Today is International Women’s Day and we celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of all women. As I think about what it truly means to be a woman these words automatically come to mind:
Not sure why these were the first words that came to mind, but I think it comes from my upbringing from childhood into womanhood. I remember as a young child, maybe around 4, there was this hot pink tie that I just had to wear everywhere and oh let’s not forget the silver bangles that jingle. Those were two things as I child that I wore to state my girl style. Even my sense of music as a young child was probably much different from other 4 year olds. I mean how many four year olds liked Boy George & Culture Club, Grace Jones, Prince, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson and even had to play Mutabaruka’s “Everytime I hear the Sound” over and over? These are the memories I have as a young girl. Other memories I had as child that followed me right into womanhood, were the impact of women in my life. Here are some women that I personally look up to and who I honor today and every day.
Another distinct factor about my childhood and that has shaped me into the woman I am today is the fact that I come from a lineage of very strong women. My grandmother came to the U.S. in the 1970s as an immigrant from Jamaica. I remember her working so hard in the 1980s, going to work every day to clean hotel rooms at the Marriot. The funny thing is I never heard her complain. She would come home and cook like it was nothing too. I use to tease her asking her did she ever sleep, honestly a child going to visit her I can’t remember her ever sleeping or resting. Talk about independent woman, she was definitely the epitome of that. She made sure that she provided for her family and never once complained about it. As a matter of fact, if I wasn’t so observant of her actions I would have probably grown up without an inkling or clue as to how she did all that she did. Grandma Rose taught me the meaning of hard-working.
When I think of this word, the first person that comes to mind is my mom. As a single mom raising two children in the 1980s it wasn’t easy, especially in New York City. Despite the odds, my mom was very much goal-oriented. You know the story of David and Goliath. Well let’s just say my mom was very much like David, knocking her Goliaths out of the way. Single mom, working full time plus going to school to achieve her educational goals might be more common now, but back then it wasn’t the “thing.” The definition of perseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. My mom is a woman of zero excuses and she’s proven that time and time again. Even up until today she’s back in school working towards her MBA while working full time. She’s living proof that the playing field doesn’t have to be level for you to win. From my mom I’ve learned the true mean perseverance.
When I think of a unique woman my Grandma Violet (Vi or Jugney as others may know her by). She possessed a flair and aura about her that’s indescribable. She’s someone with a loving heart, but didn’t hesitate to tell you what’s on her mind. Just picture a 4’11”, stylishly dressed Indian lady cursing you out one day then making roti and dal for you the next. Not only was her personality just unique, but so was her sense of style. She was definitely a stylish grandma. The one thing I learned from her is as a woman we should celebrate our uniqueness and never hide it. It’s what makes us who we are.
Ever come across a woman who has about 10 solutions to one problem? If not, then you haven’t met Mama D, my stepmother. I like to think of her as a creative solutions expert. As women, we tend to let things sly and not say anything. Well I must say she definitely taught me to speak up and not feel apologetic about it either. As women, the words I’m sorry gets uttered way too much, what exactly are we “sorry” about. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t own up to our wrongdoings, but we also need to stick up for ourselves and find solutions to achieve our goals. A true problem solver is Mama D.
As we commemorate women across all cultures today, let’s remember to celebrate the women within our own families that are our true SHEroes. In the next coming weeks I’ll be launching a new collection called Epitome of a Woman. Pre-sale kicks off this Friday, so be sure to sign up to our list. I thought it was only fitting to launch it during Women’s History Month. It’s time for us to #BEBOLDFORCHANGE