For the men who read this blog, today could be a learning experience to show your wives that you are in tune with them. Or you could just move on by and I won’t take any offense. 🙂 We have a guest post today from Zoraida Basaldu of Empowered Fem, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering females who want to change the world by paying it forward to young ladies interested in becoming strong females. Zoraida is a chemical engineer by day and a mom, wife, CEO, and community activist by early morning and weekends. She’s paved a path that will allow women to understand it’s okay to be smart AND beautiful, wear makeup AND be tough, work in male dominated fields AND still be feminine.
Close to my heart in the work we’ve done together is Empowered Fem’s Empowered Teens program. Through this program, Zoraida and her team are showing middle school girls in undeserved areas how to become strong, powerful females who understand their value, beauty, and future career options, including those in STEM fields. The program includes a 12-week Empowered Teen Guide that is facilitated by Empowered Femtors (women who work in STEM and have committed to serving in their communities) who walk with the girls through topics such as using social media responsibly, understanding their true value, communicating effectively, and goal setting.
After reading this blog post from her, follow her beautiful Instagram profile, where shares empowering quotes, captions, and images to help women start their day on a positive note.
There are moments in our life that will mark us forever. It could be the birth of a child, a break-up, your first kiss, a family member passing. I mean there are so many things that we live through that in some way or another shape us or put us into shape. Like finding out the Kardashians are moving to HULU. Those are the moments that make us resilient whether we are ready or not.
My life has not always been baby Birkins and glitter. I have had my share of bumps in the road. Not even bumps, more like pot holes at times.
I have been broken into 1000 pieces many times.
I have been lied to.
I have been disrespected.
I have been overlooked.
I have been completely miserable.
I have been depressed.
I have screamed from the top of my lungs.
I have broken a few things here and there. They don’t call me loca (crazy) for nothing.
When things are not going your way, you blame others. You look at everything else as the cause of your sorrow. You wonder, “Why me?”
Years ago, while going to college, there was a week that was particularly bad. But first, let me set this up for you so you understand the background emotions.
Going to college did not come easy for me since I was a nontraditional student with two kids as well as a husband who was not dependable and who had hardly matured at the time. He didn’t prioritize working full time, so we relied heavily on government assistance and programs in order to get by. Because my engineering courses were demanding and I had a one-hour commute to school every day, I was not able to work full-time either. To tell you that it was not my ideal situation that I wanted my family to live in is understanding the level of emotions I felt, but I also knew that I had to do what I needed to do so we could have a better life, as it fell to me to be sure that could happen.
So here we are in a particularly bad week…one of those weeks where you don’t even have the change underneath the couch cushion to count on. Yeah, one of those weeks. In that week, I was still having to drive myself to school in a vehicle that required gas every once in a while, not the fuel-efficient or battery powered vehicles we are spoiled by today. I was already running on low and had no idea where I was going to get the gas money. It seemed logical in my head to ask close family members for gas money. I mean it was for a legitimate reason plus I would pay them back as soon as I had the money. Also, it would have taken about $25 to fill up my car. Nothing that would break anyone’s bank account. In my head, it did not seem like an unreasonable favor to ask.
Well, girl, let me tell you that it turned out to be another level. The family that I reached out to were in no way struggling. I asked to borrow gas money so that I could make it to school that morning. To my utter dismay they agreed to give me gas money, but only $5. What the heck, $5?! They told me that was all they had, when I knew very well that was not the case. How was I going to get to school? Why were they not willing to help me? Why do bad things happen to good people?
To this day, I think about that morning and it breaks me and hurts me to the core. It literally puts me in tears to think that I was only worth $5 to this family member. That day, I cried like I have never cried before. I mean, ugly cry, the ones where you can’t even see through your eyes anymore. The type of cries where you are trying to catch your breath but you are so empty inside. Yeah, I cried and cried my entire one-hour commute. I was so angry that they did not value me more than $5. That they could care less if I made it to school or got a degree or tried to better myself. They let me down.
Ahh, man. I can just feel everything that I felt that day all over again. Okay, let me look at the light and calm my nerves down cause it’s all coming back to me. That day left me scarred for life. That day, out of my weakest moment, I learned how to raise my wings and fly. I had no other choice but to take flight as I arrived at school with a runny nose, swollen eyes, and shattered to pieces inside. I might have been PMSing, I don’t know but I took that situation so hard.
That day, I learned so much about myself, people, and life. To raise my wings took so much from me that day but I chose to overcome it. I choose to rise high and soar. Yeah, but not until I had a good ugly cry. Never would I have imagined that day how far I could soar. Looking back, it still hurts but I see how far I have come and I would not change anything about that situation. Learning to fly is the easy part but soaring high takes many more lessons.
I share this story with you because I could have taken many other roads that day:
- I could have said, “I don’t have enough gas money so I won’t go to class today.”
- I could have said, “I am never speaking to this family member again since they don’t value me.”
- I could have made it all about the other people and their actions instead of looking at what I had to do to change my situation.
- I could have been so upset with my husband for not wanting to work a full-time job that I let my marriage dissolve.
Sis, I could have done many things and no one would have blamed me. But I didn’t choose those because I knew that by soaring high, pushing through the wind trying to hold me down, I could win the fight and surpass even my best dreams! If you’ve been reading for a while you know that since that day I have forgiven my husband and myself, surrounded myself with people who believe in me and support me as I rise even higher, implemented the power of positive thinking into my daily life, and learned my true value. It’s because of these experiences and changes that I show up each month to share life with you and empower you to become and badass empowered fem that you are! Being empowered doesn’t mean we never experience downfalls or go through tough times. Being empowered means when we do, we get back up and use our stories to empower others.
I dare you to fly and soar higher than you ever thought possible. You also can overcome anything and everything that you are feeling, going through, struggling with, worrying about, stressing over. Imagine soaring high above it all. Soar, sis. Leave them wondering how you are still soaring.
Four Tips to Empower You to Raise Your Wings
- Have a funeral. Go out and find yourself a black dress, a black hat, and black gloves. Let the world know that you are in mourning. Then go and put on your best set of lashes, iron your hair, and add a hint of lip gloss. You will gracefully proceed to write down all the names of the people that are dead to you. Say a prayer over the names and then discard this list. Try not to shed too many tears over the loss. You don’t want to mess up perfectly good make-up.
- The people on this list are those who have not seen your value, who are toxic to you, who do not cheer on your successes, and who don’t find it within themselves to see their own worth so they try to bring you down with them. At this point in your life, you need to be sure you are with others who are willing to fly high, not those who want to stay on the ground.
- Change pain into strength. Let that bitterness, frustration, and anger be the high octane fuel that you need to take flight. Learn to rise over the pain. Change your perspective by looking at your experiences as things happening not to you but for you. Things sometimes have to happen to open our eyes or to teach us a valuable lesson. After all, it will take a painful breakup to make room for Bradley Cooper to hit your DMs, sis. Watch how you will soar higher than you ever thought possible.
- When you look at life as happening for you and not to you, you allow yourself to grow as a woman and embrace all that comes at you. The promotion you didn’t get becomes fuel to look for the job that you belong in. The guy who said no becomes the freedom to say yes to the guy about to enter your life. Perspective can be a life-changing thing when you allow it to shine in the right spots.
- Do not let life drag you. Start to take control over your life. Tell yourself every day that if the floor were to cave in underneath you, you will still be standing. That if everything was taken from you today, you would still raise your wings. Remind yourself that there is nothing that can break you, your spirit, your flight, or your core. Remember your purpose and your why. You are meant to fly high in the clouds. Even if it is after a good, solid, ugly cry.
- When bad things happen give yourself time to grieve and then get back up and change what’s needed to change. Just as I could have quit school and gone back to work with the state, you can choose to give up. OR you can choose to press forward, take the risk, and find your own gas money in creative ways. We all have our paths we have to travel to learn the lessons we need to learn to be who we are becoming!
- Always take revenge, sis. I like to serve it cold with a splash of look at me now. Your success will be the best revenge that you could ever pay them back with. Show them that it is going to take a whole lot more than that to keep you down. The best revenge will be when they see you soaring from the floor that they still stand on. They might have thought to have won over you that one time but in reality it made you stronger.
- Note my words: the best revenge is your success. Don’t stoop low and find ways to get even, sis. Get revenge by making your life better, then you come out on top even if they don’t notice!
Let’s end with an anthem to drive these lessons home. You will RISE, sis! I believe in you.
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