Remember when I used to share #JessicaFacts? Here’s one you probably didn’t know – I thrive off of inspiration. I cannot participate in anything or engage with anyone on an intimate level if I’m not inspired by the interaction.
Women’s History Month is observed annually during the month of March and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the women that I’ve encountered during different stages of my life. Some of them have left lasting impressions that have shaped who I am today. There is power in being a woman that our male counterparts just don’t understand. The camaraderie, the love and the empathy we all share is unique to us. Being a woman is literally like being part of a global sisterhood and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In honor of International Women’s Day, I’m honoring 10 women who have inspired me in various aspects of my personal and professional life. These amazing women are pictured below.
My mom inspires me to work hard. Sharing with the world that your mother inspires you is so cliche, but when it’s true – it’s true. My mother is my number one source of inspiration for more reasons than I can even count. She inspires me to achieve. She inspires me to press on. She inspires me to follow my dreams. She inspires me to be a phenomenal mother. The list goes on. I think back on how much I rebelled against the lessons she was trying to teach me because now I see it all so clearly. Just when I think I love her as much as I could possibly love another person, I love her more and more everyday.
LaShon Lowe (soon-to-be LaShon Austin)
My cousin LaShon inspires me to be positive and kind. If I made a list of everyone that I know, there aren’t many that can compare to Shon in terms of their kindness. Since I was a child, Shon has always been a positive, cheerful and loving influence in my life. As a teenager and adult, LaShon has been part of my best life memories. I’ve watched her raise two children largely on her own and wait on God to send her the man of her dreams. She is just an inspiration all over the board and I love her so much. I don’t know if she knows it, but she is the most important woman in my life outside of my mom.
Andrea “Fice” Sharp
My cousin Fice inspires me to help others as much as I can. Fice is such a caring, giving and motivating person. Regardless of what is going on in her life or what city she’s jetting off to, she always makes time to help someone in need. Since the day we discovered that we were relatives, she has been in my corner 100%. She has motivated me, hit the road with me every week for my second natural hair tour and she has even extended her help toward the biggest leap I’ve ever made in my life! (More on that later…) When I think of the position I want to be in when I’m “grown up,” she’s my reference. She recently released her first novel and she’s also a longtime creator of natural hair graphic tees. You can visit her website by clicking here.
Christina C. Jones
CCJ inspires me to write my story. I’ve been following Christina for several years, since she began self-publishing her novellas full-time. I’ve read every single novella she has published, give or take a few, and I always finish them in awe of how great she is at what she does. My first dream was to become an author. Inspired by Zane, Eric Jerome Dickey and other black authors, I wrote nonstop in notebooks after school everyday. Over the years I abandoned that dream out of fear but every time I read a CCJ novella, the fire inside of me is lit again. One of these days I’m going to finally publish a book and she’ll have a lot to do with me drumming up the courage to do so. Learn more about her here.
Chasi inspires me to own my awesomeness. I’ve never ended a conversation with Chasi without her boosting me up and telling me how awesome I am. We’re both bloggers, we’re both black and we both have strong ties to Mississippi. In any other situation that would be a recipe for a little competitiveness, even if it’s in fun. Not with Chasi. She is genuinely a friend and a major supporter. When I’m second guessing myself or feeling like I’m falling off, she always transfers her amazing energy and inspires me to realize who I am. Friends like that are priceless. Check out Chasi’s Instagram profile by clicking here.
Aprill inspires me to do things my way. Who would’ve ever thought that the Beyonce’ of beauty bloggers was just miles away from me all this time? Coined “Fairy Blog Mother” by me and Ashlee over at Pink Gumbeaux, Aprill is a no-f**** given, do what I want, take me as I am kinda woman and I love it. Mississippi is the worst at everything bad (seriously) and you’d think that she’d be tucked away in LA or NYC living the life. But nope, she’s showing people (especially me) that you can do you, however you want. You can be you in a world that’s telling to live in a certain place, look a certain way or have a particular kind of job. I say this all the time about her and I truly mean it – she is blogger #GOALS. Check out her blog for proof.
Bri Hall inspires me to level up. Bri is one of the YouTubers that I enjoy watching most because she is constantly producing unique and innovative content that is in line with her brand. Whenever I’m prepping for a video, I always think of her and how I can make my content interesting and captivating like hers is. I just love her style and her ability to visually tell stories and include collaborations in them as beautifully and seamlessly as she does.
Michelle inspires me to be strong in the face of whatever life brings my way. All the things that can sometimes break a person and leave them in pieces happened to her and yet, she’s still standing and smiling as if nothing ever took place. I know that she isn’t superwoman and that she has her moments where she does feel broken but she is surviving and thriving and that inspires me to go through my own storms with my head held high. She recently created her own blog. You can check it out here.
Cardi inspires me to glow up the real way. What I mean when I say the “real way” is that she is still the same Cardi she was prior to her musical success and the extra commas in her bank account. I know that my glow up is on the horizon and I have always wanted to do it as the Jessica I really am and not a version of me that was manufactured by someone else or myself. I want to remain authentic and love her or hate her, Cardi is an example of that.
Issa inspires me to create. Whenever I watch videos of her speaking, see her on red carpets or watch shows she’s had a hand in creating (*cough* hurry up with Season 3 of Insecure already) I am always inspired to go out and create. It can be my own web series, book, hell…even a painting…I just want to be like Issa and create ways to express the stories and visions I have in my mind. She is also #GOALS!
This is a lot of Black Girl Magic in one post, right?! I encourage you to check each of them out and browse their social platforms and websites, if they have them. I’m sure they’ll inspire you in some way as well.
I’d love for you to share the names of women who inspire you in the comment section below!