By Beverly Kuykendall
As time passes, I am beginning to reflect on the many lessons that I have learned over the years. One recent recurring memory is how difficult it was for me to date. I didn't do very much dating because it felt so uncomfortable. Many of the young men I went out with eventually lectured me--which amounted to admonitions of "just sit down, be quiet, do not express any opinions and do not lead any conversations." "Or" Who do you think you are?" So, I just avoided dating because I felt that I was doing something wrong and just could not seem to get it right. Two major turning points changed my life.
The first was getting out of the old neighborhood and going to college and living on campus. "WoW!" How enlightening that was to meet different people, with different experiences, from different countries, who responded to me differently from those in my past; and who were not intimidated by my strength. This really helped me to open up. I became the leader of several student campus organizations that helped so many. This continued well after college and led me to start my own business.
The second, was meeting my wonderful husband who ALWAYS encourages me. His motto was, and is, "Baby, I can see who, and how wonderful you are…don't YOU know? You can do anything because you have a great mind…go for it, baby!" I write this for any young woman dating to say, if a man makes you feel ashamed because you dream big or tries to manipulate you to extinguish your light, RUN, don't walk, away from him and fast, and God will present you with another. Believe in yourself and as Russell Simmons says in his book, DO YOU?!?