Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm So Talented... In Theory

via qthomasbower on Flickr

But who am I?  I have to know it to show it, don't I?  Perhaps I'm a poet:  
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Well, I do like to consider myself a Phenomenal Woman, but I've totally stolen borrowed the words of Maya Angelou, a much better poet than I'll ever be.

Singer and dancer, perhaps?  Of course - surely you've seen my video...

Okay, that's not me, either.  Though admittedly, my moves are almost as smooth as baby Cory's.

An astronaut, then?  Some people would say I'm pretty "out there."  What does it take to do that? (Besides hitchin' a ride, since we don't have a space shuttle anymore?)

 From Wikipedia:

 Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. After her medical education and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps from 1985 to 1987. She resigned from NASA in 1993 to form a company researching the application of technology to daily life. She has appeared on television several times, including as an actor in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She is a dancer, and holds 9 honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities.

I am now feeling seriously stoopid.  Dr. Jemison is not only incredibly talented and galactically brilliant, but smokin' hot.  Plus she has that dancing mojo working for her.
Okay, how about...

Painting?  I can smear paint on a canvas... theoretically.

Then again, perhaps I should leave art to the real talent, like TotsyMae, Alma Thomas, Cora Marshall, and Valerie Maynard.

I'm not a self-made millionaire businesswoman like Sarah (C. J. Walker) or Oprah Winfrey.

I haven't become a bank president, won a Nobel Prize, or set the world on its ear by refusing to sit at the back of the bus.

I looks at these incredible women, and sometimes I get down on myself.  Seemingly, they have accomplished so much, and I have accomplished so little.

I work a day job like millions of other Americans.  In my spare time, I write smutty little stories that I hope will become my day job, someday.  (Which are not, actually, "just" smutty little stories.  I try to write in ways that entertain, but also shine light into some dark corners.)

Out of all the women I look at and wish I was more like them in some small or large way, Marian Wright Edelman is one of my longtime top heroes.  Battling for children of all colors and abilities, for almost 40 years...

As she expresses it, “If you don’t like the way the world is, you have an obligation to change it. Just do it one step at a time.”

So, showing myself love means following my passion, doing what I can to make the world a better place.  Maybe with less grace than Beyoncé, less blinding intelligence than Mae Jemison, less money and business savvy than Oprah (hey, almost everybody's a member of that club), but I'm doing what I can, when I can.

February. Hearts and Flowers time. Time for being loved, or showing love to myself.

I may be imperfect, but I can still be a Phenomenal Woman - and so can you.  (Unless you're a guy, or transgender, in which case, just be a Phenomenal whatever you are, okay?)

Do something today to make the world a little bit better, because Phenomenal people do that kind of thing.  Find a volunteer opportunity in your community.  Give a homeless person five bucks instead of one.  Pick up trash from the street or sidewalk.  Give the dog an extra five minutes of playing fetch, or the cat an extra five minutes of stroking.  Let somebody in the lane ahead of you even though it's not his turn.  Start a recycling program at your day job.  Distract a cranky toddler in the supermarket checkout line.  The possibilities (find more here at A Year of Making A Difference) are endless.

What people do you admire and compare yourself to?
What great or small thing have you done today to show somebody 
- including yourself - some love?