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Breaking the Mold


Essential Living Blog

Breaking the Mold

I woke up this morning, just plain tired. How many of you have had this happen? After a whole night's sleep, I'm still tired. I believe it's not a body tired but a weary soul tired. As a Black woman, I wear many hats and juggle many balls, all with the expectation that I have to be no less than perfect in all that I take on. I know some of you who are reading these words feel the same way. You feel stuck. You can't change hats fast enough. You can't stop juggling, or everything will fall apart, right?

My thing is this, I feel that I have to do everything right. I have to fit into society. I can't allow myself to be different as if different is kryptonite. Are y'all feeling me today? Well, I'm tired of living in this white-washed world, where I'm supposed to shut up and assimilate. Aren't you? What's wrong with me speaking my mind and speaking from the black perspective? I'm black! This golden brown-skinned girl has plenty to say, and my opinion matters.

One of my favorite songs, "Everything" by Nas, speaks to being ourselves and challenging the status quo. It also edifies our blackness. It's time to stop apologizing for our uniqueness and for being black. One of the song's best lines says, "Inclusion is a hell of a drug." I would have to agree. If we all practice assimilation and inclusion, it drowns out uniqueness.

It squelches our voices. It diminishes our individual issues. It makes us become drowns to the dominant thought of one culture. It is time to be ok with not being included. It's ok to be your own beautiful, quirky self. It's ok to be you!

My entire life, I followed the rules. The rules said I was supposed to graduate from high school and go to college. I did that.

The rules said I was supposed to graduate college, get into a top company, get married, and start a family. I did that. The rules said that I was supposed to progress up the ladder at one company. To do that, I was supposed to fit in, not make waves, becoming essentially invisible. I did that too. And I was utterly miserable! Send me a comment if this is you!

Today I give myself permission to break the mold. I give myself permission to live my life the way I want to live it. I decide on my "Lit path" to creating an empire that I can call my own. (Get the book Disrupt-Her – that's where "Lit Path" comes from). I am vowing to live life according to Janice and what makes sense for me.

Today give yourself permission to do something different. Do something that makes total sense to you even though it doesn't make sense to anyone else. You are the one that has to live your life. Don't live someone else's!

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