Guest Blogger Diva, Alexia Robinson
Writers write…right? But this task is unusually hard because I’ve been out of practice. These days most of my writing is centered around lesson plans and novel quizzes. That’s not very diva-esque…so what do I say in this space???
Well it’s been on my heart to write to my girls in Ladies First. These are the daughters I have not borne, the little sisters from other misters, the young women who will one day be mothers, wives and mentors. What I need to tell them is, “I love you. I care what happens to you and I want to spare you as much pain as possible. I am a guarded person, I’m not into showing emotion, I don’t really get attached to people. But each of you has impacted me in a different way and I grow with each meeting, each mistake, each laugh, and each tear. I am just now learning that wall I’ve built to keep hurt out is the same wall that keeps love out. So I’m learning to love a little bit deeper with each day that passes.
We all have different experiences and we all have a different way of coping with things, whether they are positive or negative. What I know for sure is that no matter what happens to you, you are always in control of how you respond to it. Your reaction is what shapes you. Character is developed in times of hardship and pain. Will you wallow in self-pity or let your setbacks be a setup for even greater success? I always tell my students that excuses are tools of incompetence. It’s something I was told in high school but couldn’t appreciate until I was in college when I let someone down that I cared about. At this point in my life I don’t make excuses for myself. Yes, I was raised in a single parent home and my mother didn’t graduate from college. But yes, I am a college graduate and am planning to go to graduate school in the fall. Yes, my father has been in jail for most of my life. But yes, I am determined that my child’s father will be everything my father could not be to me. Yes, I’ve had my heart broken. But yes, I still find reasons to love people. Yes, I’ve been lied to. But yes, I am more honest because I know what lies can do to people. Yes, I’ve struggled with self-esteem. But yes, I am certain that I was created in God’s own image, so what’ not to love?
I said all of this to say that I am a work in progress. When I was your age I thought I had it all figured out and I was right of about some things. But as the elders say, keep living. You will learn so much more about yourself and people and realize that what you know now will change as you mature. Realize that we all have work to do on ourselves and that we will make mistakes and we will hurt each other in our growing. Just never intend to hurt someone because you are hurting. Never intentionally make someone feel ugly because you don’t feel pretty. Never intend to lower someone’s confidence because you’re lacking it. And if you do crush someone’s spirit, be woman enough to apologize and be sincere enough to restore them. Reject negativity and surround yourself with people who strive for the best and want the best for you and can pull it out of you. And of course, always hold your head up and put being a lady first.
The Ladies First Organization is a group that emphasizes scholarship, service and sisterhood. It was founded with the intent to provide an atmosphere in which the young women at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Fla., are engaged in activities that promote high standards, sophistication, and moral aptitude. If you’re interesting in joining us in our efforts to transform a generation of women, please contact Alexia Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexia Robinson is a Literacy Coach at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Fla.