Love, Brown to me, is the true definition of how I feel about me. For most of my life, I have always been more critical of myself than everyone else. Everyone always praised me for my achievements, my accomplishments, my work, my drive. I, however, never felt it was enough or even worth it. No, you wouldn’t know that looking from the outside in. I never showed it but when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see what they saw. All I saw was an average, and at times, less than average brown girl that didn’t do anything special. I didn’t stand out. At least not in my eyes. My teachers, mentors, coaches always saw something in me that I didn’t see. All I saw was a little brown girl that they were taking pity on because they too could see, I was nothing special. My family always told me how amazing I was and how PROUD they were of me but at the time I felt that was what they were supposed to do, after all, they are my family.
It took me 25 years to get it. To understand what everyone else saw. Now, no, I am not super successful, and I have definitely made a million mistakes in this young life of mine, and just as many do around this age, I learned that those very mistakes are my story. THEY MAKE ME!! So why am I ashamed? Why do I look down on them and hide them? They all make me the wonderful person that is loved by some of the most amazing people ever.
So, I started to live. I started going after my dreams. Making lists and doing my hardest to stick to them. I realized that my life has a purpose. I developed a better relationship and understanding of GOD and his desires for my life. With that bond, it helped bring into focus what I wanted in life. I re-enrolled in school with a determination to get it done (1 1/2 years to go), developed a business plan that is coming along perfectly(details soon, wait on it), landed an amazing(sometimes streeeeessful) job that allows me to accomplish a lot, all while seeing the world. I started living.
With living, I realized that many people place limits on me. Limits simply because of the color of my skin and where I came from. “Black people don’t do stuff like that!” “You act like a WHITE girl!!” “You talk like you’re white!!!” I’ve heard this since I was a child but it didn’t bother me until I became an adult. I felt offended. I was never ashamed of being black and never wanted to be anything other than that. I just never wanted to be limited. I never wanted to be the “black” girl that fell into the statistics placed on our culture by society. I feel like if I am going to be the “BLACK GIRL” in the situation, I want to be the “BLACK GIRL” that travels the world, the “BLACK GIRL” that started a business, the “BLACK GIRL” that knows more than what’s outside of my front door or what’s placed on social media outlets. (Shout out to ALL of the successful BROWN women everywhere)
I want to experience culture, I want know firsthand what the continent of Australia looks like, I want to say I encountered the Aurora Lights and slept in igloos, I want to go to Africa and not just Egypt but other parts and learn the culture and experience it for myself. I want to take 30 day cruises, and sky dive, and see inactive volcanoes. I want to do these things and much, much more all while being looked at as being black. Because guess what people, if MORE BLACK PEOPLE OPENED UP TO DOING THESE THINGS, THEN THAT WOULD BE OUR NEW NORMAL. I am definitely not saying that it’s all easy peasy. I am very much aware of how much harder we have to work in order to have it. But I am willing to step up to the plate and take on that challenge and inspire others to do the same. All while loving being brown. I don’t care that I walk into my job and 3 out of every 4 flights I work, I’m the only brown faced crew member. The way that I feel about it is,” Hi, hello!! Yes, this brown girl is coming with you and guess what there is nothing you can do about it.” “Yes I can keep up, no I don’t need your pity and ask me whatever you need to because I am proud of who I am, where I’ve been, and where I am going.” Because I love me!! And it’s not all of my flights where “Brown girl” awkwardness is present but I’m now to the point of WHO CARES!!!
So whether or not my hair is straightened down my back or curled on top of my head, or if I speak in a southern slang or speak proper English, if I’m at a bar-b-Que or having a 10-course meal, hanging in the ratchet streets of Decatur, GA or crossing the Nullarbar in Australia (I reeeeally want to go to Australia, lol) I LOVE MY BROWN SKIN 100% and I’m willing to tell all who will listen. So to all of you, blessings….and always