I LIKE ME.
Last night, after experiencing a full day of agitating and negative news from around the world, I sought to “lose myself” by reading some of my past writings. I spent hours scanning old compositions...reviewing stacks of forgotten photographs—and slowly relaxed, finally enjoying a much-needed calm.
I felt good, seeing how my writing had progressed… how I’d learned to produce more descriptive sentences without expanding my words. It feels good knowing I can write with maturity while maintaining an energetic level of innocence and childlike-curiosity. Yes, I’m a full-grown woman but I haven’t lost my childhood.
Believe me….I don't need to march around town in some obnoxious-pussy-hat to identify as a “real” woman. I don't need to march with a bunch of liberal females to show-off my independence or my importance. My life’s many one-of-a-kind experiences have taught me to appreciate who-I-am...at every age. As an older woman living alone, I keep being tested, challenged, and graded….yet I easily meet the challenges, pass the tests, and receive high grades.
Over and over, year after year, I prove my worthiness and my intelligence. I’m proud of who I am, what I’ve achieved, so… don’t doubt me. Most importantly, I defied incredible odds when--all by myself--I proved I could turn an impossible dream….into a successful reality.
It didn't happen quickly. And....it was only after years of complicated searches to find myself......that I discovered my indomitable spirit.
Without fail, there are always the doubters, those who question your credibility or your abilities; those who try to back you against “the wall” and expect you to crumble, cry, and run away.
Only when you know yourself, like yourself, and understand your strength…can you stand tall, without wavering. And, that's when you make the doubters, the critics, and the skeptics “fold their tents and silently steal away.”
The following is an excellent example of how pressure, particularly from today's Press, can challenge even the strongest among us:
"In 1989, during a Houston press conference soon after China granted me permission to travel their Great Wall, a newspaper reporter surprised me with a question no one had ever asked:
"Is it possible that after forty years of "dreaming the dream" that nothing but“dreaming” was all it was ever meant to be? Aren't you frightened out-of-your-mind to attempt such an impossible dream-- especially now-- at your age? Although you have secured China’s permission to travel their Great Wall, aren’t you panicked, having second-thoughts, fearful that you’ll probably fail to succeed in China then-- look foolish---and embarrass yourself in front of the entire world?!?!?”
Regaining my composure after such a lengthy and verbal confrontation, I assured the reporter that, since the fourth grade, my lifetime goal had always been to activate my Great Wall Dream….that “No, I've never been just a dreamer of dreams.” I suggested the reporter research my background to document my accomplishments and successes….before implying my project--ALL THE WALL--- might be more of a “publicity stunt.” As for my age, I'd never lived by the numbers; age had never limited my possibilities.
Another reporter, a young female, was able to interject one question before the lively press conference ended. Actually, her question was more of a sarcastic statement than a legitimate question: “And, since every national news headline carries your former Miss Arkansas title, does that mean we, the public, can expect to see you running The Great Wall in your high heels, wearing a swimsuit, and flaunting your Beauty Queen Crown?” Never under-estimate the power of spiteful, jealous women who pretend to be “Professional" Journalists."
After successfully completing my journey of The Great Wall of China, I was approached by a Chinese reporter, a "real" professional journalist, who knew how to ask a well-researched question-- in a short period of time-- without insulting my intelligence.
The bilingual journalist, who wrote for China’s most important newspaper-- PEOPLE’S DAILY--challenged me to summarize—in one sentence-- my long-standing “love affair” with China’s Great Wall.
Hesitating only a second or two, I proudly responded:
"The Great Wall of China inspired me as a child; challenged me as an adult; and empowered me as a woman."
Yes, it took years but today.... I value myself as an independent woman. Unlike the days when I was a "pleaser".... I will never again feel the need to rely on others or " prove myself" to those around me.
These days, I am confident in who and what I am. Every day, the only person I need to satisfy...is me.