Where I see myself in 50 years is the idea I’ve been consumed with for the past two years. College, or Howard University, has a weird and heart-stopping knack for making you question EVERY SINGLE PART of you and your life. Grappling with who I am and who I want to be and finding a balance between the two is the hardest thing I’ve had to consider as of late. I’m really glad that this assignment (and hopefully this course) has finally forced me to confront my anxieties and open opportunities for self-reflection.
One thing that I’ve learned about Howard since coming here is that many of its students have a skewed representation of what ‘success’ is. Many believe you only reach success once you’re the CEO of your own business, or you’re well-known and constantly in the media. I suppose my aspirations differ, somewhat, from my generation’s. I would have lived a successful life, newly retired from my career as a doctor of psychology, helping and educating young adults on the importance of mental health, especially the negative stigmas surrounding seeking mental health in the black community. Having not acquired an insane amount of riches, I would have enjoyed a comfortable life being content with being a part of the upper middle class. I feel my career will provide me with great fulfillment as I feel my job will contribute to greater society. Providing psychological help to troubled adolescents struggling with the same task I struggle with now (self-discovery) brings meaning to my life. I would imagine that my unique experience as a black women in contemporary society would have provided a different perspective and served me well in my career in affecting how young adults see themselves.
As far as my leadership story, I believe it goes hand-in-hand with my career choice in providing guidance and support for those seeking it. A leadership role is not foreign to me. Despite being a life-long active member of a Black Greek Lettered Organization, I see my biggest leadership role within my household. However committed I am to helping others realize their potential and strengths, I would always ensure that my two children would never come second to my job. Never will I have been so consumed by the problems of other children that I neglect my own children and grandchildren and their need for love and affection. As a mother, I can only hope that I remain a consistent role model for my children to turn to for love, compassion, understanding, and support.
Friendships and partnerships have always been something I valued and I don’t anticipate a change in that. If anything, my friendships will only grow stronger. Upon understanding and accepting that the quality of a person weighs greater than the amount of people in my life, I expect my circle of friends to be characterized as being a very small, intimate, and unbreakable bond. Instead of having a core group of friends, I would have formed relationships with individuals, each being a unique friendship serving different, but very important, roles in my life. In my romantic relationship, I also expect my romantic lover and very best friend to be my partner in life. Not threatened by my personal, professional, and academic success, my husband (who will be equally successful) will enjoy an equivalent role in the house, where responsibilities regarding caring for the home, children, and finances are shared equally between us. Playing to our strengths, gender roles will not be characteristic of our partnership.
I’d like to say that I am super woman and that I would have found a balance between all five of my stories, but that would be impossible. My spiritual and intellectual journey is one that I am currently embarking on. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a woman who sought instant gratification and wanted to have the answers and knowledge right now. I can see that being consumed by the constant anxiety of feeling behind in my intellectual and spiritual realizations would have come in the way of my happiness in life. Instead of trusting that I would self-actualize at my own pace, I forced it by constantly dwelling on it. In my old age in 2070, I finally come to peace that the life I lived and the person that I am was good enough and that that by exceeding all the expectations that family and friends had of me I will be able to accept my own greatness.
Epitaph: A loving mother, wife, and friend whose positive light will continue to shine and guide.