With the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou last week, I have been reading and re-reading all the tributes to her and all the quotes that have been associated with her.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
She was an incredible woman, to say the least. I watched Oprah’s Legend’s Ball (again) over the weekend and had an unexpected emotional response. I don’t believe I reacted the same way in 2005 when it first aired and that may be because so many of the legends that were honored are now gone. I was so struck by the genuine sense of love and respect that the women shared for each other.
"Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time."
It was refreshing because in today’s world of reality television and women participating in physical altercations on a regular basis, it felt good to remember that Black women can actually support, honor and respect each other.
I’m glad to be in the generation of women who were blessed to benefit from the wisdom that Dr. Angelou so freely shared. The greatest lesson that I have learned (and probably always knew) over these past few days is simply that I am enough.
I have insecurities like anyone else but deep down, to my core, I know that I am enough. I don’t require approval or validation from anyone. I am enough. To spend more time than I should caring about what people who aren’t paying my bills think about me and wouldn’t approve of me no matter what I did is distracting me from my purpose.
Strong women like Dr. Angelou, Coretta Scott King, Ruby Dee, Rosa Parks and countless others set an example and paved the way so women of my generation could enjoy success of varying degrees.
"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."
In my opinion, to not claim that … to not walk in that truth is almost an act of disobedience. I wake up every single morning and the first thing I do is thank God for allowing me to see another day. It is my goal to make the most of each day that I am blessed with. To not just struggle to get through but to enjoy each moment and recognize the days for the gifts that they are.
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
This life is a blessing. We all have a purpose. We owe it to ourselves to fearlessly move forward in that purpose.
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a b***h. You've got to go out and kick ass."
Rest in Peace, Maya.