I had a class on Tuesday night, and sat in front of a woman who looked like me – my complexion, my same short hair cut, but with sweeter, wider eyes like they’re ready to see new things.
In this class, we had to work together in groups, and at one point I mentioned that I write this blog and have a new position with RYSE Magazine. She responded with –
Oh goodness! That’s amazing! I’m just a nursing assistant!
And something in me soured. I looked her in the eyes –
Please don’t do that. Don’t ever say you are ‘just’ something. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Please know – your work is important.
It took her a moment to realize that I was serious, and I couldn’t let up. Maybe because I’ve had so many moments of selecting an arbitrary factor to create and validate inferiority. She promised to not compare herself again.
The world is full of words and titles and glitter that ain’t gold. And when we fight to live, and fight to live free according to our own definition, why fight against ourselves?
Before class was over, she said to me –
You are so confident and not afraid to speak! I wish that I could be this way. How did you become so confident?
I thought about it and replied –
Probably because I’ve had so many people speak so badly to me over the years, that at some point I decided to not give a shit anymore.
And I’m still kicked around. I still get hurt, and deal with an arm full of criticisms. I’m just tenacious as fuck. I ignore people…a lot. Because there’s nothing like accepting some else’s opinion of you and your life…to then find yourself rather unhappy.
Young woman, I may have inspired you tonight…but if you find yourself reading this post, know that I recognized you and saw your light before you even saw me, and you inspired me too.
You are the truth, Noma.