In the past few years, I’ve had this secret inner struggle…
There was this part of me, as a black woman under 30, that didn’t feel like she should have the nerve to even strive for the things she was striving for. I shouldn’t have had the nerve to even talk about the things I talked about. There were times I would sit with a friend, and would attempt to explain this negative inner dialogue, “But who told me I could do this? And get away with it?” And the truth is, whenever something went wrong in my personal life, I often felt like it was my personal debt to bear for even attempting.
I think if you speak to any other seemingly successful black woman who happens to also be a mother, and comes from a similar childhood, you’ll find that this negative inner dialogue isn’t that unique.
Part of my desire in sharing what I’m doing, dreaming, or creating, is a inner desire to strip other women (including my own daughter) of this deep-rooted belief that they can’t push further or past said boundaries.
When my mentality started to shift, I sorted through abandoned ideas, and started to build on them. When I speak to River about the book or my work, it isn’t just a book that I want to write, sell and somewhat abandon. It is something that goes beyond the little desk in the corner where the sun taps on my back. It is something that isn’t yet birthed, but tangible. I don’t just want to do it to do it. I can’t. I want to, and need to, risk it all. And I want my daughter to do the same one day if she feels called to.
A friend sent methis article, and I thought about this old inner dialogue, that it is not only about being black, but in general, focused on being a woman today.
“This trickles down to the way we socialize kids — girls are expected to be caretakers, boys the ones who will deliver a return. If you want to create your own wealth, the confidence to take calculated risks is a necessary skill. Placing the needs of others above your own is not.”
To be honest, I’ve never desired an overwhelming wealth. I have desire a comfort beyond my childhood and young adulthood imagination. I desire a comfort that looks beyond the constraints of the world and my mind. A comfort that is not limited within taking care of others before myself. A comfort that does not apologize for success but that continues to push through, jets off, writes her ass off, creates shared platforms, and inspires, with kids in tow and all…
What is wrong with that? I don’t think I’m wrong for thinking that.
LY is a lifestyle blog with a focus on family, style, design, wellbeing, culture and community. LaTonya lives in Brooklyn and is a native New Yorker.
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