Have you ever encountered different people that seem to command respect when they wear into a room? Maybe it’s a charming and kind aura that draws one in like a fly to a dancing flame. Or a quiet confidence that gives off an effortless assurance without even trying.
This semester I had a professor that I deeply aspired to be like. She taught one of the introductory classes at my school, and she was one of the few professors of color at my school as well. Her clothes, purse, jewelry were always nice quality, from Birkin and Hermes bags to Jimmy Choos high heels. She was a researcher with the school, and taught both undergraduate students and graduate students for a while now.
You could tell that she always took care of herself and her health, yet she had one of the warmest personalities there. Throughout the semester, we talked about different factors that contributed to injustice related to class, race, and health without being confrontational. She would pull fascinating evidence-based research articles about the health effects that manifested from unemployment, discrimination, and environmental conditions. She freely talked about being an active member of the community through attending town hall meetings and volunteering at jails. Even outside of class, she would mention going on frequent trips within the United States and internationally.
I admired her. I respected her.
Too many times, the media portrays women and people of color in a negative light. According to entertainment, we should aspire to marry rich and idolize the Kardashians instead of being powerful forces to be reckoned with. Or that our worth comes from our body shape or facial features, and not from taking charge of an environment in our personal or professional life.
Earlier this year, a man commented ” You can either choose to follow your passions or financial stability. It is difficult to follow both.”
Why does it have to be like that?
Why do I have to choose?
I can’t help, but feel this sense of guilt as I navigate and work on my career. I feel like I am distancing myself away from suffering and the people that need it most. It has been difficult trying to find a way to make a meaningful impact while making sure the essentials are met.
It was refreshing being able to see somebody like that, and have her be a role model to look up to. A part of me can’t wait for that time to come where I can have an influence in other people’s lives.
After paying off my loans, I would love to do something like donating half of my salary, or paying for a student’s tuition to go to college, or helping my parents by taking some weight off of their shoulders in some way, shape, or form.
The crazy thing is that there are no rules to this. Everything is up for grabs! It’s exciting to think about sometimes, and becoming a boss lady is something that I can not wait to become.
Now watch me work.