This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a bloggers brunch in the city, put together by the lovely Tyece of Twenties Unscripted. I was nervous to have brunch with a bunch of women who I had never met before. I showed up alone and nearly an hour late, courtesy of traffic and weather; I just didn’t know what to expect. But as I reached the top of the stairs I was greeted by a long table packed with loud laughter and an abundance of mimosas. From the moment I sat down I was lost in conversation about everything from fleek to the politics of respectability. The room had an amazing energy and the women were warm, smart, and fun; it was like being in a room with old friends. As a writer I’ve had doubts about my ability, direction, and decisions, but being surrounded by women who were doing what I am, and doing it well, left me feeling excited. I was reminded in that moment that sisterhood, solidarity, and friendship are some of the greatest motivators.
The only form of validation you’re ever really going to need in life is self-validation; what others think of you is very much irrelevant. When you surround yourself with other women who are already comfortable in their own skin, then the feeling translates to you. Women who already like themselves, like other women. So by choosing to be in situations with like-minded, secure, and self-assured women, it will become more apparent to you that you like yourself more as well. By virtue, the same thing apples to what you do. As a writer,being surrounded by other writers who are women of color and good at what they do, reminds me that I’m standing in the room too so I must be doing something right. The best way to feel good about who you are and what you do is to be around other women who already do.
There’s genuinely nothing in this world like watching another sister on her grind. Queens recognize queens, and it’s empowering to look over at someone else and say “I see you.” Sharing with like-minded women gives you a special kind of energy because you feed off of each other. If you’re feeling discouraged about what you’re doing or uninspired by your decisions, have a conversation with another women who is doing what you do or go network with some like-minded women. Self doubt is a big deterrent, and a really great cure for that is seeing someone else succeed, it’s a reminder that what you’ve chosen to do matters somehow. I’m a firm believer in the concept of Black Girl Magic (really any girl magic) because I think that our accomplishments only push ourselves as women to do more. When another women has hit a milestone, I feel invigorated to pick up what I’m doing double time, so I can feel that satisfaction too.
The biggest mistake you can make as a person in general is thinking that you already know everything. The smartest person you know, is the person who never stops learning. Being around women who are working towards the same thing as you, means that someone is bound to know something that you don’t. It’s important to always approach the situation wiling and ready to listen. Whether you learn some new SEO tips or realize that you’re not alone in a personal struggle, there is ALWAYS something to learn from other women. Sometimes, we like to be the know it all, but it’s a skill to know where you don’t need to show off. This is the place to be humble and take in everything that is being given. As women it’s our responsibility to give to other women that which we’ve already learned.
It’s true what they say about girls competing with one another and women empowering each other. Girls haven’t found themselves yet, they are still very much in a stage of self discovery that hasn’t manifested a certain level of security. Women, whether they have completely found themselves or not, are secure enough in the person they are to not be intimidated by another woman’s journey or success. Choosing to surround yourself with women and not girls is the best thing you can do for yourself, because ultimately you are most like those who you spend your time with. It was exciting for me to meet other women who were like me and I hope to continue to build those relationships. I would suggest to any woman who is trying to get her footing, to find herself a group of women to have some conversations with, because you can only get better.