Are you inspired or motivated by someone or something?
Since reaching age 77, I want to share with you those who inspired and motivated me. First, I want to give my mom credit. She continued to tell me when I was able to hear her words that I was the prettiest black baby in the hospital. My color tone was very dark as an infant, with curly black hair. My skin lightened as I aged. As we all know, society is stuck on beauty. Mom also shared with me that when it was time for the nurses to take me away even for a short time, she and the staff would have minor tussles. To hear these stories for so many years, I always felt wanted. Because of positive input and the bond I had with my mother, whatever I chose to do, she would say to me, “You can do it!”
Positive strokes are the core to make you feel good about yourself and inspire you to greatness. I continue to share that expression with my two adult children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. As parents, teachers and friends, positive input is the beginning to helping youngsters realize in their formative years that they have self-worth.
Each time I told my mother what career I wanted to pursue — and there were many — she would say, “Mary, I know you can do it!” I remember when I want to be a hairdresser. My aunt’s hairdressing salon was always very crowded on Saturdays when I went to get my hair pressed. I always admired her. When I was nine years old and attended summer camp, I learned how to cornrow hair by braiding the grass which was very long. When I reached the age of 11, parents would give me money to braid their daughters’ hair. I didn’t accept the money, because I really enjoyed the different styles that I produced. Now I see those same hair styles of cornrows that African Americans are wearing now.
Those hairstyles did not come into vogue until the sixties. Prior to that, African Americans were using the hot comb to press and curl their hair. Then, “Afro” cornrows became the fad. I started cornrowing my daughter’s hair when she was three years old — that was in the late sixties. I continue styling hair because I am an entrepreneur at heart and now a business owner.
My son continues to tell his young/older mother that he enjoys my readings — which is inspirational to me. I continue to be motivated from my readings.
I enlisted in the Woman’s Army Corp because Ebony magazine show me other parts of the state and country where African Americans lived. Susan Taylor — who wrote an editor’s column in Essence magazine — motivated me to write this column. Black Enterprise inspired me to start a business.
Although I am not limited to Black literature, it is who I am. What better mirror images then to see my folks have their own Fortune 500 magazine — Glamour — and stories about us. Email can be sent to Midgettscorner@aol.com
. Her blog can be viewed on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/mary.midgett
. Midgett is the author of
"New York Flavor with a San Francisco Beat" and
"Brown on Brown Black Women’s Erotica." Soon to be released:
"I'm 77 and Still Having Fun." (Girlfriends, I’m now 78 and still having fun; how to live on your own terms.)