Today’s #dearblackgirl letter blessed us in so many ways. We are grateful for Shemeeka Wilson for sharing her powerful testimony in a very real and transparent way. We hope this letter inspires you, just as much as it inspired us. Thank you Shemeeka for taking up your pen!
Dear Black Girl,
I just wanted to take this opportunity to encourage you. Encourage you to do better, be better, press harder, fight harder and don’t give up or give in. You can, you will, and you shall be what you say you will be!!! Shall is a commandment.
As girls and women, we are faced with many challenges on a daily basis. We as girls and women, come from all different walks of life. Some of us may have grown up in the projects, some us may have been raped, some us may have had babies at young ages, dropped out of school or even became the rebellious teen (such as myself). But that doesn’t mean we have to live by the stereotypes given by such a beginning. Just because you didn’t graduate, doesn’t mean you can’t be a business owner. Just because you had a baby in your teens, doesn’t mean your life is over. Nobody dictates your life, except you, as long as you make right decisions. And just because we may have been born to such circumstances, not all of those are horrible. Maybe life was little harder because of one thing or another. But obstacles were made to overcome.
Most teens might say they came from a broken single parent home. Their parents neglected them in some way. Not my story. My story is a little different from the average. I grew up in a very loving two parent home. I’m a twin and the baby of eight. I grew up in the church. I had a good upbringing. I had a wonderful family structure. I just felt it was too strict. I never felt I fit in with the other kids, like I wanted to. I wasn’t popular. I wasn’t pretty (so they said). I couldn’t have a boyfriend. I couldn’t go to house parties. We didn’t celebrate Halloween, like other children. We couldn’t go to certain places, or dress certain ways or even talk a certain way. We weren’t allowed to watch certain things on television. I was considered what you would call the odd ball. I felt like my parents were taking the church thing to the extreme. So this caused me to rebel. I wanted to fit in.
I had a brother who was shot and killed. In that same year, a few months later, my favorite aunt passed away from breast cancer. Then in my later teen years, my mom passed away. So on top of wanting to be accepted, I was hurt and angry. I allowed myself to become bitter. And I didn’t know who, or how to express this hurt. So I became silent and sort of shut down.
I had a scholarship to college. I didn’t take it. I decided I wasn’t going to college. I didn’t need college.. So I thought!!
In my late twenties I started becoming very sick. I had so many operations I’ve lost count. I’ve had surgeries on my heart multiple times. I was in the hospital one time, and in that two week stay, I had five different surgeries. My lungs collapsed. I was on a breathing machine. I had to have a chest tube inserted into me on two different occasions in this one hospital stay. I was sent home, not to live a normal life. I later learned my kidneys were shutting down on me and my heart was only functioning at 40%. I was taking up to 13 pills a day. Later I was diagnosed with Lupus. Then they discovered tumors. I had two tumors in the breast and two in my chest. This was emotionally draining for me. I was only in my 30′s at this point. I began feeling sorry for myself.
The way the doctors wanted me to live out the rest of my days was home on disability. Not so!! I’m a fighter. I have to work. An idle mind is the devils workshop. I have to be busy.
I was so depressed. Depression is a sickness. It’s what some call “A silent killer”. I felt like I was the only woman in my 30s not married, I didn’t have children, I didn’t own my own home. I wasn’t a college graduate. I had disappointed so many people in my life. I had no real friends (so I thought). I wasn’t in a steady healthy relationship. I felt like my body was falling apart. I was sick and in pain daily. These are all the things I equated to happiness. All I could see was the negative things I had done. I was down so low, I couldn’t seem to lift myself back up.
So as you can see, it’s not just young people who feel peer pressure. I felt I needed to be in a certain status class at my age (30) which I hadn’t reached, so again, I was trying to fit in. And… it doesn’t matter how you were brought up, you can still fall victim to another lifestyle. You can be handed the world on a silver platter and still desire a taste of another lifestyle.
Moral of my story.. It doesn’t matter how you start. You have to make the choice, take a chance and make a change. I turned back to what I knew. Prayer and my relationship with God. I realized I had people in my life that cared for me. I just pushed them away because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. I began to love myself. You have to learn to forgive yourself and love yourself. Nobody knows you like you. So who can love you better than you!! Nobody but GOD!! We all make mistakes. Forgive yourself!
And also, it wasn’t until I was so broken and so beat down that I realized I had strength. I didn’t fight because I wanted to. I fought because I had to. I couldn’t stay down so low. I had to get up. I had people depending on me and watching me. Whether you know it or not, people are counting on you.
My story is not written by man. I script this story daily. The bible says in Haggai 2:9 (paraphrasing).. “My latter days shall be greater than my former”. What a wonderful promise!! I’m still living and it’s for a reason. If you woke, it’s for a reason. Share your story. We’re overcome by our testimonies. Share, empower and love others. We are helpers one to another. Stop tearing each other down. Sexy isn’t your shape. Sexy is an education.
Today I am a college student. I’m a licensed Real Estate Agent (part time). I work a job that I have been on for eight years now. I recently just plummeted into my own business venture. I’m working with a publishing company on my first book. I’m a foster parent of two beautiful little girls. Age 4 and 6.. My health has improved. I’m living the life that was intended for me. Not the life I wanted to live in show for people.
Don’t live your life trying to fit in. God has something bigger and better for you. Don’t be like me, taking years to get to your better. I rerouted my destiny by trying to go another way instead of the intended way. I was delayed by bad choices and sickness. But don’t let that be a crutch. If you can look up, you can reach up, if you can reach up someone will pull you up. When they pull you up, fight like a girl!!! And never forget where you come from. Always remember to keep your hand outstretched for the next one, who may need a helping hand.
You are a beautiful Black Queen. You are loved. You are strong. Everybody has a story. Share it. Embrace it. Your story is making and molding you into the person you are or shall be. Let’s learn to uplift one another, support each other and have each other’s back. Salute black women. Increase the peace. Decrease the hate. Everyday won’t be easy… The Struggle is Real. Count it a Blessing to be a part of it!! Besides.. I don’t look like what I been through. I’ll take that!!! I overcame and beat the odds against me and so can you.
And when it’ all said and done.. just Remember to LIVE!!!
Shemeeka Wilson is 35 years old, hailing from Springfield, Massachusetts where she works as a Patient Financial Service Representative.