Before I traveled to Washington, DC for the United State of Women Summit I wondered if I would be star struck by being in the presence of the President, Barack Obama and the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Then I found out that Oprah would be there too and I knew that I would be very excited because I would be in the same space as the woman I have had a desire to meet since I was sixteen years old.

At sixteen, I watched Oprah on television for hours siting in the living room of the group home where I was staying. I immersed myself in her shows thinking of what life was and could be. So to see her on that stage last week, in the room with me, I felt as if I was finally in an intimate conversation with Oprah and Michelle. We were simply women, having a discussion about important and personal things. This felt good. Even for me, a thirty-nine year old woman. It didn’t matter how many people were there with us. This was “our” time. So as I listened, I made sure to glean as many nuggets of wisdom as I could in the time allowed.

“If you do not take control over your life and your time, other people will gobble it up”
Michelle Obama

I was reminded of the importance of knowing who I am in any given moment. I realized that the more time I spend with myself, the more I learn about me. This is always time well spent, and because of it, I am better able to deal with external situations and encounters. We all are better able to let go of what isn’t serving us well, once we take the time needed to truly show up for ourselves and honor who we are. Additionally, once we define ourselves, we are better equipped to be the rock in our own lives, thus allowing the ebb and flow of life to come as it will, knowing that we will be okay.

In response to Oprah’s question about whether women can have it all, the First Lady shared her belief that having it all is possible, but it is unrealistic to think that we can have it all in any one moment. She emphasized that it is better to look at life as happening in phases, with each phase providing it’s own challenges and successes. So although you may not get everything that your heart desires in any one moment in time, you do have the opportunity to fulfill each of your desires during the course of your lifetime. In the end, this made me realize that it’s important to be patient and diligent, at the same time.

As my mind generated questions from this discussion, I wrote them down for further reflection.

  • What does compromise in this phase of my journey look like for me? List them.
  • What do I feel/believe that I am compromising this moment in my journey, so that I can allow those things time to show up later?
  • How do I shift from being brave when I go out into the workplace, to knowing without any doubt, that I always belong wherever I stand?
  • What will my outcome be? What do I want it to be?

These questions and more, presented themselves to me that day. In the end, my most important truths remain the same for me in this phase of my life. I am where I belong. My truth is my own, and it is perfect for me in each moment of each phase of my life. As I show up, fully cloaked in my authenticity, I help others feel free to do the same. Thus, I continually grow and strengthen my sisterhood. Lastly, but of more importance, each girl and young woman that looks to me for guidance gets to see that they are trailblazers, just as they are in this moment, because their truth too, is perfect.

Tanya Robinson


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