I remember just a little over three years ago when I quit my job at a church one of the first things I thought was, “I am free.” There were so many facets to who I was becoming as a woman that I kept hidden and squashed down inside of me because I didn’t want to live my life in a way that ‘offended’ anyone. Finally, I was free to say, do and be whatever I wanted without the constant thought or threat of what other people would think. One of the most important things for me was that I was finally able to write whatever I wanted to write. I was no longer censored. If I had an opinion, I could share it. If I wanted to write a curse word I could and in fact, I had the audacity to start this blog and call it Write Some Shit. Trust me, 3 years ago I would not have done that but who I am becoming allowed me to embrace my freedom and let go of my fear of being Hannah.
One woman I have watched over the years step into her own and that has helped me step into my own is Beyoncé. Her songs have been the soundtrack to pivotal points in my life from Survivor to Formation, and now as I spread my wings to step into the fullness of a woman on the verge of changing the world, each morning that I wake up, I listen to Grown Woman. There are several lessons I have learned from this song as I listen to the lyrics and if you are a woman that is becoming, transforming and stepping into the fullness of being a grown woman, hopefully, these lessons will be helpful to you.
1. I remember being young, tough, brave
I knew what I needed
I was spending all my nights and days
Laid back daydreaming
Have a dream. And your dream is YOUR dream. It is not anyone else’s dream, and you do not have to explain it to anyone else. You know what you need. You see the gift that God has placed inside of you. Since I was a little girl, I always loved reading and writing. It consumed me. I thought about writing day and night. I have lost relationships over the fact that I write all the time. I cannot change that. It is a dream that was placed inside of me since I was a little girl. It is what I am on this earth to do. And now that I am grown I still am dreaming and believing knowing that I haven’t even scratched the surface of everything I will do with this gift. Dare to dream and when you do, dream big!
- Look at me – I’m a big girl now,
Said I’m gon’ do something
Told the world I would paint this town
Now betcha I run this
Speak the things you desire into existence. Beyoncé said she was “gon’ do something and told the world she would paint this town and not only paint the town but run it.” In fact, in September 2018, Beyoncé was named the most powerful woman in music. She dreamed it, she spoke it, and she worked to become it. Whatever it is that you want to be, speak it into existence, write it down and then do the work to be that.
- ‘Cause I put it (down like that, d-down like that)
And I’m making (all these racks, a-all these racks)
For those that may read this blog and don’t know African American Vernacular English, racks means money. Make your money. Beyoncé makes no apologies about making money and being paid what she is worth. Understand your value and never apologize for asking for your worth.
- And I’m moving (round like that, r-round like that)
When I do it (I don’t look back, d-don’t look back)
One thing I love and have learned about Beyonce is that when she does something, she doesn’t look back. She doesn’t second guess what she has done. If you are going to do something, commit to it and don’t look back. Make your choices with confidence knowing there will be people in the world that do not like your choices. There may even be a backlash. I used to second guess things that I wrote all the time wondering what people would think. What would they say if I said a curse word or wrote something erotic? Now I don’t care. Now I write it, and I will not apologize for it. Before I look back or take anything back, I will add more to it.
- They love the way I walk
‘Cause I walk with a vengeance
When Beyoncé enters a room, the world knows she has entered the room. Do not just walk into your authority, walk with authority. Walk with your head held high. Enter the room in a way that you cannot be denied. Enter a room in a way that says, I am here, and I belong here.
- And they listen to me when I talk
‘Cause I ain’t pretendin’
You do not have to speak all the time to have something of value to say. Beyoncé doesn’t do many interviews so when she does speak the world pauses and listens because we believe she is going to say something of value. In another song, Feeling Myself, Beyonce says,
Changed the game with that digital drop
Know where you was when that digital popped
I stopped the world
Male or female, it makes no difference
I stop the world, world stop
She knows when she does anything she can stop the world! The world will pause for a moment. That is power.
I get asked to comment on things all the time. However, I do not want to be more noise in a room of echoes. When I speak, I want the world to pause because I have said something of value. I have said something to shift the atmosphere. I have said something that makes people pause and reconsider things. I want people to pause and think about race in America and how they have contributed (or not) to making this world a better place. Always ask yourself am I adding to this conversation in a way that will be beneficial or am I just making more noise to hear myself talk?
- It took a while, now I understand
Just where I’m going
I know the world, and I know who I am
It’s ’bout time I show it
Confidence is a beautiful thing. It is okay to stand up and say I know who I am and I know where I am going. I love that Beyonce says, “It took a while,” because sometimes it does take a while but if you are breathing it is never too late to understand who you are and to show the world. Being a grown woman has nothing to do with age. You can be 75 years old and not reached grown woman status. Being a grown woman is about who you are on the inside. Who are you waiting on to give you permission to be great? How long do you want to play small? How long do you want to place your life on the back burner? When will you stand up and show the world just who you are?
- I can be bad if I want
I can say what I want
I can live fast if I want
I can go slow all night long
You can be all things! Stop allowing this world to define you. I have never been one to color inside the lines. For years people would say, “Hannah is a poet,” and indeed I am and I am no longer afraid to say I am one of the best poets. However, I am not just a poet. I am a public speaker, an author, a blogger. I am a myriad of things because I not just gifted to do one thing. I bring the fullness of who I am into all experiences to point towards one goal, liberation.
- I’m a grown woman
And I know that I got it (got it, got it)
I’m a grown woman
Ain’t got no room in my pockets
I’m a grown woman
Look down, got you so excited
I really want to know if you got it like that
‘Cause you got a cute face
And a booty so fat
I love this verse. It is a verse about embracing your sexuality, knowing that you are a sexual being. And women are allowed to be sexy. Powerful women are allowed to be sexy. Women that are mothers are allowed to be sexy. Women that are on the front lines of movements are allowed to be sexy. Women that are religious are allowed to be sexy. Women do not need permission from the world to be sexy. I embrace my curves. I love my lips and my hips and my round behind! I am embracing all of it. I have a poem called I Am Still A Woman that I wrote because people thought because of my former job I wasn’t supposed to be a sexual being. But I am, and the first lines say: I am still a woman, so I’m sorry if my arousal makes you blush. I am sorry if my sexiness seems a bit too much. You see every morning that I open my eyes, I am well aware of my wet, delicious lips, and I do mean that ones that are in between my thighs…
Stop letting people dictate to you about your sexiness. OWN IT!
- And finally, I’m a grown woman, I can do whatever I want!
Period. I am grown. I have worked incredibly hard to get to this point in my life. A point where I love me. I love the me that is staring back at me in the mirror. I am confident, and I own where I am going in life. The girl I was 20 years ago is not me now. I am fully aware of the woman I am and the woman I am becoming. I can do whatever I want and I do not need permission from anyone to do it! I am grown. And I do grown woman shit!
To all the women reading this blog, GO OUT TODAY AND BE GROWN BECAUSE YOU DESERVE TO BE!
Categories: Thoughts, Musings and Reflections