In preparation for my 2nd speaking engagement with 8th grade girls of color in the Newton Metco program, I decided to ask women I knew for their feedback. I decided to use facebook as my focus group. What better place than facebook to get advise, right? I asked , in a status update ” What did you wish you knew at 13-15, that you know now that you wish someone had told you.” Over 20 women chimed in and helped me craft a list of our gems post our teenage years.
I want to thank those women who gave me great lessons and reminded me of even greater things to share.
So, Here it goes:
25 Things I wish I knew as a Teen for Beautiful Black Girls
- I matter. I’m dope. I am good enough.
- I love MY(SELF). I will learn to have Self- worth. Self-respect. Self-esteem. & Self-love.
- I will be driven & determined. I know that obstacles I will face in life will prepare me for great opportunities.
- I will carry myself like a QUEEN. I will learn to only accept positive and reinforcing attention.
- I will be proud of my ethnicity, race and color. I will celebrate who I am and where I come from.
- I will not always win, but I will always try. Sometimes, I will hear NO and it will be ok. Try again.
- Just because I do not see what I want to be in my life, doesn’t mean I cant be great or what I want to be.
- I know for sure, that Yes, Girls CAN. I can do anything I set my mind to do.
- I am my own best company and friend. I will not be afraid to stand alone.
- I am a girl. These are the best years of my life, I get to begin creating my own Destiny. I will not rush to be a woman. I will have fun growing up.
- I am bright. I know Intelligence is always beautiful. Therefore, I will not be ashamed of being SMART.
- I will protect myself and be my own rescue. I will speak up for myself & learn to save myself.
- I will take care of my mind and body, to always seek to remain healthy.
- I will not shrink MYSELF to make other people feel comfortable. I will SHINE.
- I will see other girls and women as Allies, not my Enemies. They are my sister and we will not always agree, but there is no need to be disrespectful.
- I will be careful of social media and doing things that impact my reputation, image or put me in danger.
- I will not be afraid to ask for help. Or for what I believe I deserve. I will be inquisitive, always asking questions.
- I know its ok to Fail. Failure is good. I will learn from all my failures.
- I will make a lot of mistakes in life, but they do not totally define me. There is no such thing as being perfect. They are my lessons, not my losses. I will be resilient & bounce back after each lesson
- I will be brave. I will not be a follower and will do my own thing. I will step out of my comfort zone often. I will be bold. I am a leader. I will not be afraid to be me.
- I know there is so much time in life for Boys and/or other relationships. I will NOT NEED to focus on that & them, right now.
- I will not worry about what unkind things other people say or think about me. Or the unfair things that will happen to me. Their remarks and actions are reflections of their own insecurities. Not mine.
- I am beautiful. I do not need to be dressed up, or have make up or fitted with the best accessories and additives of any kind to make me feel beautiful. I do not need to be TOLD that I am beautiful, to feel and believe that.
- I will Pay Myself First. Which means, I will learn to be Financially literate & economically self-sufficient. I will earn positively what I need to survive & be sustained.
- I will be an independent thinker, but also a team player. Always reminding myself, that nobody succeeds in life totally alone.
Bonus: Friendship will be the most important thing in your life, after self-love. Learn to be a good, growing and better friend. I know what you see on TV, shows women at odds with one another , all the time but that is not the way to go about developing strong and lasting friendships. Learn to be forgiving and supportive to your friends.
25 Things I wish I knew in 8th Grade for Beautiful Black Girls
– Liz Miranda & Friends, Speaker
Presented to NEWTON,MA METCO 8 graders, March 24th, 2015