Yesterday I was reading the Six Brown Chick submission this week, and I heard myself say out loud "Who raised ya'll?" It was at that moment, I realized the blessing of being raised and influenced by so many beautiful, strong, and amazing women. There are many children, who do not have positive female role models; and I was blessed enough to have them all around me.
Starting with the women in my family. My mother and my grandmother who are some of the strongest women that I know. My mother is a single mother who made countless sacrifices that I still don't know about to make sure we never wanted for anything. My grandmother quit her job to raise my sister and I (and never lets us forget), her house was our home. I owe these women, my entire soul.
My aunts who were always around to help guide my sister and me when we needed it. My Aunt Pam, who loves with honestly and fearlessly. She says what she wants and when she wants, and I envy that. My Godmother Joan who exampled a supportive, loving and somewhat annoying big sister, that she is to my mother. I'm sure TK would say I am following that model. LOL. My Aunt Vanessa, who taught me that following a dream and starting successful businesses can happen at any age while still being humble and loving. All these aunts are breast cancer survivors, 2 of them have lost a child and the strength they carry in them; it is a blessing if a drop of it runs in my veins. My Aunt Button and Aunt Missy were always there when we needed them with love and support even after the divorce. That doesn't always happen.
My sister and I are also the youngest of all our older cousins. It was amazing to see them transform into these beautiful and successful women, who still inspire me today. It was inspirational to see the different paths they choose; Adriene and Tan to the military and Tia and Shanda to college. This showed me my path was not limited.
Tia would come home from college to spoil me and take me to the movies. She is my big sister. I would tell every random thing, good news, or bad news. She would be there with love and support or how I needed to get it together because I was being dramatic.
My mother put me in Girl Scouts, where I did not only learn lessons on becoming a prepared and confident young woman but surrounded me with more amazing women. Alice Benton and my many girl scout leaders will forever have a special place in my heart.
I think about the female teachers I had in school like Mrs. Little in the fifth grade who told me if I stopped talking so much and got my work done, I would surprise myself by my potential.
I think about all the women at church like Ms. Viola Pitts and Ms. Bessie Peterson, who gave me my first job at the church as assistant secretary. Also, Angel Colclough-Bradshaw, who made sure I was on the children's choir, praise team, and whatever other church activity she saw fit.
This is a love letter to every woman who has given me guidance, a word of encouragement, an "I love you" or a look telling me to get it together; you are appreciated. I thank you, and I thank God for you. Because of all of you, I am the woman I am today, and I continue to surround myself with women who encourage and support me because you showed me how great I can be with the support.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.