In racist America, it really is hard being bi-racial or to belong to two different cultures. Especially when you are born and raised in Long Island, New York. I always felt like I had to choose “a side”; yet neither sides seem to accept me for who I was. I was too mixed to be accepted by the Caucasians and too fair skinned to be even considered African American. Yet my father was darker in complexion than most African Americans. He was born and raised in the South. It was my African American culture that gave me my beautiful hair, southern cuisine cooking skills and taught me the importance of being a lady. My mother is Italian with roots in Sicily. From my Italian heritage I get my beautiful complexion, Italian cuisine cooking skills and strong independent attitude. Being bi-racial has made me such a strong, multitalented woman. My Italian and African American heritage has made me the superwoman I am today. I wouldn’t be who I am if I wasn’t a biracial woman.
Excerpt from Woman First Mother Second by Nicole A. Walker
CONFESSION 101: RECEIVING HELP
As a woman and mother delegating tasks was hard for me. I have been an independent kind of girl since my preteens. Babysitting and doing summer jobs. Then eventually full- time jobs and night school. To helping my mom raise my siblings. Putting food on the table and making sure the heat and light bills were paid. So asking for help or expecting it; was something I just wasn’t use to. I was so use to giving to others. Because that was just the kind of woman I was. Until I embarked on this self love journey of mine. I wanted to do it all. Be everywhere at once. Save everyone and anyone. I had to realize being a SUPERWOMAN didn’t mean doing everything and being unhappy. Exhausted, crazy and stressed out. It meant being a boss and assigning tasks to others. Asking and accepting help from my husband. Making the kids help out, while teaching them responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, although I seek and receive help. Sometimes it just isn’t enough with four kids under eight. There are many days I still don’t have any help. And I gotta put on my superwoman cape and handle it all with a smile. Because I know when its all said and done; it will all be worth it. I knew the more I took charge of ME, my life and my family. The better things got. The less stressful and happier I was a woman and mother.
Since my diagnosis 4 years ago, I’ve been doing research on Lyme Disease and how it affects women. Particularly the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and congenital lyme. I’ve noticed changes in my body since this green monster took over. But been unable to connect the dots. Yet I know one thing is for sure, it all comes done to my immune system. How strong or weak it is. Whether Lyme has thrown my hormones like estrogen, testosterone and estradiol; out of whack. As this bacteria attacks the adrenal gland. Here’s what I been observing. Every month, for at least one week before and during each menstrual cycle; I feel like I have been struck by death. Like I have been reinfected by Lyme all over again. Stiff joints, muscle spasms, eye pain, arthritis and the list could go on. In addition to my normal period symptoms: cramps, bloating and back ache. I feel like I take two steps backwards, two to three weeks of every month. Im hoping I am just detoxifying my body from Lyme when I menstruate. A herx reaction is what they call it. But I don’t know for sure. Maybe some hormones are too high or too low. All I know is that Lyme is tricky. Nothing is as what it seems, even after 6 years. So I’ll keep searching for answers because I believe I’m on to something. Possibly a way into a remission. The explanation to my miracles. My 2 year old twin boys living Lyme free.
The hardest thing to do is let go of the people you love and care for. Whether it be family or friends. We all have this need to belong. Because no one wants to be alone. So we entertain unhealthy relationships. Hate, deceit and drama fill our worlds. Just to avoid being alone, bored or “unpopular”.
Truth is not everyone is blessed with warm, loving family and friends. Many of us have to deal with hateful sisters, bitter moms or non existent fathers. Friends who are only friends with you for their own personal gain. The fakes that try so hard to be real, but you can see right through them.Yet it is our choice to learn from these experiences and remove ourselves. Or continue to entertain the negativity, until you succumb to it.
You can choose not to accept those kind of people in your life. By removing these kind of people from your surroundings. By any means necessary. Even if they are your family or friends; the people that “love you”. These kind of relationships are unhealthy and must not be entertained. They will only bring you down in the end. Until you realize that you must love these kind of people, from a “distance”. Not because you are being “funny”. But because you just love you more.
When a person cannot motivate, educate or support you. Its time to let them go. They aren’t for you anymore. And when you can really let go, that is when you know you really love yourself. Because sometimes you need to love you more than you love anyone else. To do whats best for you to live a happy, healthy and successful life.
4 Donts’ to Maintaining a Positive Body Image
- Don’t focus on the body parts you don’t like, look at your body as a whole. Embrace it all.
- Don’t worry what the scale says or what size your waist is. Numbers don’t define beauty.
- Don’t down talk your body or get all in your feelings by what you see in the mirror. We all have our days, no one is perfect.
- Don’t neglect your body or let mainstream media influence how you perceive yourself. Societal norms don’t determine whose good enough. You do.
As women its important we maintain a positive body image of ourselves. Remembering that we don’t need to wear a size 2 or have the biggest butt or boobs to be considered “beautiful” or desirable. That we are beautiful according to our own standards. Not because of a man’s opinion or how we compare ourselves to the next woman. We are beautiful because we know we are imperfect. That the perfect body doesnt exist. So we embrace those stretch marks and those love handles. That extra little fat or small boobs. Over looking those “promises” we see on television and online to “improve” the way we look. Appreciating the skin we was born in. Because beautiful women know its through their strengths and weaknesses one’s beauty is defined. Not by our bra size or the number on our waist or what others deem as good enough. Body image is all about perception. Its how you perceive the skin you’re in.
Experiencing pain is an inevitable part of life whether we like it or not. It’s an unpleasant feeling that can take you by surprise or repeat itself over and over again. Yet pain is unfortunate, yet it is beneficial. I guess it’s all in how you cope. Whether it’s pain from a loved one dying, a bad relationship or family issues. Pain is real and having to experience such feeling; can either make or break you. To me, experiencing pain from different situations; motivated me. I knew I couldn’t change the past or the pain. I also knew that the world didn’t stop because I was in pain. Nor did four growing children stop getting hungry. So why dwell on feelings that do nothing for me. Or worry about the actions of others that only define their character, not mine. Pain has motivated me in ways I never could of imagined. Pain has made me a phenomenal woman at the age of 28.
When you settle for less in a relationship or choose a partner that isn’t totally right for you; you have negoitated your own happiness. You have settled for less when you know you need, want and deserve more in a partner. For one reason or another you’ve became comfortable or okay with the idea of mediocre instead of great. Because of past heartache, trust issues or unhealthy childhood experiences; we settle. We may even fear of getting hurt or becoming too vulnerable. Worried we might hurt others, forgetting about our own feelings. So we settle, thinking okay is good enough and it isn’t. I mean why settle when you can be truly happy one day with right one? Its of course easier said than done. Life just doesn’t work that way. If only it did. We’d all live happily ever after. But we live in the real world, where we don’t choose who we will fall in love with;we just do. We also dont know what the future holds or whether or not the relationship will last. Life happens. People change. Relationships change. But it doesn’t mean we have to settle. That there’s isn’t anything else better out there. Sometimes we just need to be patient. Get back in touch with who we are to discover what we really want. What you want in a relationship and a partner. Stand your ground and go after it. Even its alone. But never settle in a relationship. You are worth too much, to not have it all.