Recently, I have been reflecting on the character, qualities and accomplishments that partly define my being as a woman and the women of my family. While growing up you notice patterns that describe your mother, grandmother, aunts, sisters, nieces, female cousins, close family friends and childhood girl friends. Some of those qualities are strength, understanding, humor, intellect, vibrancy, attitude, style, grace, love, nurturing, religion, forgiveness, ambition, determination and focus.
I realized those qualities is what produced fine character in the woman I know.
It's the same qualities and characteristics that made us strive,achieve and reach for the best of our soul. When I struck out on my own to find the woman I would become, I sought out people who had an understanding of a woman's work and what that meant to the world. No doubt, it meant bringing all those positive self affirmations as a contribution to our families and community.
When I entered College as a young woman who was vulnerable and uncertain of her image and journey, I waited for an epiphany to strike me at the tender and fragile age of 21. I thought some shower of wisdom would pour down on me and in all my overly confident natural beauty and artistic intellect, that the world would see the light and reward me for my enlightenment. Well, what Can I say, I was truly feeling it. The good thing was I enjoyed my own company and still do. It does not take long before you realize that your not the center of the earth as life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you of your place in this universe.
I got off track and had not practiced drawing from my inner strength because that voice would have told me you have all those qualities and characteristics inside of you that was passed down and taught to you by the women that came before you. As I became more confident as a student and matured closer to womanhood, I constantly reminded myself to apply those family traits to my daily life.
While on campus interning with the Wayne State University (Detroit) College Day program, I heard about how the "Women of Wayne" which nickname is (W.O.W.) and how they assisted some of my female colleagues with scholarships, resources and support to uplift females in academics, research, service and networking. The alumni group shared similar qualities the women in my family had passed on to me and I admired the W.O.W. contribution to the university and community as my co-workers and many female students have benefited from (W.O.W's)resources and services.
I have some amazing women in my family and have met some amazing fellow women alumni.
Who we are and what we have become is nothing surprising or new to us because it is a long and distinguished history. I am proud of the women in my family and female colleagues. So, if we seem a little too strong for those who have not met us or known our life history then understand that it's called the W.O.W. Factor!!
Let Your Inner Voice RISE-
Gloria J Harden-Bailey
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