Greetings and a warm salutation to everyone, especially to all of the women who’s curiosity were piqued enough to take a moment to drop in on this post! I want to send my regards to you for being among the active living and compliment each one of you on doing all you can to keep YOU in the best health possible so that you can continue to enjoy YOUR life!
Here are a few musical, inspirational selections for you to enjoy! May they remind you that YOU ARE SOMEBODY, and YOU ARE SPECIAL, if to no one else but you, so be it! Shine on Sista!
I received an email from one of the director’s of a program I oversee, asking me if I would be interested in making a presentation in recognition of Women’s History Month; needless to say, I was truly honored. I could not make the presentation, therefore, I wrote it out and emailed it to her. I didn’t find out until I returned to work that the email never made it to her 😦
These were the guiding questions she asked for talking points:
Who are you, Roles, Experiences; and I was fine with all of that until I read… What defines you as a woman?
I had to really think about how to respond to this question because I never think about myself in that way. WOW! It was a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around a response and I had to dig a little for some answers. The first thing I thought about was what I do for others—family, friends, and the likes. I realized I had to isolate myself from those initial assumptions.
I asked some of the women I am close to, to answer the question and couple of them responded immediately and others had to think about it like me. Of course, you do not have to go into details as I did, but just by answering the question, “what defines you as a woman” would be really interesting to learn more about you, that would spark some dialogue. Please leave your comment below, I would appreciate it much!
So this is what I shared:
Who are you: Roles and Experiences
I have been working with the City of New York for the past 28 years, 14 with Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and 14 with The Department for the Aging. When I came to DFTA in 2002, I worked with the WRAP (Weatherization Referral and Packaging) Unit, and in 2012 began working with the NORC Unit as a Program Manager, overseeing DFTA and City Council Funded NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) programs in Brooklyn and Manhattan. To say the least, it has been an eye-opening experience to see the work NORC staff does to assist with helping seniors age healthy in their own home.
My name is Pamela Nichols and I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt to my family. To ME, I am a photographer, videographer, DJ, and graphic artist—enthusiast of all, jack of some, and master of a few. I never thought of myself as being the creative type but discovered in my later years that, maybe there is an artistic bone that lives within my body.
I was a late bloomer when it came to education. I decided to take a break after graduating high school, and shortly after became a mom in my early twenties. I was lucky to have such a supportive family that permitted me to enroll in a community college where I made the Dean’s List in my first year which was a very proud moment for me.
A couple of years later I decided again, to take a break from school to find employment as I felt unfulfilled with just going to school—at that time I was approaching my thirties and had not yet established myself with gainful employment. I was just about to turn 30 years old when I landed a position with the City of New York and have been here ever since. I am gleefully looking forward to retirement in a few years!
In 1998, I returned to school and didn’t stop until I completed my master’s degree in 2008. I know, ten years it took me to finish but I did it! I was not in a rush as I had a full-time job; attaining my education was something I wanted to accomplish for ME, not for anything or anyone else, just me. I am forever grateful I was able to further my education with the push and support of my sister, Danielle.
For the most part, I paid my tuition out of pocket and, in 2004 I graduated with my Bachelors in Corporate Communications. It had always been important to me to be a good communicator and be mindful of presenting myself in a respectable manner in addition to learning the business culture of communications. In 2008, I graduated with my Masters in Urban Affairs. Since I had already been working with the City for 20 years, I had no plans on specializing in a particular “career” path. However, learning about how government, businesses, neighborhoods, and individual initiatives were all united to improve the quality of life and build wealth in urban communities while solving emerging issues, helped me to understand how the city and non-profits work hand in hand.
A woman’s innate attributes are obvious, WE ARE:
And possess strengths we, at times, cannot account for
What defines Pam as a woman?
I know when it’s time to take a break, in order to recharge my batteries
My happiness begins with me!
My confidence is quiet (like me at times). It is my natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard.
Although I am a mature woman, the girlie girl still lives inside of me
Things come fruition when I put my mind to it
My independence means:
I don’t have to ask for permission to live my life the way I see fit
I don’t have to do things with manipulation
I determine my own schedule, values, and priorities, I am self-reliant
A leader who positively encourages others
A Boss. Period
Patient, Easy Going, and Warm
Perceptive and Trustworthy
I live within myself by accepting the things I’d like to change about me but cannot
Last but definitely not least, I would not be who I am without the grace of God who has bestowed many blessings upon me and my life.
Giving honor to the women who helped shaped my life:
My mother, grandmother, and aunt…
All eight of my lovely sisters inspire me to no end! They are dynamic Women, who hold their own and are UNSTOPPABLE! I love and adore you!!
In 2015, I posted a Women’s Herstory Month tribute where with a good cup or glass of something soothing, I hope you enjoy this read!
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE YOU!
Dr. Angelou defines a WOMAN best, and I personally identify with
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Now, go on and have some fun, doing YOU!
Just for you!
I love this I remember discussing this with you and never imagine you would put this in words so eloquently definitive . You have touched on every aspect of a woman be it you or I or any woman who fits the mold….. you go girl, the music topped off along with Maya’s poem set it off ….you did exceptional Pammie phenomal woman that’s you 😘
Val, thank you for sharing your thoughts and Speshyl on this with me. They made writing this piece a bit easier to define what being a woman is to me. Love you!
Oops I meant Valerie not bakers
Awesome job Pam! Phenomelly awesome, that’s you!!! Keep on keeping on, so very proud of you and to be a witness to all that you are!!!
Cousin Mary you are always so supportive of me and I appreciate you more that you know.
Hey Pam. I love the way you tell your story! You are determined, persistent and in your own way, you manage to accomplish so much. I’m proud of you.
Thank you Darnelle! That question really made me think about me and to express who I am as a woman. I appreciate your feedback so much! ❤