nene-leakesarrived

As I am writing this I am watching Lift Every Voice on BET, which is featuring Peter Thomas and Kandi Buruss from Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA). Both provided authentic testimonies, and it was refreshing to hear them both share their testimonies about how they have failed many times, but still learn from their mistakes and hardest moments, and now live life’s that they dream of.

I’ve always loved hearing people’s testimonies of triumph. Who doesn’t? Hearing their experiences made me think of what it really means for a woman to feel as though she has “arrived” in life. I’ve always admired Kandi because in my eyes she has arrived. She noted she is happy, she has finally found her life’s partner, she has several successful businesses, and the list continues on! I wish her nothing but continued success.

Since both Kandi and Peter are on the show RHOA it would be remised for me not to mention that one of their cast mates, Ms. Nene Leakes, frequently reminds us that she is “rich” and has “arrived” partly because she has a role on prime time TV and makes a large chunk of money compared to what she used to. This is what she has become known for. While I am proud and happy for Nene and her success because she did work hard to get where she is, I beg to differ with any woman (or man) who believes that money and fame means you have arrived. Granted, most women (heck people!) want money, but not everyone wants fame. [Tweet This]

NeNe posing for her photo shoot for Ebony.

NeNe posing for her photo shoot for Ebony.

So the question I then posed to myself, is how can a woman know she has arrived if money and fame aren’t used as measurements for success?

A woman can tell she has arrived in a number of ways; these are the ones that stood out to me the most as I thought more about it. I took my cue from where to draw this from based on the number of successful women who mentor me, women I admire, women I have talked to intimately about their life’s journey, and women who I follow that maybe famous, but credit things other than fame and money to their arrival.

First, I thought it fitting to create my own definition of arrival. We each have our own I assume. Therefore, if we each concoct our own definitions it only makes sense that this is where our lives may lead us. Perhaps you should create your own (share below!)

My definition of arrival:

arrival– a woman who has come into her own both mentally and physically. This is reflected in her characters, morals, and values. It is seen and felt because it comes from within, and not from material things or men. Her confidence exudes effortlessly because she has happy, healthy, and whole like she always dreamed of. She has finally made it to her happy place.

And…so my list reads:

  • She is mentally, physically, and financially stable and happy with the state of each
  • She is independent whether she is single, dating, or married (she has come into her own and she has her own. If she ever needed something for a rainy day-she has it!)
  • She is in love with herself from her hair follicles down to her toe nails
  •  Her confidence can be seen and felt and never needs to be discussed- there is an air about the way she walks, talks, dresses, and carries herself. She does not have to remind or tell anyone that she is confident-she just is!
  • She doesn’t compete with other women, yet seeks to empower, uplift, and mentor other women
  • She is genuinely happy for other women’s success
  • She can do what she wants when she wants
  • She works hard and plays hard
  • She doesn’t have a certain amount of money that signifies she has made it, but she has certain that her finances are in a place that give her room to live the life she dreams of
  • She has healed, lived, and learned from her mistakes and life’s trials and tribulations. She doesn’t let those items hold her back and she is able to share her testimony with others.
  • She is admired, revered, and/or inspiring to others for going after the life of her dreams
  • She recognizes that those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind what she does as long as she is happy with what she is doing with her own life
  • She surrounds herself with other women and men who sharpen her iron and make her a better woman

 

Now, I want to hear from you:

  • Do you agree with my list?

  • Do you think money and fame should signify you arrived?

  • What would be on your list?

  • What is your definition of arrival?