Hello Queen!!! We truly admire your journey and the representation you hold for WOC who are aging and blooming, still!!! — Please tell us where are you originally from:
I am originally from New Jersey where I grew up, got married and had my children. I now reside in North Carolina. I married at the age of 18 and by the age of 23, I had five children, two sets of twins plus my oldest daughter. With my second set of twins, my son was born with Down Syndrome. That was a lot for a young mother and wife. The strength that was required of me in those earlier years help shape the woman I am today.
Becoming a wife at 18, I never gave myself time to find out who I was as a young woman apart from being someone’s wife and then mother, and after raising five children and being married for 20 years, I no longer knew who I was as an individual.
Eventually, I walked away from 20 years of marriage to find me. Unfortunately, because of having my babies so quickly, I was surgically thrown into menopause in my early 40’s. I was simply devastated. Menopause was the absolute most challenging time in my life, but with God’s grace, I made it through each day, and I know that sounds dramatic, but I prayed for His strength to get through each and every day.
Please share with us your life before influencer-ship:
I never really thought about becoming an “Influencer”. I started my Instagram page a few years back from a dark time in my life. I was looking for something or someone to connect with that understood the uncertainty I was going through as a woman. I remember sitting at my kitchen table home alone thinking am I the only one feeling this way? Lost? Uncertain? Confused?
I knew a lot of what I was experiencing was due to menopause, and I needed to connect with other women walking the same journey. At the time I started my IG, I was the butterfly struggling in her cocoon. I started my Instagram page having no idea how I would connect with other women; I just started. The women I connected with were amazing. After a while, I felt a connection with a new community of women in my age group going through similar life experiences. Sometimes when you don’t know what to do and you don’t have the answers, just do something, it might change your life.
Tell us about a time when you had to figure it out:
As my page evolved and I began sharing more of who I was, I was encouraged by so many of my followers. To be honest, I felt like my followers saw more in me than I saw in myself. The encouragement and support elevated how I began to see myself, and I realized part of my struggle was I had lost sight of who I was; the woman inside of me screaming for me to pay attention to her; to show her the same love I was giving to everyone else. Once I began to reconnect with her, she ignited a new fire within me. I could feel the strength of my wings beginning to break free from my cocoon.
What’s some advice for the WOC over 55:
The biggest message at this time in my life is never give up on you or your dreams. There may be times when you forget who you are or lose your way, but when you will love the woman inside of you, you will find that she is AMAZING. I remembered that the woman I was had a dream, and that dream was to be a model. I let life take that dream from me, but the greatest thing about dreams is they belong to you and they belong to you forever. As I began my healing journey of returning back to the woman I needed to be for me, I began to believe in the possibility of my dream. Now that the door to my dream has been opened, I hope other women will look at me and see that it’s never too late to recreate who you are. I was terrified of aging and getting older, but I can honestly say, I am living one of the best seasons of my life, and what makes it so special is it’s a season I never gave myself permission to believe was possible.
Gray hair tips for women:
As we hit the 50 (plus) age group, it’s so easy to think our best days are behind us, and they will be if you allow yourself to believe that. I choose to believe my best days are still in front of me and with getting older, I had to embrace the woman that was emerging. — I was always intrigued by gray hair and thought it was beautiful, especially on men, so I decided to embrace my own gray hair and turns out I love it. I get so many compliments on my gray hair.
I honestly think women see me embracing my gray hair confidently and they connect with this vibrant, energetic woman who’s not afraid to rock her gray. Going gray is a decision each woman comes to in her own time, and when she does, it’s with the confidence in knowing WHO she is.
Setting boundaries for yourself:
It is so important for us as women to take care of ourselves physically, spiritually and emotionally and that’s so much easier to say than to do. As we mature, we have to focus on how we are taking care of our bodies and what we are feeding our mind and spirit. There comes a time when you no longer have the energy for games and nonsense and you begin to remove those things that pull negatively from your energy.
Spending time alone has become so necessary at this time in my life, just to tap into my own energy and check in with how Patrice is doing. As women, we give so much of ourselves to our spouse, our children, our grandchildren, our careers, our families for so many years and we forget the most important person of all, ourselves. Never forget to make yourself a priority, to know your worth and shine your light as bright as you can. It’s so important to surround yourself with positive women who up lift you, who encourage you, who cheer when they see you win and we need to be that friend also.
The woman I am today is not the same woman that did her best to raise five children. I’m not even the same woman that started my Instagram page a few years back, but each version of me helped define the woman I am today. Each version of ourselves prepares us for the next season. Life is in no way perfect, but I like the woman I am today. I know she is capable of doing anything she sets her mind to.