Explore LaTeisha Clement’s compelling journey that navigates the evolution of womanhood. Filled with personal insights and empowering narratives, it is an inspiring read for those seeking personal growth and a renewed perspective on What it Means To Be a Woman.
Embracing Change: Navigating Womanhood’s Evolution
I’ve spent my whole life wondering when I would finally feel like “a woman!” To be in my person, owning it! Walking down the runway of life, not giving a “_______” about what anyone thought of me. Being unapologetically fierce, and a force to be reckoned with!
This is how I defined womanhood. But I have yet to feel like that on a regular basis. I have my days when I am fully immersed in my person. Yet, there are others when I’m not. I figured having a child would kick that feeling into high gear as I gave birth to another human being, for goodness’ sake! So who’s really gon’ check me?! I. Am Woman!
However, I’ve been checked by life many times. So, that “Badass” version of womanhood has not been my reality! As a result, I shrunk on many occasions and became a recluse. My dreams took a backseat because demoralizing situations deflated my confidence. The author, writer, and fashionista in me were nowhere to be found. I thought, ‘Who cares if I wrote a book, modeled in a fashion show, and had my own website?’ Nobody was checking for me! Or so I thought. People were actually feeling your girl! (See my book interview with Reynolds Okyne of Sitdown.)
Plus, my son is my biggest fan. He tells me I’m a queen every day and is the best person in my life. He is the reason I go after my dreams! I just need to believe in myself.
I also had to learn that recalibration takes time. Recalibration is the act of “calibrating again” or “re-adjusting precisely for a particular function.” Just like cars need tune-ups to run smoothly on the road, we need to fine-tune areas of our lives in order to operate at the highest versions of ourselves.
My recalibration period looked like letting things be. I used to be the wedge in people’s lives – fixing what they could’ve managed on their own until I got burned out. This Savior Complex did nothing but enable others to function at a deficit. I had to be okay with watching them fail and learn their own lessons.
Focusing on me became my top priority. At the time, I was planning a move, which required diligence in managing my finances, along with the endless paperwork needed for approval to get into our new space. I seriously had no time to be bothered with what everyone else was doing. God had me secluded for my physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional protection. Stress is a silent killer that impacts all areas of your life. And so, tunnel vision is what I needed to thrive.
If you’re not careful, you will miss the lessons God is trying to teach you if you’re not paying attention.
This is not to say that He is not patient enough to spin the block to reteach you things. But who wants to keep repeating lessons they can learn the first time? Had I continued being the Fixer, I would have been too exhausted to hear from God, as my need for rest would have surpassed my ability to be still and actively listen.
Thankfully, I stopped fixing people’s issues and focused inward. I am happy to say we are now living in our new space! This milestone came with a shedding of old habits. Worrying had to take a backseat, because I couldn’t grasp what God wanted from me, while mulling over things only He could fix.
Forming New Habits Is Essential
I read my Bible every day, because it truly is the living Word. Having a routine sets me up for success. When I put God first, I am able to move with more clarity. When I don’t have that time with Him, I’m just not the same. I’m not as alert or grounded. I need Him to guide me and order my steps.
There are things in my life I cannot fix, like past relationships that didn’t pan out or financial decisions that weren’t the best for me in the long run. I’ve accepted my mistakes and can no longer punish myself for what I did or couldn’t do. This is “Radical Acceptance,” as my therapist puts it – where we accept what is and what we cannot change.
With that said, I am progressively stepping into this fierce version of womanhood I’ve always wanted. This is the woman who starts over with the lessons she’s learned. There’s no need to condemn myself for what was, as that will block me from noticing and/or appreciating the present blessings and those that are on the way.
The Lesson Learned
The takeaway is that we’re always becoming. We’re constantly changing and/or evolving if we allow ourselves the space and grace to do so. I’ve fought change for a long time and was scared to embrace it. However, I became a shadow of who I was meant to be in those moments. Leaning in helps me to embody who I truly am.
I believe God refines us in periods of discomfort and change.
And the more I submit to that pruning and refinement, the easier it gets (over time) to stand in my womanhood.
I’ve met women who refused to change and were either disgruntled, unfulfilled, and/or a shell of themselves. It happens to the best of us, and at the same time, it’s sad to see a woman have so much potential yet be too afraid or prideful to take any action.
Life hits us [women] hard in ways we often can’t articulate. But therapy has truly been my saving grace. There is no need to suffer in silence or try to do life on your own. We were meant to be each other’s keepers. Seek a community that pours into you in loving ways!
Allow life to flow and let nothing be forced.
Cheers to a new year (from whenever you’re reading this). You can always have a fresh start.