When I started the women’s history month series in 2015 I wasn’t sure of whom I wanted to interview. I delayed asking my own mother because I wasn’t sure if she even wanted to do it. Well she came to me and asked and that made the situation even better. My mom is the reason as a woman I’m even here. If I can ask everyone else their story then asking my mom about what being a woman means to her, what her goals are, and the legacy she wants to leave behind is even more important.
My mom is one of if not the strongest woman I know. She had my twin and I at the age of 18 so we were able to see her at her most vulnerable stages of womanhood. I honor my mother for the sacrifices she made for us but her strength in dealing with things with more grace than I may have.
One of the things that my mom wanted to share about womanhood is the ability to never give up. She decided at the age of 50 to pursue her associates degree. Even though she jokes that it will take her 5 years to do her 2 years due to working full time, she is excited to close that chapter. She had dreams of attending college as well as pursuing dance when she was a teenager. Her dreams had to be placed on hold due to her decision to get pregnant. She still danced and produced with many stage plays but her college dream was stalled. She doesn’t quit just because she sits in her class and is often times the oldest one there. I tell her often you just focus because you are just the wisest one there. She not only is pursuing her dream but is a honors student. Not bad for a woman who should have been a statistic of a stereotypical single mom with limited resources.
As a little girl I watched her walk us to the sitters, walk or catch a bus to work and then back to pick us up. I also saw her strength in her eyes as we were displaced at one point living in a shelter too. She would tell us all the time that it wasn’t where we are but where we are going. She also commanded not to let anyone mistreat us because we didn’t have what everyone else had. She also was adamant about not looking like we didn’t have. She always said that people don’t have to know where you live to see you are blessed. She is one strong cookie trust me. She is the one that will show you love when you need it but when it comes to mincing her words shes not the one for it. She speaks truthfully and authentically. Her newest phrase is ghetto-classy. That simply means that although ladies should be ladies and represent themselves in the best light, don’t ever forget that at any time when necessary you can make sure you command respect and get a person’s attention. I know for a full fact that I possess the same traits. Its okay to be prim and proper and get it together but often times people take kindness for weakness and that’s when you got to “show em better than you can tell em.”
Her pet peeve for woman today is that women in these times are weak minded and produce weak minded daughters. Let me explain before you get your panties in a bunch. Women always have to apologize for being them. Why? I can see having tact but the idea of holding back because others won’t receive you is crazy. My mom as we were talking about this notion came to the conclusion that people aren’t going to like you no matter how flowerly you package things. I think tact should be inconsideration but to just hold back to stop others’ opinion of you is not good at all. This new generation of women are so concerned with everyone’s opinion. That needs to be changed. When you are comfortable in your skin and love yourself you aren’t easily swayed by the whispers of the negative Nancies around you.
The legacy she wants to leave on the world is her strength, endurance, wisdom, and empowerment. Her ultimate goal is to be a motivational speaker. She is definitely on her way. I’ve seen my mom at her speaking engagements and her way of telling like it is and wisdom is sure to make her a powerhouse not just in my eyes but the eyes of the world. We all can learn to move in confidence and grace and learn to take a lot less foolishness from others. Stand up for something or you will fall for anything.