the Super Sistah Blog

Be Super. Watch Yourself Soar

Bitter Best Friend January 18, 2011

My sister says that when I walk down the street people see me coming. She claims I have a bounce to my step and an attitude that says here I come or for my Jamaican readers, “see mi ya.” I never gave her observation much thought.  But recently I realized that not only was I not bouncing, I was dragging and moving slow. There was no pep to my step and no fire in my blood.  I started to disappear. When I entered a room no one did a double take and when I walked down the street no one’s gaze held mine. These were things that happened to me regularly which I had taken for granted as my right. People always stared at me. I never knew why. Didn’t care.  It certainly wasn’t because I was beautiful or had any striking features that made me stand out.  I generally attributed the curious stares to the fact that when I was ready I knew how to vibrate. I knew how to unconsciously convey the message, “look at me, I’m important.” Someone must have blown up my bull horn because I’d gone silent. I attribute this silencing to the old saying that ‘you are what you say you are.’

Recently I fought with my evil twin. Amidst all the hoorays, good jobs and high fives I gave myself, I was also sneaking in some put downs. As I told myself I was pretty behind my back I whispered for a big girl.  While I told myself I was smart, snidely I said, so why aren’t you more successful, dumb ass? While I was telling myself I was well-liked, to my secret self I admitted, yeah for someone who has no friends. I was my own bitter best friend like the sister that always has positive things to say to you while hiding the voodoo doll with your likeness in her backpack.

I have to kill the secret side conversations going on in my  head. When negative thoughts intrude shake the venom free. Learn to push pause on the auto play button when its starts to sing songs of acrimony. I’m not the positive affirmation chick with the Hare Krishna Hammer pants and tambourine so this is going to take some work.  Does anyone have any techniques that might help that doesn’t include shaving my head bald except for two wispy ponytails on the side?

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Bitch & Her Boots January 12, 2011

I had a pair of bitchin’ moon boots back when I was young. I don’t want to date myself but for the infants they are like slouchy boots minus twenty plus years. Back then I already had a healthy self-esteem but in those boots I thought I was the shit. Coming to school that day I was all swagger with my beaded braids swinging, shoulders thrown back and an attitude that already screamed F*%# You, even though I was too young to swear. I was fierce and gangster. I was unaware, but already I had a kiss my ass mentality forming inside. I started down the school playground and treated it like a runway. I began with a sedate walk but as I neared my friends I could have sworn I heard the beat of Billy Jean playing in my ear. With every step I took the concrete path lit up just for me.  Michael’s glimmer socks and loafers couldn’t touch me. I had on my moon boots and I was on fire.  I expected my friends to love the look, congratulate me on my style and ask me to be their pre-pubescent stylist. Instead I got dirty looks, hate and whispers. Huh. What the hell!  Come again? I didn’t understand what everyone was so mad about. It didn’t matter. I never wore my moon boots again. Today, I wish I could pull that little girl aside and warn her not kill her fabulousness on the playground. It would take decades to rebuild.  I missed my chance. I’ll do it now.  

Remember this: “If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that someone won’t like you. That’s part of being remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out(Seth Godin).”  

Folks are going to hate you anyway so you might as well give them their money’s worth. I’m digging in my closet for my boots as I speak. I have to push past Prince’s silk ruffled shirt and high heels, Gaga’s meat dress and Michael’s glitter glove. Ah, there they are – my moon boots. Long time no see, love. It’s time for a wear.

What have you hidden away that you plan to dust off and rock this year?

Willow rocks her boots

 

Black Girl Screaming January 7, 2011

I’m reading a book called the Purple Cow. It’s a marketing book for developing businesses, brands and standout products. The premise behind the book is that if you want to be remembered you have to do remarkable things, be extraordinary and do what it takes to separate yourself from the herd and the crowd. To attract attention you have to stand out. Being ordinary, mediocre and a basic brown cow won’t do.  Halfway through the book and I’m already contemplating suicide. It asks me to do all the things I hate: namely speaking to strangers, abandoning fear and letting go of my insecurities and inhibitions.  I think the author might be on the pipe or some mood altering substance.  Already my hands shake, my mouth gets dry and I feel real shivers down my spine when I have to approach the unknown woman and tell her about my blog. Now I have to come out of my shell even more? I feel the beginnings of a heart attack? I feel light-headed with the mere idea of being the mouth piece behind my brand. Couldn’t I just pay the dude that sings on the train a sandwich and some Skittles to spread the word for me?  My greatest desire is to write quietly and be anonymous.  That’s why my Super Sistah mask suits me. I can see you but you can’t see me. The problem with my plan is that if I’m quiet, shy and laid back both my name and I will become extinct. A year, an hour or a minute from now no one will remember me. I will live a life of quiet disappointment and soundless misery. It’s not gonna work. If I want to blow the roof off the house that traps my dreams I have to be brash. So let’s get loud everyone. Split eardrums like the best Bose sound system. Rattle the walls like a Rock concert at full blast. Shout so that God can hear your dreams from the clouds.

In your life are you dying quietly or are you screaming?

Are you screaming?

 

Running Scared January 3, 2011

“Every Sistah is Super.” That’s my one line opener. I say this to women I give my Super Sistah postcard to in a never-ending attempt to build my brand. In cutthroat, aggressive, neck rolling city like New York City I tend to drop the card in the new reader’s hands and take off in something resembling a dead run. I’m not scared I tell you! The Super is fearless……sort of. In the midst of doing a better Bolt than Usain, I tell myself that I’m not running exactly, instead I’m avoiding the “oh no she didn’t” blank stare and the, “you better get out of my face with that” look with a hint of crazy eyes. Timing is everything in these interactions.

With a pounding heart, I say my line– rushing the words, drop the card and haul ass.  But recently my split second timing was off and WHAM my head bounced off the closing train doors. I was trapped.  I was surrounded by a half a dozen women with my card in their hands. It was like Fear Factor x 10. I turned slowly ready for the rejection of seeing my cards littering the floor with the rest of the trash. What I got was a row of teeth.

“I’m Super? Really? What’s the blog about?” The responses should have delighted me. I felt sad. I could tell by the mirrored looks of expectancy and surprise that no one had told these women that they were wonderful. My little sales pitch was their only positive affirmation. The mere idea was troubling. No wonder I expected rejection, cynicism and negativity from the women I was trying to reach. Obviously, I didn’t believe my own message. Everyone needs to know that they’re special and important. It’s what gives us the fuel we need to keep moving forward. So to my readers, I believe that you’re all extraordinary women. We all need encouragement. I include myself. If I know what I’m doing is important maybe the next time I hand someone my card I might just reduce my speed to a quick walk instead of a run.

Are you facing your fears or are you running scared?

 

the Super Sistah Video Blog December 17, 2010

Not all women are super heroes but all are meant to be. Be Super. Watch yourself Soar!

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Eat a Tiger with Little Chews December 13, 2010

How do you eat a Tiger? With little chews. If you have ever been overwhelmed by trying to pursue your dreams then you know how daunting trying to succeed can be. Recently I had a chat with my sister.  She’s trying to be Super but is struggling.  I instantly gave her some encouragement. What kind of success coach would I be if I didn’t help my family? Usually when any of us start something new we are overwhelmed by the vastness of our ambitions and the energy required to scale mountains, slay dragons and banish thoughts of doubt and insecurity. We want to succeed but we think failure is a real option.  Soon our doubts become our reality and we give in and give up. No can do.  It’s important to understand that every day is an opportunity to succeed.  No one wakes up and is miraculously sitting in the penthouse with a Bentley parked outside sipping cocktails with P.Diddy.  How you grasp your dreams is by one action, step and move at a time.  Every stamp licked, every bill paid, every resume sent and every class taken is a step in the right direction. Those who try to do everything at once usually find themselves frustrated and defeated.

Think of success as a dripping faucet.  Every drop of water is merging with previous drops.  The water line is rising until it reaches uncontrollable levels and overflows.  Once the water escapes the confines of the sink it has broken through and can no longer be contained. Every day is an opportunity to burst the pipe and get the things you want and need. The sun should never set on your day without having tackled some problem, made some progress or done something (anything) that is taking you steadily in the direction you want to go.  A tiger is a big animal with many parts but even the most insignificant of us can have him for a meal if we eat him diligently.

“BURPPPPPPPP………!” Excuse me everyone, how rude. Forgive me, I launched my website today(www.thesupersistah.com) and wrote this blog so still have bits of tiger between my teeth. I’m not satisfied, are you? Bon Appétit.

Eat him before he eats you.

 

 

Beauty Backlash November 27, 2010

The Super is not a girly girl. I’m more butch than Barbie.   I’m the type of girl whose looks are deceiving. I look like I invest a lot of time in maintaining the pretty. But it’s a lie.  Like all women I like to keep myself up but I find my beauty regime time-consuming and tedious.  The problem is that I love the fellas and men like bees are attracted to honey. So I make myself up in the morning (not on the train though I find that annoying.) I wax, not because I think a little forest ever hurt anybody, but because a strip is more civilized.  I wear Victoria Secret undies but near laundry week the pair might be ripped and unraveling.  I keep my hair tight. Michelle O has nothing on me. But I skip the expensive stylist for the bargain basement blow out for $19.99. I like to look good—on a budget.  Watching me trot down the street though might deceive you.  I look casually expensive.  Less Gucci and more J.Crew but my clothes are out of season and off the rack.  For me clearance signs evoke ecstasy.  I look like beauty is important but I’m a fraud. The truth is that I will go weeks without a manicure until my hands look like broken and chipped claws.  I only know that a pedicure is in order because my toe nails cut through my sheets.  My manicurist mutters curse words in Chinese every time she sees me.  I get my eyebrows done regularly because even I know a unibrow isn’t sexy.  Having said all that,  I recently became a slave to the pretty.

I decided that my lashes weren’t long enough.  I wanted them long and sultry.  Big mistake.  I couldn’t see. My eyelids felt like they were being held down by bricks and I my eyes were so red I thought my cornea had dropped out.  After a full day of walking around with lashes like bat wings, I gave in.  There was no point in being pretty if I couldn’t see.   A total waste of money which has led to a beauty backslash.  In protest, this week I’m wearing my granny panties,  my hair in a bun and I’m letting my legs get hairy.  Even the most ardent beauty enthusiast needs a reprieve.

Have you suffered for beauty?