When speaking about womanhood, there are many truths that I stand on; one is the ability for women evoke growth in one another. I know this because throughout every chapter in my life, there has been a woman in my midst who encouraged me to be and do more. Even during the dark times and when they had no clue I was watching, women have empowered me beyond the state that I was currently in. Because I have experienced this truth so many times, I am always alert and I pursuit of teachable moments no matter what woman I am in the presence of.
In addition to the bogus beauty standards that society has created, there is also a distorted picture of what it means to be a woman. Not every woman is strong enough to greet adversity with a smile every time, there are times when we fall short. Not every woman always has “her shit together” from the beginning, we have to grow and learn along the way. Not every girl transitions into womanhood with grace, some of us have to fight like hell. However, despite who we are or where we are in our lives, we all have the potential to contribute something vital to another woman.
“THERE IS NO ONE WAY TO BE A WOMAN”
One woman who I have been watching and learning from for almost 3 years is Shaina Harrison. I just call her “my boo” but you know her as Out Of The Corner; one of the dopest stylist/bloggers… Period! Not only is Shaina showing us how to fashionable style our lives, she is sharing her life in an effort to help us get ours. She is continuously using her voice and the respect that she has garnered to help women stand strong in their truth, be unapologetic and most of all, find their “BRAVESPACE!”
While Shaina lived somewhat of a normal life as a girl being raised by her grandmother, her truth was that her mother battled addiction. Shaina admits that she struggled to understand the trauma that lead her mother to the place where addiction became a part of her life but over the years she got her answers. Despite the situation, Shaina made the bold choice to love her mother in spite of her condition and before long, she was able to see her mother’s strength. It was that same love that moved her mother away from addiction.
SHE TAUGHT ME
Whether is talking to her, reading her post or watching her videos, I have been blessed to absorb many things from Shaina. Some of these things I already understood somewhat but her knowledge led me to a greater understanding. Check out a few of Shaina’s gems that I picked up and keep in my pocket.
- Love will always reign supreme! Despite the situation, remember life happens but love conquers… ALL! While my mother doesn’t battle addition, she and I have struggled with our relationship for years. However, Shaina taught me that I may not be able to change her but I can love her in spite of.
- Always get up! Many people think that getting knocked down by life is an indicator of weakness but that is furthest from the truth. Getting knocked down and getting back up shows strength. No matter how many times I fall, I will never let that stop me from attempting to fly. Shaina taught me that any woman can give up but a woman with power and determination never will.
- The package doesn’t have to be perfect! Often, we focus on things that lack importance when we should be focused on something else. Our past and the way we are greet by womanhood doesn’t have to be perfect for us to evolve into great women. Shaina taught me that the package doesn’t have to be perfect as long as the gift is intact.
- Create my own personal space! The truth is by the time I met Shaina I had already become comfortable in my own skin. However, I was not brave enough to be as bold and unapologetic as I needed to be. I wore the mask and dumbed myself down because of others. Shaina taught me that my BRAVESPACE was mine to do what I wanted how I want. She made me understand that I didn’t have to be sorry for being a proud fat girl who slayed shit on the regular because that was my truth.