunted and for survival of their people. Some folks still think that this type of behavior is necessary. Take a look to the Middle East and Northern Africa.
Listen to the conversations that are being had about what it is that women contribute. You start hearing words like natural contributors, collaborators, thrives in pleasure, multitaskin’ muthas, and a love so fierce - like nothing else known to man.
If you want to change the world, on a profound level, you don’t need to go anywhere to make a difference. Just start by loving the women in your life and acknowledging them for who they are for you. Let her know that she is enough. Let her know that there is nothing there for her to prove. There is only the natural power that already exists within her for her to step into.
With your love and support, we will change the world. You have this woman’s word on it.
***Understand that I have no ill regard for our US Miltary or the service members that I had the honor of serving with. I respect and honor those who have gone before me, those serving our country now, and the men and women who will continue to serve in the future.