Who you telling Maya?
Since I was a “wee lass,” I have been trying to create a stir. My aim was never to attract attention…even though that hasn’t really been a bad thing…but I only desired to not be ignored. I chalk that up to my daddy issues. I guess that’s a huge source of most of my “issues.”
Now as a teenager, I did not spend a lot of time in the company of other girls. I guess because I never recognized them as competition, I hung around the boys. Now let me clarify that statement. See it’s not that I didn’t value other females; my competitive nature and “I don’t need a man to define me” spirit would label me a tomboy. I was constantly trying to prove to guys that I could keep up with them.
The women who were significant back then were my mom, a couple of my aunts, a few “tell it like it really is” teachers and guidance counselors and my two girlies I like to refer to as “TNT.” In an attempt to maintain and protect their innocence, I won’t mention their names. But let’s just say that whenever we were in the mix, it was pretty explosive. We are still tight as ever.
Now as I got older, I did add a few sister girls who are irreplaceable and have had my back during good times and bad. They have stood with me time and time again, and I will never forget any of them. Yes, I am still that girl that the brothers can relate to…but I have a sister-hood that is top-notch.
One of the things I have noticed is that I now find myself in the role of those “tell it like it really is” females that I gravitated toward when I was younger. I am constantly talking to young females, and they are receptive to what I have to say. Just like I did back in the day, these females are taking on the world, carving their own path and refusing to be defined. But the mentor-relationships are a little different than the ones I experienced as a young lady. Or maybe my past female mentors just didn’t share the insight I have recently gained.
See my maternal grandma used to love to say that our children become wiser and more foolish at the same time. What she meant is that they have been exposed to so much more than earlier generations and are more apt to take risks that we would have not considered. Grandma was right on point! I am constantly amazed by the wisdom of my young sisters. And frankly, many times I find that I am the one that is being told "like it really is!"
It is nothing to find myself chuckling or shaking my heads over the words that spill from these young ladies. And I find myself doing it often when I am checking out my Facebook newsfeed. Yes, that ole Facebook phenomenon again! I guess these fiery young females have figured out that Facebook is a pretty powerful platform to use when creating their own stir. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had Facebook as a teenager!
There are a few of these babes that are my particular favorites on Facebook, and I often visit their walls to check in on them. To protect the identities of my little sisters, I will only give you my personal nicknames for each of them. They range in age from 17 to mid twenties. They have varied backgrounds and experiences, but they all have two things in common. These girls are outspoken and fearless, and they thought enough of me to add me as a Facebook friend!
On any given day, I can scroll through Facebook and find a status update like the one my “first’ baby girl LiLi posted on December 12, 2011. She wrote: “Life’s a trip, so sometimes you gonna stumble.” Boy, when we “ole-heads,” figure this out, we will stop complaining so much and just move on with our lives.
See LiLi has the distinction of being the first child I ever named, and I drafted her as my first god-baby. Her mommy was a high school classmate of mine, and while I didn’t get to spend a lot of her childhood with her, her mom kept me up to date whenever I would see her during my visits home. LiLi’s real name is Spanish for “solitude” or “little sun.” Who knew this name would fit her so well? She is comfortable in her own skin…or she puts up a great front of being so. She has a magnetic force that keeps people rotating around her. Plus LiLi is a hard-working, young mother. She reminds me so much of myself at that age. She loves her little boy and is committed to making his life better. Whenever I see her posts about him…what she is determined to accomplish for him…I just grin from ear to ear.
Then there is Breezy. I’m not sure if I’ve actually met this young one. If I have, it’s been so long that I don’t remember it. But she is a friend of my Faith. I like to refer to her as the young Maya of Facebook. This little lady spews wisdom on her Facebook wall pretty much on daily basis. On December 15, she decided she would give us three steps to moving on: “Ctrl + Alt + Delete. Control yourself. Look for an alternate solution and delete the situation that hurts you.” Yeah...it sounds pretty simple to me too! Too bad I haven't always been able to follow this advice. And her post on December 16 had me roaring with laughter. It simply said, “Treat me like a joke and I’ll leave you like its funny!” Maya, you would be so impressed!
Tellie Tell always inspires me. This little ebony princess/cheerleader couldn’t possibly be 90 pounds soaking wet. My 5’ 2” frame is taller than hers, so you know she is a shorty. But she is a giant! I’ve never known her to shrink from any challenge. She is the queen of “tell it like it is” in her sphere. She is supportive, but has no probably letting you know when you are on the wrong path. On December 30, Tellie suggested that “when life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.” She boldly began 2012 challenging her female Facebook audience to “search for a man with goals and ambition because 5-10 years from now ‘swag’ isn’t gonna pay your bills!” She is too wise for her age!
I’ve known Bre-Bre since her kindergarten days. This quiet, humble spirit is such a keen observer of humanity. On December 28, she noted that “girls have a bad habit of holding on too long; guys have a bad habit of letting go so easily.” If grown-ups could figure this out, we might just avoid some our relationship dramas! Then she proclaimed that “self love is the foundation of true love” on December 30. That has been a painful lesson for many adults I know.
C Baby has only been in my world for the last two years. She is such a silly teenager, but I love her anyway. She is the type that really honestly looks for the good in everything and wants all people in her world happy. She reminds me of my Deanna spirit. Boy, does she have a lot to learn! But it’s okay…her spirit is in the right place. For instance, on December 27, she posted that “people change so you can learn to let go and things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they go right.” In this world of instant gratification and celebration of everything material, it is good to know that there are young people who are willing to hold out for those things that are important.
KiKi has been in my life since my college days. Her grandmother adopted me, so KiKi became my first niece. She is beautiful and very confident. She has a personality that fills a room…everyone wants to know her. I remember when Faith was little, she idolized KiKi. Faith was two, and KiKi was almost five. Now KiKi is in her second year of college and she is carving her own path…at least based upon the status updates I’ve seen on Facebook. My favorite update was the one she posted on the evening of December 13. She declared “I don’t ever want to be content with temporary happiness.” Good for you girlie…too many of us settle for less!
Yes, these young women are such inspiring people. They are wise beyond their years. Their willingness to open up and share all that life is teaching them is a true inspiration. I can only hope that those in their world are truly listening. I am!