Have you ever heard that saying “their are people in your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime”? Well this phrase was proven in my life this very week. I found myself reflecting on my connections; thinking about everyone in my inner circle and those who I allow access to me. I began to realize that while some people who have been in my life since I was a little girl appear to be some of those “lifetime” people, there are some people whose time has expired in my life. Sometimes in life you realize that you and some of your connections are on different levels, look at things differently or have simply grown apart. However, many of us (I say us bc I’m including myself in this) become so comfortable with these individuals or so afraid of what our lives would be without them that we neglect letting go of a connection that could be detrimental to our purpose. Believe it or not expired connections in your life can bring a frustration to your purpose and a hinderance to your pursuit. Expired connections can also be distractions in your life. You may spend so much time trying to fix something that is not meant to be apart of your life anymore that you focus less on what is. Often times it is really hard to let some connections go, especially if they have played a major role in your life. However, while in pursuit to our purposes we must understand that in order to reach fulfillment we must make sacrifices. These sacrifices will not feel good at the moment, but once you have reached your destiny, you will realize that it was the best desicion that you have ever made. You cannot enter your next chapter if you have not yet finished the previous chapter. Let go! Your future will thank you for it.
Although the main purpose of is blog site is to outreach teach and inspire young women, it also gives me the opportunity to share with my experiences, things that I have learned in the journey to fulfilling my purpose and the contents of my heart. Therefore I would like to dedicated this post to the components of my heart. My greatest supporters. My biggest help next to God. My Superman and Wonder Woman. My parents. As I was on my way home from work today, I began to reflect on many situations in my life. I began to reflect on everything that I have accomplished so far in my life. I began to think about everything that I am pursuing currently in my life. I them began to realize that I would not have been able to do any of it, first without the grace and favor of God, but also without the love and support of my parents. Although they separated when I was very young, they both did everything they could to ensure that I would not lack for anything. Even though there are times when I feel smothered and misunderstood by them, I am beyond grateful that God privileged me to call these two people mom and dad. These two people along with my Pastor, family members and other very influential people in my life helped me to define my purpose. They pushed me into the direction of my purpose and have helped and supported me throughout my pursuit. For that I am so grateful. In establishing the PurposefullyPretty organization, I hope to somehow play the same role that my parents have played in my life to a young woman who may not have that strong foundation as I have been blessed with. I pray that I can transfer all of the help, support and inspiration that my parents have been to me to the young women of PurposefullyPretty. I truly thank God for giving me role models to show me how to be a role model. My mother and father are the reasons why I AM PurposefullyPretty.
I am sure that every woman including myself has had that dream of finding “Mr. Right” and living happily ever after. Furthermore, I am sure that many young women, including myself has had point of believing that they will never find “Mr. Right”. Nowadays it seems as if guys are maturing slower and slower, making it hard to settle down. This is something that many young women are ready for at a fairly young age. The media, especially reality tv and sitcoms do not stand as any form of encouragement when it comes to the idea of love in the black community. We have shows such as Love and Hip Hop and Scandal, which delineate dysfunctional male and female relationships; divorce, infidelity, broken homes and many other situations that suggest that it is impossible for a black man and woman to have a healthy and successful relationship. Even in our everyday lives, I know many young people who are the product of, or have experienced dysfunctional relationships between their parents and/or other adults that are around them. Society, experience and the media almost convinced me that black love does not exist.
One night, while watching one of my favorite shows Real Housewives of Atlanta, I took notice to the relationships that each of the main characters had with their significant others. I admired how the married couples on the show communicated, interacted and expressed their love for one another. I paid close attention to the difference between RHOA and other shows. There was no “baby mama drama”. The men were not disrespecting their significant others. There was no arguing, fighting, lack of commitment”sleeping with someone else’s husband” or complete irate behavior in the relationships depicted on this show. I can honestly say that this is one of the only shows on television that depict that it is possible to be African American and be happily married or in love. Not to say that this show was the only reason why I feel that black love does exist, but watching the interactions between the husband and wives and fiances remind me that it is still possible to be African American and in a prosperous relationship.
For all of you young women out there that believe that black love no longer exists, please understand that it does! Your parents may have split up or divorced in the midst of your childhood or adolescence, but that does not have to be your fate. You may have witnessed infidelity amongst your parents or have seen your mother or father with many partners, but that does not have to be you. You may have witnessed disrespect, abuse or overall unhappiness amongst your parents, but you do not have to deal with that in your relationships. Black love still exists, however you must be prepared for it once it presents itself. Once you have lived enough to learn all that is needed to equip you for a successful relationship your Mr. Right will come. Once you have aligned and are en route to fulfilling your purpose all other things will fall into place. As I have stated once before, the PurposefullyPretty motto for 2013 is “Working on a Better Me”. Lets make that our main focus, so that when love presents itself we do not mirror what we have seen our parents go through or what we have seen on television. Before you can’t be successful with anyone, you have to first be a successful you!
C’mon ladies! Lets continue to Strive to be PurposefullyPretty💖
To all of my PurposefullyPretty readers, I hope 2013 has been treating you well thus far. As for me, I can’t complain. Any day that I wake up is another day closer to fulfilling my purpose. In other news, I think I’ve finally figured out my New Years resolution. I know that I’m 13 days late but I really had to decide what it is that I would like to change or work on this year. While many of you have made the resolution to lose weight or change your diet, my resolution is a bit more personal. I am truly hoping that this year I can work toward becoming a better me. So many great things are happening for me and my future is looking very bright. However, I want to be sure that I am prepared for all the greatness that is in store for me. I would hate to get to my “great place” and mess it up due to inclusions in my character. My prayer for 2013 is that I am able to resolve everything in my character that will hinder me from pursuing or fulfilling my purpose. This year I want to grow both mentally and emotionally. I want to learn to deal with things better. I want to be able to look past trivial matters and focus on the bigger picture. This year I want to be able to deal with people and situations accordingly without becoming caught up in emotionalism. I hope to adapt patience and learn to accept things that I do not understand. This year I am focusing moving forward. There is nothing more important to me at this point in my life than living out my purpose. I am hoping that all of my PurposefullyPretty readers have plans to work toward fulfillment this year. I hope that you all join me in working on eradicating all of the things that are hindering your pursuit. Lets work on our character this year. A good character is one of the components required in successfully fulfilling your purposes. Many of the things that we entertain really don’t matter. Lets learn to distinguish what will aid us in the road to our destinies and what will not. Lets make 2013 a year like none other. My prayer is that all of my PurposefullyPretty ladies and even the young women that are striving to be PurposefullyPretty become greater people pursuing great things this year.
PurposefullyPretty’s motto for 2013, “Working on a Better Me”.
Sanche Graham, 2011 Stonybrook University Alumnus and 2015 MD candidate for Howard University has possessed all of the qualities of a PurposefullyPretty young woman, making her our first G.T.A for 2013! When Sanche was asked to give a synopsis on why she is PurposefullyPretty this is what she said:
“I’ve been a dreamer since I was a child. I grew up believing nothing was out of my reach so I paved a pathway for myself to attain my medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. This dream was developed when I was in junior high school. I learned quickly that when you share your big dreams with people, you are either sharing them with people who doubt you or people who are going to encourage you. I met many people who told me that I should have a plan B, C, and D because my plan A was way too high and almost out of reach in their eyes. Instead of letting that get to me I just turned my faith up, made a life plan, and tried my hardest to stick to it until my plan A was right in front of me.
Along the way I have tried very hard to encourage young children growing up in disadvantaged areas or areas that are underrepresented in the medical field. I realized very early that not seeing people who look like you or people who come from your neighborhood in your field can be very discouraging. I worked with the Youth Development Coordinator at Thomas Edison HS to start a program, The Summer Leadership Institute, to cultivate a culture of excellence among entire student body. Every summer a group of students were selected to participate in the program. The students would be trained in communication skills and presentation skills. Towards the end of the program students would write workshops geared towards elementary school students and/or their parents on topics such as bullying. This was a very special program for me; seeing other students present and feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose was both rewarding for me and also for them. Many of the students started performing better academically and becoming more involved with community service.
I also stay very active with the youth department at Victory Church of Christ. While living in queens, I functioned as a junior youth leader. I helped the youth rehearse for various performances and weekly we would hold a youth bible study. Although I no longer live in New York, try to maintain a connection with the youth there to encourage them to maintain their faith in all aspects of their life because without faith it is very hard to stay encouraged when you hit a those bumps in the road. While at Stony Brook University, I was a member of the Women in Sciences and Engineering (WISE) honors program. While women are underrepresented in science and mathematics, black women are even more underrepresented. Each year, in our program, there were only ~5 black women in a group of ~50 women. I made it a mission to attain the position of president on the executive board so that other young women in the high schools and junior high schools that we visited could see more diversity in the program and actually see themselves in my position or higher. Many times after we finished workshops a few black students would come up to me to ask me about my background; the shock on their faces when I tell them that I grew up in Jamaica, Queens makes all the community service I try to do worth it. When I get emails from the students letting me know of their accomplishments, I am even more motivated to remain in the community that raised me and continue to excel so that others can realize that I’m no different from any of them.
I have achieved my fair share of awards and certificates along the years, but when asked to share my accomplishments I choose to speak about my impact on others. If I can help someone attain their dreams as I try to make mine come true then that’s a real accomplishment.”
Sanche Graham is PurposefullyPretty!