Happy new year. Again.
Again, because I already wished you well for the new year here on the site. This isn’t the first post for the year and I did not forget to wish you a Merry Christmas. So now, I’m wishing you a happy new year again. Allow me to explain. My last two posts on Boxing Day and the 5th of January disappeared. In fact, I think this happened sometime over the 9th and 10th of January. I won’t get technical but there was an issue with the servers on which this site hosts on. These issues resulted in the disappearance of 2 posts and some design work. Vanished into some black hole on the internet. They will most likely not be seen or found again. See a screenshot of what the last posts were.
The design work I did at the end of the year went with it too. So if you find that the site looks different, like in a regressive way, you’re not having a twilight moment. It’s just a classic case of shi* happening. I’ll be spending the next day getting the design looking the way it should. Boo! Anyways, enough on that sad story.
So I was thinking today about the direction I want to take FemmePowered in 2016. In 2016 you can expect community focused initiatives, sharing of resources, book reviews and quarterly events and workshops. There’ll also be more one-to-one support. It’s on my heart to do more to meet the needs of the people who find value in the work I do here and the message I want to deliver.
I have also being reflecting on some of the challenges and backlash I faced with this site being live. This site exists because I chose to tell my story, the catalyst behind FemmePowered. Considering challenges and obstacles make up good planning. You have to take these into consideration and come up with ways to counteract or address them. You just don’t leave things to chance. And with that brain wave I had going, I came to a thought, one I want to share with you today. You don’t have to agree with it, but if you or someone else finds value in it, then yay! So here goes.
When you set out to do your best and be the best version of yourself, you need to know a few things. You need to know that not everybody is going to get you, agree with you, support you, and throw confetti at you. And you need to be okay with that. You can spend your time and energy trying to justify your decisions and proving yourself and motives. Or you can get on with doing your thing. I’m all for getting on and doing your thing because the alternative of trying to win them over rarely works. You see at the end of the day, folks will think what they think, believe what they want to believe. Even when presented with all the evidence in the world. And you need to learn to be okay with that. Let them disparage your name, question your intentions and hate on you and the life you want to build. It’s cool. Here’s something you need to know; detractors and haters have their place. Once you understand that, they can be fuel to your fire and purpose. Seriously. If you don’t believe me chances are you’ll believe Jill Scott. She’said it best in her song ‘Hate on me‘. I know the word ‘hater‘ is tired and overused but I couldn’t come up with an alternative.
So here’s a tip for 2016. Focus your energy and efforts on doing things that make you happy, cause you come alive and fill you with a sense of purpose. Give it a go. Because you’re not going to be happy staying small and trying to please everyone. And you’re not going to win awards for trying to go big. But you will experience a degree of happiness for settling into the true you. So chuck people’s perceptions and thoughts and get selfish. Selfish is such a bad word. We hate being thought selfish. But sometimes you gotta reframe words. Selfish to me at this point in my life, is being unapologetic and uncompromising about doing what it takes to make me happy, live with intent and purpose and bring me closer to becoming the best version of myself. It is putting me first because I recognize that I need to take care of me in a way no one else can and will. And I don’t feel bad about it either. Sometimes selfish is necessary if you want to become the highest version of yourself. You’ve got to make tough calls and be resolute. It may mean getting rid of that friend who is just a user, or walking away from situations that do not serve you. It’s also about doing these things no matter what folks may think. Some call it selfish. I call it self-care and by extension, self-love. Give it a try. And when you do, you just may find surprising benefits. When I got selfish a couple things happened. I did bigger things and became happier. And I also experienced a greater degree of contentment and personal satisfaction.
Whatever you do, just don’t attempt to be something you’re not to have others think a certain way about you. Don’t shrink, stay small or refuse to step into your magical slippers. It’s pointless and you’ll be doing it at the expense of your personal peace of mind. Cinderella stepped into her magical slippers and it worked great for her. Granted, she’s a fictional character but you get the point. Big things and changes can happen when we make bold steps.
I charge you to make 2016 the year you step out of people’s molds and perceptions and embrace you. The you that’s screaming to come out. When you do so, it’s like meeting yourself for the first time in some ways. Know that when you’re settled about who you are and what you want to achieve it will cause a stir. Folks will judge you, dismiss you, misunderstand you, label you. It’s a unfortunate, natural human reaction. You’ve got to be ready for that. And you know what? It won’t matter anymore because you’re comfortable in your skin and your truth.
That’s all – just a simple thought. Nothing revolutionary or ground-breaking. Now go rock 2016!
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.