As many of you know, this week was the 10th anniversary of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK awards show. A ceremony founded by DJ Beverly Bond as a platform to celebrate the achievements of various African American women who have blazed amazing trails in their many professions.
From sports, entertainment to politics; it was indeed a celebration of the immense power that we hold as black women. What got me about the ceremony was the fact that in the audience were the young girls were celebrated.
From The Hunger Games 18-year-old actress Amandla Steinberg who was celebrated for her continuous speaking on racism, cultural appropriation, and other issues; to 11-year-old Marley Dias who began a movement to search for books which reflected characters like her. It was a gathering of true female empowerment.
It was while Shonda Rhimes, the creator of successful shows such as Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and Grey’s Anatomy gave an acceptance speech encouraging the young girls to blaze their trail and to change the world that I was inspired to write this piece for my little princess.
To my little princess:
I know right now you are too little to fully understand the things I’m going to share with you but I am writing this so that as you grow, you can refer to it time and again as a reminder to who you are and what you can achieve. These are a few things that I want you to know
Perfection is a farce – My darling girl, you do not need to continually strive to achieve some sort of perfection or someone else’s idea of perfection. Don’t beat yourself up in a quest to be the perfect child, perfect student, the perfect worker or the best partner. As cliché as it sounds, instead, try and work hard to be the best version of you. There will be trial periods where you might feel that you’re not doing enough or times where you will fall, but trust me those times don’t last or define who you are. Surely you will get up dust yourself off and keep on trying. Tough times don’t last but tough people do.
Always have a support system – I cannot say how important this is. Thankfully you already have a strong God-fearing family who loves you beyond words. Surround yourself with positive like-minded people who understand you and want the best for you and vice versa. These people and your family will be the people who will encourage you when times are bad, call you to task when you are in the wrong and will laugh and cry with you. You will need a circle of people who love and support you. Always remember your Dad and I will always be your primary cheerleaders God willing.
Establish a relationship with the Almighty – My darling, I cannot stress how important this is. My parents exemplified the importance of faith and spirituality and didn’t impose one religion over another for us growing up. Each and every one of my brothers and sisters found our paths to the Almighty as we grew older. I want the same for you. There is nothing like fortifying yourself with prayers. Your family will continue to pray for you but you have to find God and establish your bond with him. Trust me once you do, it’ll all make sense. There will be trial periods where your faith will be tested but trust in Him and submit yourself to His will.
Always stay true to yourself – Or should I say never ever lose that thing that makes you, you. The world is a big place and not everybody who smiles at you truly loves you or wants the best for you but never let that deter you from seeing the good in people. You will kiss a few frogs but eventually, you will find your prince. Friends will come and go and so what?You will lose jobs and money will come and go but never let that be your end all be all and never let that get you down. Cry a bit but then wipe your tears and keep it moving. Never doubt yourself, always trust in yourself and in your ability to be great.
It’s a big and amazing world. I want you to experience it with an open heart and mind. Never lose sight of who you are. You can do anything and everything by God’s grace. Never ever let fear rule your decisions but approach things analytically and critically.
The world is your oyster. If people don’t get you, that’s their concern, not yours. Always stay beautiful and keep smiling my darling princess. Take these words as your mantra:
‘Change the world and when you’ve done that, change it again’. Shonda Rhimes
‘Every part of me is a vision of a portrait, Of Mona, of Mona Lisa. Every part of me is beautiful. And I finally see I’m a work of art. A masterpiece!’ Jazmine Sullivan