Sorry, not sorry

Today on International Women’s Day, I love that there are women that have come before me that have changed so much.  I am able to work, own my own business, not have children or get married if I don’t want to, wear pants or shorts if I want and much more.  As a black woman, I can go to whatever school I want, use and share the same things as any other human, can sit wherever I want on a bus or in a movie theatre and much more.  We still have a far way to go as women.  We still many minds to change as black women.  No matter, we are power houses first.

Some places in the world today, women went on strike.

This is a great idea.  Here’s why I would never feel like I could wholeheartedly participate in something like that.  I work in healthcare, social services and education.  This is a career that is dominated by women.  Some of us are natural care takers, and are able to handle being close to people through their different physical needs.  If I went on strike, I would be doing a dis-service to the people I support, who (some of) don’t understand what a wage gap is.  Don’t know that they should treat me differently because I am a woman.  Don’t discriminate against me. And, love me more because of the woman who I am!  So, I’ll strike on jobs that don’t involve my clients, but, they are my allies in the day of.

I am a hustler is some senses of the word.  My days change everyday and I am challenged to the core of my being at times.  I try to be my best self when I can.  I walk with my head held high, smile at people on the subway, laugh loudly and treat people the way I would want to be treated.  I also am loud, can get angry, make assumptions, make mistakes and have cut you friends off that don’t fit in the story of my life anymore.

As a woman.  I join the boys teams.  I try not to judge other woman and did my best to uplift them, even when I was judged harshly sometimes.  I kept my guy friends in check about how they should treat me and other women.  I call other women out when they wanted to use their womanizing for things less than their worth.  I take care of many children unfailingly.  I don’t pay much mind to what others think if it’s negative.  I give compliments to strangers.  I volunteer at places that make others shake in their shoes. I stare confrontation down and come out on top on the other end.  I say thank you when complimented.  I loudly let men know how to treat me, if they tried treat me as less than human.  I laugh at myself and love everything about myself.  And the things that I don’t, I learn to love and become comfortable with.  I am still learning.

No, I don’t apologize.   Being a woman is what I am and I am here to stay.  I strive to be like many wonderful women before me and the ones that I know.  If I do things in a way that  you strive to do, then, thank a lot of women before me.  Being a woman is not for the weak at heart.  And, if men don’t get it, I usually start talking to them “a day in the life of” and once I see the blinking and shaking, they remind me why women are important.  That’s right, in my own subtle way, I want to change minds about how amazing women are.  Subtle, yet impacting others.

So, as I sit here, finishing invoicing, emails and panning a summer (all things late) I thank the Lord for the woman that I am.  The woman that shared a hand hold with a blue eyed boy today, that traveled our of town and back before 10a, that entertained a young lady into eating her dinner, that had a heart with a friend to give him the assurance to keep going and that powers on.

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What they mean to me

In the last couple weeks, I have had a client more days than usual.  He’s slept at my house on weekends, I’ve brought him to meetings, gone out for dinner and brought him to parties that I’ve attended or brought him to friends who have invited me over.  My staff, Sallyanne, has also brought him to things.  We don’t pay much attention to what people think or comments that are judgmental.  However, I find myself explaining who he is, that he’s a friend or why we are together.  I’ve even gotten “is he a client?” Or “what does he have?” in a whispering voice, that he can totally hear.

Let me clear this up for you.  When I show up with anybody, anybody, the only thing that is your business is what their name is.  That is the only question you are aloud to ask me and I will in turn ask them if they’d like to share the name.  Hopefully natural conversation will continue from there about life and how everyone is. 

Bringing any of my friends/clients somewhere isn’t a burden, annoying or inconvenient.  The only thing that is inconvenient is having to explain why they’re with me, what they have (yes people ask), how hard it was to get where we’re going or how nice it would be to have time to myself.  I control my own hours, where I am when and who’s with me all the time. So, having time to myself is completely up to me, even if you think it isn’t or that I don’t ave enough time for myself. So, assuming I’ve been stuck with someone is an unfair judgement.  Maybe I’ve chosen to have them over to my house or be part of my life.

Maybe its my fault?! Quite possibly after a long challenging day,  I’ve said something that makes someone think it’s hard to take care of some of my friends.  Maybe I’ve led you to this conclusion.  If I have, I’m sorry.  I love my job and my clients. Those families mean more to me than you could ever know.  Yes, they have a personal relationship with me, that goes way past care giving.  I’ve met the most interesting people, have some of the best friends and see the world differently because of my job, my friends, my brother. So while all things in life can be less than fun, amd I say something that makes it sound tedious, take it with a grain of salt. It’s not always easy, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

The child I’m talking about, loves to go out to eat.  I’ve taken him to many restaurants, but have begun taking him to my local Italian spot a few times.  I love taking him there, everyone just says “hi.”. They ask him how he is, smile with him and even make jokes with him.  They quickly pick up on his yes/no, that is non-verbal and make him feel like he’s included.  I love it!   Being with him and any of my friends/clients, brings out the best side if me.  You should want to get to know them.

So, the next time you see me with someone who uses a mobility device or has a disability don’t assume you know who they are to me.  I don’t support everyone, they could possibly just be a friend.  Include them and treat them as you would anyone.  Don’t know how, start with “hello.”

via WP for Windows app.