My friend Timogi is an incredible woman. She is a poet, clothing designer, business woman and motivational speaker. She hosts what she calls Sistah Parties. At a Sistah Party, Timogi has a table filled with random kitschy knick knacks and two stacks of cards, one with quotes and one with questions. The women at the party each come up to the table and pick an item or a card and Timogi explains the significance and allow the women to discuss it. I love Sistah Parties and I’ve been to several. I never get bored because each party is different.
I attended a Sistah Party a few weeks ago and a woman got up and picked up what looked like a DNA molecule. She handed it to Timogi. Timogi looked at it and said, “Our DNA determines a lot of what makes us who we are. It determines our gender, our height and any number of things. But what we do with what our DNA has given us is up to us.” Then she went over to the woman who selected the molecule and handed it back to her. While she is holding it, Timogi said, “It’s in your hands.”
So many times, we let our gender, our race, or our socioeconomic background define us. When we do that, we fail to realize that our destinies, the paths we choose and the choices we make, are really in our hands. It truly is up to us.
In 2010, the only thing that can stop us is us. I am an African-American woman, I recognize that those two factors play a role in who I am and how I experience this world. Yet, those things for me are filters. They are lens that help shape my perceptions. They are not obstacles. They are not barriers. They will not stop me.
I don’t know you personally but I know that you have your struggles, your demons, and your complicated pasts. However you got to where you are, the rest is now up to you. It’s in your hands.