REPOST: SPOTLIGHT CORNER ~ Tamara @YouAreFIERCE, Founder of MOM Magazine

Oh, I have quite a treat for each of you this week as we approach Spring.  I have the pleasure of introducing my “Sista from anotha Mista,” my confidante and advisor on all things personal, Tamara Plant of YOU ARE FIERCE and Mom Magazine.  She is an extraordinary example of making your own trail and making it blaze behind you!  her unconventional wisdom, simple approach to rejecting  June Cleaver and Martha Stewart ideologies and finding our own paths to being a successful mother has helped thousands of women to stop beating themselves for not obtaining someone else’s vision of “perfection.”

Without anymore delay, I welcome Tamara!

*******

Nothing about me is average. OK maybe I’m average in height but my personality take me from 5’5 to 8 feet tall and bullet proof, so even that makes me atypical.

Ever since I was a smartass kid growing up in the inner city of Edmonton, I always knew the universe had a plan for me; living an average life was not in the cards, and although there have been multiple speed bumps and road blocks on my journey, resilience has been my best friend. I went through some shit (haven’t we all?) but I don’t believe in playing the victim card. In fact, if you play it around me I will bitchslap you with it. The “Woe is Me” mentality doesn’t cut it, sister. Everyone has their demons and baggage; it’s what you do with it that defines your character.

Some defining moments in my life include the death of my grandma when I was 19. Losing her was a slap in the face, a wake-up call to appreciate the good things you have in your life before it’s too late. It also made me turtle into a steel shell of protectiveness thinking that if you were tough, nothing could touch you. I lived that way for a long time, expecting anyone I cared about to leave me. It wasn’t just her death that made me feel that way, there were other moments in my life that contributed to it but that was a big one.

At 21, I got my first job as a sports writer at a daily paper. At 24, I gave up my career to be with the man I eventually married and although there were moments I wished I had handled the career situation differently, I never regretted being with him.

I couldn’t give up the communications industry all together so I went into the back-end of publishing, learning the fine art of how everything worked: design, ad production, editorial calendars, print, web design. All of these skills came in quite handily when I decided to launch MOM Magazine in 2007. I enjoyed some degree of success, changing the stereotype of what a MOM is and is “suppose to” be. I enabled moms to leave the mommy-mode and embrace their true identity as a woman. It was quite liberating but after all of this time, I feel it’s time to move forward, evolve, if you will, as I have grown and changed over the past 5 years.

Three years ago, I created FIERCE: Females Inspiring Each other in a Real Community of Empowerment. It sat on the back-burner while I dealt with some personal issues (my grandfather’s journey through cancer and eventual death sent me into a tailspin of depression) but I have since resurrected what I started. FIERCE is all about inspiring other women, empowering them to celebrate their successes and embrace their spirit. It’s about peer mentoring in a no-catty bullshit environment and championing each other’s victories.

This past October, I single-handedly put together the 2nd annual FIERCE Women of the Year awards. As I walked around the event, I soaked up all of the crazy fantastic energy and thought to myself, “I did this! ME! All by myself!” I owned that moment and knew that I had come out the other side of one of the darkest times in my life.

No matter what life throws at you, no matter how many times it kicks you and you feel beaten, fight back. There is no reason to give up, ever. If you think there is a reason to just lay down and quit, find 10 reasons to get back up.

You are FIERCE. You deserve happiness and you deserve good things in your life. If you ever doubt yourself, just look in the mirror and repeat those words over and over until you feel a glimmer of strength. Hold on to that feeling and remember that nothing about YOU is average, either.

I said so.

Cheers!

Tamara Plant
Founder/Publisher You Are Fierce &MOM Magazine
Producer of the FIERCE Women of the Year awards

Life as a MOM doesn’t mean life as a WOMAN has to end!

http://www.yourarefierce.com
http:/www./MOMmagazine.ca

Follow us on http://twitter.com/YouAreFierce
Because We Do!
*note* our twitter account is NOT for the faint of heart or the easily
offended!

Advertisements

SPOTLIGHT CORNER RETURNS with @Sheswrite

After a three month hiatus, I am proud to bring back SPOTLIGHT CORNER!  My first featured guest is Melanie Coffee Hesselberg AKA @sheswrite.  I met Melanie on Twitter and I discovered we had a few things in common like: she’s African-American, she is in an interracial marriage, she is a mother, she is a blogger, she resides in Chicago (where my family so proudly hailed before they moved to San Francisco), and she has experienced something that I experience everyday in my local community being the wife of a caucasian man.

Melanie wrote a piece for the Huffington Post on August 25, 2011 called My On-Again-Off-Again Relationship With White People that forever in my heart made her my kindred spirit.  I want to be clear. This piece is NOT a piece of work that incites racism or hatred, it merely looks at Melanie’s experiences form her perspective as one half of an interracial couple and her experiences as an African-American woman.  The flurry of feedback on the piece really gave me pause to think about my own experiences with both my husband and my own friends in terms of race relations.  Her piece inspired me to have real life conversations about how I felt and what i hoped and dreamed for in terms of equality for my children. I could go on and on, but then you would never hear what Melanie has to say about blogging and when you are done reading this piece, I highly encourage you to click the links in this post to get to know her better.

So with no further introduction …

There’s a scary thing about blogging. At least for me there is. It’s the people who read it. I know, I know it sounds ridiculous. But I’m a writer. I write to write, not necessarily to be read.

Esoteric? Perhaps, but it’s how I feel. So when I blog, I try to write without thinking of being read. In my job as a journalist I’m always thinking about the reader, trying to convey the facts objectively so that people can draw their own opinions and not simply digest what *I* think.  This requires examining all phrasings to consider whether they can be misunderstood.

With blogging, I put my fingers on the keyboard and just go. Clickety-clack-clack away. This past summer I was approached by an editor at The Huffington Post to write for their BlackVoices section. My first response: YIKES! On my personal blog I could whirr away at whatever I wanted, now writing about something as sensitive and personal as race to such a wide audience. Naturally, I figured I’d be an idiot to say no, but  beyond the “yes,” what would I say?

I was talking this over with my friends and finally settled on my relationships with white people.  To stay true to my “voice” I tried to write just for myself. I tried not to think of how many people would read my post, what they might think. I simply wrote.

When it was posted, it stirred up an amazing response. I got about 400 comments and it was an eye-opening conversation on race. I think that the comment section was more interesting than the piece. The response ranged from the racist, to the white people who said: “I’m trying to understand” to people who called me racist. When some of the negative comments started pouring in, I wondered, do I respond? Of course the first reaction is to defend yourself.  My husband advised me to wait a bit.

I did and I’m glad. Evenutally I decided not to respond to any of them. I figured that above the comment section I said what I had to say and below my writing was where people could have their say. It’s a line I decided not to cross. And I’m glad I didn’t.

It was good to get people talking about race. I know of a few educators who passed this piece along to their high school and college students as a way of opening up the conversation. My Facebook page also had a good back-and-forth about it. I was really humbled by the response and how it helped start honest discussions.

We need more of those, especially when it comes to issues such as race.

All of this goes back to what inspired me to become a journalist. I wanted to help break down barriers and for me, that’s to do that through educating people. Teaching them something whether it’s a quick walk in my shoes, those of the Chicago superintendent, a single mom on welfare or a stroke survivor. Opening our hearts and minds to each other to foster more understanding.

I think I’m getting a little too esoteric again. Nevertheless, I suppose that’s why I like to blog. It’s writing to write.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing the SPOTLIGHT CORNER Melanie!

Melanie can be contacted at:

Her Blog: http://www.sheswrite.net

Email: sheswrite9@gmail.com

Twitter: @sheswrite

SPOTLIGHT CORNER ~ Tamara @YouAreFIERCE, Founder of MOM Magazine

Oh, I have quite a treat for each of you this week as we approach Spring.  I have the pleasure of introducing my “Sista from anotha Mista,” my confidante and advisor on all things personal, Tamara Plant of YOU ARE FIERCE and Mom Magazine.  She is an extraordinary example of making your own trail and making it blaze behind you!  her unconventional wisdom, simple approach to rejecting  June Cleaver and Martha Stewart ideologies and finding our own paths to being a successful mother has helped thousands of women to stop beating themselves for not obtaining someone else’s vision of “perfection.”

Without anymore delay, I welcome Tamara!

*******

Nothing about me is average. OK maybe I’m average in height but my personality take me from 5’5 to 8 feet tall and bullet proof, so even that makes me atypical.

Ever since I was a smartass kid growing up in the inner city of Edmonton, I always knew the universe had a plan for me; living an average life was not in the cards, and although there have been multiple speed bumps and road blocks on my journey, resilience has been my best friend. I went through some shit (haven’t we all?) but I don’t believe in playing the victim card. In fact, if you play it around me I will bitchslap you with it. The “Woe is Me” mentality doesn’t cut it, sister. Everyone has their demons and baggage; it’s what you do with it that defines your character.

Some defining moments in my life include the death of my grandma when I was 19. Losing her was a slap in the face, a wake-up call to appreciate the good things you have in your life before it’s too late. It also made me turtle into a steel shell of protectiveness thinking that if you were tough, nothing could touch you. I lived that way for a long time, expecting anyone I cared about to leave me. It wasn’t just her death that made me feel that way, there were other moments in my life that contributed to it but that was a big one.

At 21, I got my first job as a sports writer at a daily paper. At 24, I gave up my career to be with the man I eventually married and although there were moments I wished I had handled the career situation differently, I never regretted being with him.

I couldn’t give up the communications industry all together so I went into the back-end of publishing, learning the fine art of how everything worked: design, ad production, editorial calendars, print, web design. All of these skills came in quite handily when I decided to launch MOM Magazine in 2007. I enjoyed some degree of success, changing the stereotype of what a MOM is and is “suppose to” be. I enabled moms to leave the mommy-mode and embrace their true identity as a woman. It was quite liberating but after all of this time, I feel it’s time to move forward, evolve, if you will, as I have grown and changed over the past 5 years.

Three years ago, I created FIERCE: Females Inspiring Each other in a Real Community of Empowerment. It sat on the back-burner while I dealt with some personal issues (my grandfather’s journey through cancer and eventual death sent me into a tailspin of depression) but I have since resurrected what I started. FIERCE is all about inspiring other women, empowering them to celebrate their successes and embrace their spirit. It’s about peer mentoring in a no-catty bullshit environment and championing each other’s victories.

This past October, I single-handedly put together the 2nd annual FIERCE Women of the Year awards. As I walked around the event, I soaked up all of the crazy fantastic energy and thought to myself, “I did this! ME! All by myself!” I owned that moment and knew that I had come out the other side of one of the darkest times in my life.

No matter what life throws at you, no matter how many times it kicks you and you feel beaten, fight back. There is no reason to give up, ever. If you think there is a reason to just lay down and quit, find 10 reasons to get back up.

You are FIERCE. You deserve happiness and you deserve good things in your life. If you ever doubt yourself, just look in the mirror and repeat those words over and over until you feel a glimmer of strength. Hold on to that feeling and remember that nothing about YOU is average, either.

I said so.

Cheers!

Tamara Plant
Founder/Publisher You Are Fierce &MOM Magazine
Producer of the FIERCE Women of the Year awards

Life as a MOM doesn’t mean life as a WOMAN has to end!

http://www.yourarefierce.com
http:/www./MOMmagazine.ca

Follow us on http://twitter.com/YouAreFierce
Because We Do!
*note* our twitter account is NOT for the faint of heart or the easily
offended!