It was time. Let me explain...
I am learning to speak up, to speak out, this is something that I am being called to do. You see, I was a chameleon. A people pleasing, shape shifting, pushover. I learned early on when moving from Georgia to Wisconsin at ten years old to watch people, do what they do and unfortunately in some regards to try to become them. As if there was something wrong with me, just being me.
I truly buried myself in acclimating to my environment during those highly formative years and since the start of the year am really seeing how against God's plan this is. He does not call me to be like Susie or Janie or Shalonda, but I am called to be like Jesus; to imitate Him while being the me that He has created. (For the record, if you don't know why I capitalize the "h" in He, it is because of my written respect for my creator and to help clearly distinguish Him.)
Anyway. It has been rough going. I have struggled and struggled with many things, including blogging because I am constantly holding back and feeling like a bit of a mini-fraud since January focusing only on my blackness while not really living my life that way. No worries though because I know we all grow and change - or at least we ought to - and so you'll be gracious with the name change and more realness from me about me. I do not want to hold back my real self from the world because I am seeing how God can use it to His glory. And quite honestly, I can see how holding back has hurt me and my relationships because I've meant or felt something, did not say it and let the relationship progress on with particular unexpressed expectations and ended up down a road that I (nor the other person) desired. Talk about a mess to clean up.
So, I will still be my black self - whew, right? - still take on challenges (you are going to laugh out loud when you find out what my June challenge is), still read books and review movies, travel the city and world and still write about it. But, because I am discovering how real the Bible is when it talks about my freedom in Christ, I am realizing that I should be living it and if I'm living it, I will not be able to help but share.
As I hope to be a great and transformational leader in the education system here in Milwaukee and hopefully nationally someday, I do not want my blackness to be the only focus that people weigh when they work with me. I still want to break down stereotypes and help open up mindsets of adults working with children in education, so I take this new title very seriously and will be pushing myself to share as I grow.
I believe that He has great plans for me as myself and that I am free in that. I feel this way about suddenly seeing the benefit and need of being ME!