Life doesn’t always go as we plan. While growing up we all try to be great kids, get good grades, go to college and become successful people. However, one way or another it doesn’t always go that smoothly. I know mine didn’t but that’s another post for another day.
Society is quick to tell a woman that they should be married with kids by the age of 30. If their not then something is wrong with them. Then once you have kids society says that your life stops and your dreams are halted until your kids are grown.
Why are these the expectations for women?
Who said these are the rules?
There are two women in my life that I look up to that live completely different lives but have one thing in common. They have not let life or society detour their road to pursuing their dreams. Even though these two women are a few years younger than me I really admire their hard work and dedication. With that being said I want you to know that looking up to someone younger than you is not strange at all. There are many women in the world who may be younger than you in age but wiser than you in experience.
The first young lady happens to be my baby sister Catherine. Growing up we hardly got along because our personalities are very different. Cathy has always been bold, adventurous and feisty. She remembers the smallest detail about everyone and is very detailed oriented. So when she said she wanted to go into Law Enforcement it caught us off guard because we thought she was going to become a reporter with how easily she can get information from people. When you think about Law Enforcement you think about hardcore people who are bigger then most. In my sisters case, she weighs just a little over 100 Ibs and is 4’11. Complete opposite of what you would consider an officer to be right! The reason why i consider my sister as one of my motivators is because regardless of what she has gone through and what society has said she cannot do because of her stature she overcame every objection. Growing up my sister was not that child that got good grades, in fact if there was a week that went by that my parents didn’t receive a phone call from the school that was considered a good week. School just wasn’t her thing. However she has always been the type of person that once she sets her mind on doing something there is no talking her out of it. I guess that is one thing that we have in common. Once she set her mind that she was going to become a Police Officer she did all the research, did all the schooling, trained for the physical exams and never gave up. I believe the moment she walked across the stage with a Criminal Justice Degree was a turning point for her. She proved to herself and to others that doubted her, that no matter what anyone may think, anything is possible as long as you have faith and you work hard. Shortly after graduating college she accepted a position at the Cook County Jail where she maintained a position there as a Correctional Officer for 5 years. She encountered the worst people you can think of, murders, rapist, people who had just given up on life, people who would serve their time and be back in a few months because there was nothing out there for them. She decided it was time to get out of the Jail and work in the streets where she can hopefully prevent people from ending up in Jail. Last year she accepted a position as a Chicago Police Officer where she went through intense training and because of her stature she was physically tested by her peers and her instructor. My father got the privilege of pinning her star on her vest and all we did was pray. It takes a very strong woman to endure everything that she had to endure for these last 6 years physically and mentally. When asked what drives her she directed me to a scripture in the Bible Proverbs 28:1, “ The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” When you have a passion and your goal may seem far fetched to others always remember that you have a purpose in life that no one but you can fullfil. Who cares what you look like or what society has labeled you as, society isn’t living your life you are.
The other young lady I have had the pleasure of calling my sister for 12 years now is Destine Young. Destine has always had a passion for the arts and has always been multi-talented. Her artistic skills include singing, dancing, and painting. Her relationship with God and being able to inspire greatness in the lives of others is what drives her. Growing up she wanted to be many things but leading up to college she chose to pursue Broadcast Journalism to become a news anchor. Destine values education and takes every opportunity to learn new things very seriously. After graduating high-school she attend Columbia College Chicago. During her second semester she was introduced to the dance and it changed her life forever. Needless to say, this was the moment Destine realized and accepted her purpose in life. To become a dancer! Continuing on to pursue a career Destine has had the opportunity to be apart of many professional dance companies. However, her biggest dream was to have her own dance company, develop her own dance technique and teach at the university level. You can ask her yourself and she will tell you that being a professional dancer is not easy, financially. In order to be successful you have to really put yourself out there and be available which can be difficult to balance when you play many roles. In her case, Destine is married and has a son so as a wife, mother and professional dancer the world is continuously telling her that her dream as a dancer needs to change to a 9-5 job to support her family. Society has already labeled her as unavailable because she has a family and cannot dedicate herself to dance. Or that she can't have dance and be available for her family too! Either way, that hasn’t stopped her yet! In fact, I remember her still performing at Columbia and teaching throughout the city during her entire pregnancy. Talk about perseverance! Since graduating she has traveled to Uganda with Red Clay Dance Company to learn more traditional African dance, teach Afro-Contemporary Dance and build a collaborative dance work with an international company called Keiga Dance to premiere at Columbia this fall. By the way, this is a pretty big deal in the dance industry right now. Just saying! Even with all of this, she has managed to launch her very own dance company called Ground Rhythm Dance Project all while raising her 2 year old son and being happily married for nearly 7 years. I say all this to show you that your dreams do not end when you start a family. In this story Destine's resilience and commitment to fight and grind for her dreams opened the door for more opportunities for her to walk in her purpose. Even though you will have people telling you that your time has expired and to sit down, it is up to you to show your child and those around you how to fight for their dream no matter what the world says.
Never let society tell you what you can and cannot do. It is up to you to live your life to its full capacity.