For years, I limited my circle. I’ve always been a loner, so I never cared for following the crowd or having a lot of friends. For majority of my life, I was that way. As I got older, I realized the importance of having people in your life that you could trust and people that will help you grow and not hinder your growth. Now I’m open to friendship. I used to be so closed-off that I ran people away that could have helped me. I was prideful and I had a fear of people taking advantage of me, so to prevent all of that I closed myself down to people. I’ve always been one that vibed more with male friends than female friends, not because of stereotypes, but because of past encounters of friendships and betrayal. I had to learn that I couldn’t hold everyone else accountable for what so call friends did to me.
Now that I am older, a wife, and a mother, I see just how important it is to allow people into your life; how important it is to ask for help, help others, or even let others help you. I am truly enjoying the women ministry, and marriage ministry that I am apart. The lessons that I have learned so far has been well-needed and amazing. I know I still have a lot of learning to do, but as an old preacher once said, “It’s not how to start the race, it’s how you finish.”
The blog below is a blog I wrote earlier this year. I edited it a little today, but the main points is the article is an issue we still face today. How I wish for a day when women learn to truly uplift and empower each other, but until that day occurs all we can do is shine light on the issue and hope that most women will do their part in making it happen.
As a black woman, I cannot tell you the many things we, black women, have to endure. Whether we work outside the home or not, we have always worn many hats and performed many tasks most time without acknowledgement. We do what we have to, when we need to without an expectation of being rewarded.
Diving into the entrepreneurship was exciting to me. I felt accomplished and driven. Coming from being a stay-at-home mom (even though I had my degree), I always felt bad when asked what I did for a living. I felt like being a housewife or stay-at-home mom was not good enough.
I remember I almost didn’t go to my tenth-year high school reunion because I wasn’t using my degree and was working at the post office. Although I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, other women had a way of making me feel so bad. So, I tried working and hated it. Every job I got, I would quit because working for others just didn’t seem right for me. I started looking into working for myself and worked towards that. When I started walking into my purpose, doing what I loved to do, and stopped worrying about how others felt, I was happy. I felt a sense of pride to be doing something I loved and to actually make money from it, I gained a feeling of completion. Then I started my own business (publishing company & magazine) and although I felt and still feel a level of completion, I cannot even begin to tell you the level of hatefulness, lack of support, the smart antics, and comments I deal with daily. Even though I felt like I had done something, to others they felt threatened by it. They saw it as competition or some type of race to the top. Being me, I choose to ignore it, but there are times where I want to address things;however, I realize that would be time spent off my family and business, so I just pray through it and keep it moving.
I read a quote that said, People worry too much about who’s supporting them and whose not. As long as you have God on your side, you don’t need anyone else!
That stuck with me, because it is true. If you are still worrying about people supporting you, liking, you, or hating on you, then you not ready for success. I try to keep myself so busy, I don’t have time to worry about who like me or not and who support me or not. TRUST ME, IF SOMEONE WANTS TO SUPPORT YOU, THEY WILL!!!!
You don’t have to tag them or constantly ask for their support. You don’t have to beg anyone to support you. If they are close to you, trust they know what you do. Now whether they will support you or not, I can’t say. It’s not your job to worry about who will or who won’t support you.
As educated as Black women are today (black women make up the top percentage of educated group in the country) , we are our worse critics! Black men will stick together. They have a lobster mentality. When in hot water, they will link together and help each other out, that’s why a chef have to put a lid on a pot of male lobsters!(I have heard of that, but I haven’t tested that theory, but the analogy for men seems correct to me) Now Black Women, not so much. Black Women, not all but majority, have a crab mentality. When in hot water, female lobsters act as crabs and pull each other down in the water instead of helping each other out. That’s that if I can’t make it out, you won’t either mentality.
Most women will down another sister at the drop of the hat instead of helping her up. Some will watch her fall instead of warning her of the hole in front of her. That’s why we have a generation of girls that feel like their bodies will get them further in life than using their brains, because no one is preparing them for life the right way. The saying, It takes a village to raise a child is true because back in my day, ever adult had the power to put you back in line if you overstepped or acted out. You rarely see that now. Older black women that should be pillars for the community are filled with the notion that it is not my job to teach or train the youth or they are threatened by them. Either way, the village is destroyed and it’s just sad! I can speak on this topic for days, but Bernie Mac (RIP) said it best, It ain’t no Big Mamas, anymore! The crab mentality is real and until women learn to work together and uplift each other, there will always be a rift among black women, no matter how educated we are.