Thursday March 3, 2011 at 5:45 am my water broke. Being a first time mom I didn’t know what was going on. And the fact that I didn’t have any pain associated with my labor further confused me when I went to the bathroom and water gushed out. I thought it was nothing. I went back to bed only to find it wet. I thought well shoot I heard women about peeing on themselves during their last trimester but this was ridiculous. The bed was soaked. So I changed my clothes and that’s when I noticed that I was still gushing water. I of course thought I was still peeing. I called my mom who was in the next room and told her I think I need to go to the hospital. So that what we did. After hours, and I do mean hours 37 hours to be exact. No progress, I dilated only to 4 cm. I started to feel this burn and knew something was off. I buzzed the nurse and she tried to pacify me( By the way if I ever see this lady in a dark alley…). But I knew something was up. My little man had turn face up and my umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. The doctor that night came in to check on me and when she saw my face she got upset and started yelling why wasn’t sent to the OR sooner. Why was I still in this room. As they prepped me I could hear her giving the staff and earful. She was agitated and not very nice to me either for that matter since her shift was about to end. ( If I ever see her in an ally also…)
So there I was first time mom, alone, just me and the doctors. My mom had gone back to work everyone who came to visit left because it was clear there wouldn’t be a baby earlier that day. 7:30 Friday night March 4th 2011 my little guy came into the world weighing 7 lbs, 6 oz, 21 inches long. I laid in the OR and felt as they cut him out, I listened for his cry but it was silent for a beat, then came the bellowing sound of my little guy. And I thought oh God it just you, me and my little guy and I cried. I didn’t feel it at first because all the months leading up to this, it wasn’t real. It wasn’t true that my life had gotten so off course; that I lost my way so much and I was now a single mom. Something I thought would never happen to me. I had a plan. I had goals, I was suppose to be married before the baby. You know the song, “First comes love, then marriage then the baby carriage, yes me a virgin until the age of 25. I had ideas of how my life was going to be and this was not it. But I lost sight of the room I was in. I lost sight of the room full of beauty. I lost sight of the awesome power of God to birth my son and for him to come out with nothing wrong at all. I would later find the beauty when I brought him home and life began.
That was then, This is now.
Have you ever walked into a room and looked around and thought, what the heck am I doing here? I don’t belong here. Well that was the case for me this past Sunday. I arrived early to this cute store Origins in New York for an event and my heart was thumping the whole time. I knew that by the end of the day I was going to be surrounded by women who are doing or who have done amazing things. And I thought, well Phara you haven’t done anything, nobody knows or cares who you are so just stand there and smile. I kept forcing myself to talk and engage but that little voice was getting louder. As the women began to come in, inside I felt the cowardliness in me creeping up. I was fine when the first few women showed up. (And can I say, black women are beautiful and full of positive energy don’t let VH1 and Bravo fool you with the housewives, and hip hop cast.).
As the event started I watched as the women mingled and talk and shared. I talked to a couple of ladies found out what they were doing and I further thought, oh Sweet Jesus I don’t belong here! So I toyed with my phone and walked outside quite few times just so I could breathe. Then this older beautiful older woman walked by she asked what was going on and I explained the event and her face lit up. As she began to tell me when she was younger they didn’t have things like this for black women, that make up, hair and skin care product we not made readily available for black women, She told me she was 78, ( She looked at the very most 60, no lie). I accidentally introduced the district manager as the owner. So that little voice crept back in ” girl go inside stand somewhere and just smile.” Then she said to me what a beautiful sight to see, tell the women I’m proud of them. And she went about her business and walked away.
In that moment honestly it was like she slapped me to wake up. I went back into the store and made my rounds and introduced myself. And talked and began to enjoy the myself. Soon the speakers of the night began and once they started talking the light bulb clicked on. I was missing out on this room full of beauty. I was part of this room full of beautiful smart women. I wasn’t an outcast. I bought my ticket just like they had. Then a few women began to share their experiences, and they talked about the fears, the trials, dealing with family who didn’t support and I wanted to shout I am not alone.
You see I thought oh man I haven’t accomplished anything. Then one of the host asked us to share what we learned about someone else. The young lady I had spoken to told the group my plans to release my children’s books this year. And that small voice that came in with me got silent. It got silent because that young lady did for me what I know many of us wish someone would do for us. She proved she was listening, she proved she heard me, she proved I belonged here in this room full of beauty.
Then I met two ladies for the first time that I speak to on social media. One a content creator and developer for television and she blew my mind. There she was in her pregnant glory hugging me and saying nice to meet me. And this whole time I was in awe of them. When you walk into a room where you are meeting people for the first time two things happen, either you have to confidence to mingle or you don’t. When I first walked in, I didn’t. What many people don’t know is I rather stay behind the scenes, cheerleader for others all day long but once the spotlight turns on me I put my pom poms down. Then she said something and I will never forget it, ” I can take someone’s idea and bring them to meet Jesus and won’t do it for me. But this year I said, no sorry, I have to do me for a while.”
So I started to ask myself am I willing? Am I willing to endure as they have? Am I willing to fail as they have? am I willing to risk it all as they have? Am I willing to cry and have my heart broken as these women have? Am I willing to trust God as they have? You see these are the questions every woman needs to ask the next time you find yourself feeling unworthy or jealous. Because if you answered no, to even just one of these questions then you have no right to be jealous or talk about that person and their success; because you are not willing as they have. Don’t blame your sister because of your unwillingness to step out of your comfort zone.
I made the choice that I was willing. Because I do want to walk into a room full of beauty and without a doubt know that I am part of that beauty. I never want to question me again like the day I had my son and almost missed out on the beauty that is his life and to be a mom to an awesome little boy ( he is a little man). I never want to walk into a room full of wonderful women and question why the heck am I among them. A favorite bible verse of mine is from the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 18 “15 The discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out. 16 A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the prescience of the great.”
There is room for us all. Once you and I decide we belong, that our gifts are from God and no matter who is doing what, as long as you are doing God’s plan He will make a way and you will find yourself in many rooms full of beauty. So the next time I find myself in a room like Sunday, I will not doubt my presence among them. God made it so that I could be in the presence of greats in order for me to impart and partake in their knowledge and wisdom.
To the many women who were in that room on Sunday. I thank you humbly because for the first time I realized that I belong in a room full of beauty.
I love you for reading. Please like, share and follow. As always, make the day grand and make it count.