“Surround yourself with like minded people.”
I have heard that said more times than I can remember and I am just now grasping its full meaning. Not even sure why it took so long. It is not like I haven’t been in the presence of like minded individuals because I have… I have for years… decades! We have worked together; attended conferences together; eaten together; sat on boards together; had lengthy, in depth conversations; and yet, I never truly felt like I belonged. I always felt like an outsider. How could they possibly relate to me, Shaun, not LaShaundrea?
Or, maybe it was me always trying to separate the two identities.
Maybe I hadn’t fully embraced LaShaundrea. Now, Shaun. I knew who Shaun was and I know who she is. Believe me, she is fully embraced. However, LaShaundrea… I have had a very hard time trying to find where she fit in. I know all of this sounds crazy because I’m talking about myself like I am two different people and in third person; however, it’s how I feel. It is how I have felt since my very first teacher addressed me as LaShaundrea. LaShaundrea was never Shaun. And then when they started addressing me as LaShaun…
Talk about having to play so many roles based on what people expected of me. Or was it what I assumed they expected so I acted accordingly? Interesting, huh? So many “Aha” moments this morning.
Well, something happened around the end of last year. Something that changed the way I felt. Wish I knew what happened. All I know is that I began to feel like LaShaundrea belonged. I was finally embracing her. Shoot, she’s my brand! I better embrace her. Anyway, I, LaShaundrea, no longer feel like an outsider or imposter among my like minded peers and colleagues. I actually feel like I belong.
I’m so grateful God never gave up on me. He’s been placing me in the right places with the right people all of my life and it’s taken this long to finally feel like I belong. Talk about crazy!
Hey y’all! Thanks for reading. Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday and Month of Love. Take Care!♥️
Shaun a.k.a LaShaundrea