Getting Grown (Or at Least Trying)

I took the last two posts down. It was the case that the latest duo might have offended some— totally not my intention. I know how many people read this thing, but when I write, I don’t always think about the far-reaching places my words might reach or the effects they can have in the places they land. Perhaps I should have thought out that post more before I banged it out and put it up. And perhaps, I could be misguided. Patronizing? Eh. Maybe.

I wrote all of that to basically get to this (it was in pat 2):

"Since the first time I read her blog, I realized I was behaving like an ass because I saw my worst flaws in someone else. I’ve learned to carry my baggage, but I’d like someone like me to have a lesser load if they can. I imagine what I could be now if the progress on my work had started just a little sooner. If only it didn’t take me till somewhere not so long ago to realize life won’t be easy, but it’ll be okay perhaps I'd be a lot further than I am."

I can be subject to errors in better judgment and sometimes wade into the deep end of the pool knowing I can't swim. So this is me, apologizing publicly and sincerely to anyone, especially the subject, that was offended. I meant no harm.

I blog about so much shit on here, and probably get a little more honest than I should be a times. I write as catharsis and to make sense of my jumbled thoughts (and to become a better, faster writer) more than anything. I was talking to a fellow writer about my purging from last week and she was like, “what do people who aren’t creative do to get it all out?” I have no clue, but I couldn’t imagine what I would do without words and a semi- articulate way to express myself on the page.

I've been thinking a lot lately on how we get to where we are, and how we grow to whatever we will be. My Pastor said one time, that while you may not like wherever you are, Thank God you are not where you were.

Sometimes there are consecutive days when I think I have it all together. I gain a heightened sense of purpose and I feel like I’ve found my place in the world. I feel like what Maya Angelou calls a Phenomenal Woman. I start to capitalize my own Self, get to thinking 'I am Woman, hear me ROAR!!!' I get a little extra strut in my step and well, yeah, I start feeling myself too. And then I encounter a Real Grown Woman and I get put back in my place, humbled in her presence (this would be the type of woman I look toward to guide me to the next step.)

These days, I don’t have to look far. At my sun-up to sun-down, I’m surrounded by them. Quietly fierce women who are confident and bold and smart and wise and funny too. They carry themselves like forces of nature. My first month on the job, I was so awed, I could barely open my mouth for watching them in action. But I’ve gotten past being star-struck so that I just admire and try to pick up what I can about what it takes to achieve greatness. It takes time and experience and stumbling and rising to be a Real Woman, I’m learning, and though I’m pushing 30 in couple years, I realize I am still a woman-in-training.

It was the case CBC weekend and DC that I ended up partying with a bunch of grown women. CBC weekend in the Old Country is the NYC version of the MTV Awards or LA’s version of the Oscar’s. Every venue that can hold people opens its doors for the revelers. From around the country, everyone in politics and anything remotely related (including relatives of the related like me) comes out, makes an appearance. Ace wasn’t feeling up to the after-parties for the Black Tie gala, so I rolled with my Dad’s friends instead —Real Women, grown women in their late 40s, early 50s. These are the chicks that own homes (note the plural) across the country and in tropical islands, in addition to their main residence. They push luxury vehicles and wear jewelry that they bought and paid for with their own salaries and thier baubbles cost more than my annual income. But it’s not just that, they got internal swag for days. I’m still reduced to flirting, flashing cards and dropping a professional affiliation to get in some places, they just walk up and enter. (And then come out and get those left behind. Ha!)

We party-hop to a few locales near the main hotel. I’m having the time of my life networking and air-kissing (not my industry, but who knows where life will take you? You can never know too many people.) They are bored stiff. Ali gets on her cell and calls around (they don’t text, they actually call) for a better venue. She learns of a party at the French Embassy in Georgetown and tells me to gather my things. I do, in haste, or risk getting left behind.

The Embassy is gorgeous and filled with grown folk in ball gowns and tuxedoes. Everyone the grown women introduce me to is the President or Vice President of some publicly traded brand (ie, paid!!!) or the Chief of Staff to some notable politician whose name I recognize even as a “civilian.” But this party ain’t about airs and titles. It could have been a juke joint except for the marble floors and ladies in expensive dresses. “Solider Boy” comes on and a room full of VPs and such proceed to do the full out fucking dance in the middle of the floor. DC Parties. Hard. Don’t let the conservative climate fool you.

I spot a woman across the room in floor length leopard print grown, sporting a rock that would make Liz Taylor weep over its beauty. Her dress dips low in the back, sexy not trashy. She’s got her hair in a French chignon that’s flawless. And she is backing it up for a bit on whom I believe is her husband. She’s beautiful, but what makes me pay attention is her grace, her confidence. She just has an aura of a woman who’s got it all together. I’m not envious, I’m proud to see a woman flaunt her shit so flawlessly, so elegantly, so amazingly! That is what I want to be someday when I’m late 30 something, about how old I guess her to be. (I’d wish for it tomorrow, but that kind of grace takes time, I know.)

With more than my share of wine coursing through me, I decide to find out what she’s all about. I’m guessing she’s a model (or a former one.) Turns out, she’s a mother or three, a stay at home Mom to some little ones. She’s flattered that I’m so awed and tells me as much, of course with the pure humility that only someone so fabulous can manage. She hadn’t had time to get her hair done in months but she spent a fortune on her ‘do that afternoon. And she just bought the dress and shoes that the morning off the rack. (She looks like a million. Who cares how short or long it took to get that way?) No time for tailoring. This is the first time she’s been out in forever, and ‘wow! Sweetie, you’ve made my year,” she tells me.

I feel like she’s just patted me on the head, but I’m not miffed (Normally, I hate being called “Sweetie”). I know my place and I know I’m not where she is. But she’s given me a direction to go in—- not necessarily the housewife angle (the Grown Woman crew I rolled with and the Grown Women I work with inspire me professionally), Mrs. Leopard Print makes me strive to be radiant and gracious and better up close than I can be from a distance.

Her husband stands beside her beaming with pride, seems like he knows he’s got a dime whether anyone bothers to point it out or not. She gives me a (mama) hug and I go on about my way, newly inspired.