As we debriefed our weeks on the phone I smiled as I highlighted several moments during my week when I knew what I needed and went after it. I didn’t talk myself out of needing it. I didn’t draft a plan B, C, or D, when plan A was what I needed. I didn’t wait for the most convenient second, minute, or hour of his, hers, or their day. I didn’t prepare a defense, come up with as many analogies and politically correct phrases as possible. I didn’t exhaust myself mentally and emotionally to make people get it or to make myself not need it. It. was. GLORIOUS. It was like fitting into that dress/skirt/pants that made you feel amazing which is why you purchased it, then life happened and you didn’t look so awesome in it, but then you were determined to fit in it again and now you do kind of glory.
Knowing and getting what I needed was familiar for me. That’s how I lived my life much of my post undergrad years. Then that was how I would encourage and equip clients to live much of my post graduate school life. Then I started thinking I needed what other folks said I needed especially because of either how old I was (a house) , or how great I was at my job (higher salary or better job title, or both), or how attractive I was (still single? why? what happened to so and so? come here with me so you can meet so and so.) and things kind of blew up. And kept blowing up. The dress/skirt/pants wouldn’t make it past the middle of my inherited them straight from my momma honey brown thighs.
Yet, last week when I knew I needed to get off campus and park it at my breathing space- Starbucks, I did. When I knew that being there for only an hour wasn’t going to give me the reprieve I needed after a morning of being inundated with the pain and hurt that comes with being Black in the United States of America I stayed longer. When I knew I was going to have to keep asking about attending a training in Philadelphia this week, I kept asking. I didn’t keep making the case for my need to attend. I did that already and once was enough. I kept asking because I knew their was a confidence that if I kept encountering “I still haven’t heard back from so and so, they’re just so busy you know” I would just give up. I didn’t give up and I will be at that training this week. When I knew one of the best ways to ignite passion among a group of student was to get them to a women’s leadership conference in Manhattan, not only did I ask for and receive a super steep discount from the organizer, I petitioned for us to go from the school and…we are going to the SheLeads Conference on October 6th, 2016.
There were a couple of other things, like the days I knew I needed not to go to the gym because I was so worn down. Yet I knew I also needed to go there at least three times this week as I work on my fitness goals. Or when I knew I needed not to respond to a text message right away because I needed time to respond thoughtfully. Or when I knew I needed to actually talk to a friend from back home. Not text, but talk. So, I picked up the phone and called. You get it.
Perhaps what made me smile even more as I recalled the ways in which I knew what I needed and went after it was I did so without apology, guilt, or shame. I did so without second guessing or minimizing. I did so without alterations.
I keep telling people that my move has been good for me. In the past almost two months I have this respect for, belief in, compassion for, and curiosity about, myself that had been on buried under the ruble of my life that had blown up. Now, I’d say I am somewhere between the best version of myself I once knew myself to be and the best version of myself I imagine and believe myself capable of being. The dress/skirt/pants made it past the middle of my thighs- no spanx, petroleum jelly, or cocoa butter needed.