Song on My Mind: More Than A Woman by Angie Stone
Date: 4/12/07"I believe it's your time, Uh huh, Cuz I believe in you, Listen....Girl you musta lost your way from heaven, Could it be for me you came so far, Nothing like the ordinary woman, You're the very beat inside my heart, Girl you're like a star I feel so common, Shining like a diamond out in space, Girl you're like my mother, my sister, my lover, Irreplaceable, nothing can take your place..."
Recently someone dedicated this song to me because he said it seemed to be a true representative of who I am. It’s taken a long time but I think I have finally become a woman! Or almost…lol.
When I was younger I had long fine natural hair and my mum used to braid it for me, canerow it and twist it using thread (anyone remember that?).
I always felt like a child when looking at the sleek, shiny locks of my friends. So at 16 I decide it would be in my best interests to relax my hair. I can tell you now; at that time, it wasn’t. It looked great at first but I didn’t know how to maintain it so I didn’t.
No one else in my family had relaxed hair. When I should have been saving from my first job at Megabowl so I could get it treated I was wondering how I could afford another new outfit for the ridiculous amount of parties I was going to. Needless to say my hair broke fast. I cried, I’m sure my mum tried hard not to say I told you so and I went back to braids. I’ve gone through a series of hair experiments since then, have relaxed and gone back to natural twice.
My hair has (in the past), completely broken at the back, stress patches have appeared, I have had an allergic reaction to relaxer which caused my whole face to swell up, I had the ‘Beyonce’ weave which ruined my hairline and although it looked hot it was a pain to maintain.Note to self: A woman always takes care of her HAIR.
I’ve always been pretty independent and tried to be more grown up than I am. As a child I longed to be an adult; to be someone people looked up to – not just physically, for those who don’t know me, I’m pretty tall! – And for my opinions to count, so I could date, drink, party legally, drive etc. I wanted to grow up fast so I did all the things I thought could get me there. My first work placement was at Storm modelling agency and I was surrounded by beautiful people who always looked perfect. There was a beauty I longed for and I tried to copy. When I first started modelling and had my first shoot I went straight to my boyfriend’s house in the same make-up I wore for the shoot. I thought I looked beautiful and sexy, he asked me why I was wearing so much make-up and said it didn’t suit me. Lol. I didn’t know any better, not knowing much about make-up bar mascara and lip gloss (I had just turned 18…). Everyone seemed to know so much more than I did; I felt as though I was getting left behind. To me, being a real woman was knowing about make–up and hair, always looking immaculate, never saying the wrong thing, driving a top car, never worrying about wearing white at an Italian restaurant….Note to self: A woman NEVER TRIES TOO HARD.
At uni I tried to be this adult with my newfound freedom. I stayed out all night, got a boyfriend, drank, got drunk, partied and made friends with unsuitable characters. My older boyfriend wasn’t impressed. He saw straight through me and called me his baby – not always in the wifey sense…!
One time he asked me if I could cook. I said sure and then proceeded to made a complete fool of myself when I burnt dodo (plaintain)! I mean i isn't hard is it, you just put it in the pan with oil and fry it!! So he started to teach me things. He once said that he was always bringing up his girlfriends and he could see I wasn’t yet grown but he wasn’t ready to start doing it all over with me. He did though. He used to take me on short notice jaunts to London (I went to uni in Birmingham), and say things like, “I’ll be back to pick you up in 8.5 minutes.” I would panic and not know what to wear, would ask him how long we would be in London for so I could pack enough and he would just laugh and say we’ll see. I made so many mistakes. The first time I didn’t shower before we left because he told me he’d leave without me if I didn’t hurry up! We travelled round London the whole day and I came back exhausted and feeling yucky and needing a bath. My hair was a mess and my long beautiful cream coat was dirty – we were on the tube. The second time he said we’d be there for only a few hours. I wore jeans, high heeled boots, a fitted long sleeved top and a belt loosely on my hips. I didn’t take a jacket and I carried a clutch bag with nothing in it. It was winter. I was freezing. We ended up staying in a hotel over night and I woke up looking a completely mess! My skin was dry and my hair was all over the place.Note to self: A Woman is always PREPARED.
When we went food shopping he would take out all the junk food – chocolates, biscuits, sweets – that I put in the trolley and tell me to buy proper food. He loved my eyes and hated it when I cut myself by accident because he said I was ruining my beautiful skin. He was like my personal model booker; any scars or marks on my skin he would notice and reprimand me for. He said it was a waste of beauty. He told me when my hair needed doing and praised me when I got it done. When I started learning to canerow he praised me again and told me to keep it up. It’s something Black woman should know how to do.Note to self: A woman TAKES CARE OF HER BODY.
At the first party I organised – a brilliant night called Lean Back, after the song by Terror Squad - he was there in the run up encouraging me, telling me not to worry if people didn’t turn up at first, to keep on trying and not to give up.
On the actual night I got him and his friends in free and then kept them well watered with champagne all night. I networked and was aware as people kept coming to say hi that I knew everyone in the room. When people needed things they came to me. By midnight we had run out of champagne at the bar – I love Nigerians lol – the afterparty was rammed! At one point he caught my eye and winked. I was doing well. Note to self: A woman knows how to ORGANISE.
Back at my house after the after party he asked why I never wore anything sexy to bed. (I used to wear snoopy sets from H&M, does anyone remember those short and vest sets??!) I sought to please him so I showed him a shift camisole I got from Asda lol. Again he wasn’t impressed. He slipped the straps off my shoulders and held it tight at the back, turned me to face him and smiled…later I already had satin sheets and later I bought a beautiful shorts and vest set in black satin with lace trim. That was a good buy.. ;)Note to self: A woman knows how to be SEXY.
When we went out to dinner he told me not to rush my food and to enjoy it. (I used to eat my food like it was going out of fashion.) He took me to a Japanese restaurant and we shared small portions, afterwards we walked along Birmingham canal and laughed and joked. He used to call me his model chick and we joked about how my strange sense in clothes looked odd in Birmingham and how they would probably think I was a model or fashion designer or something. I laughed and said I’m not either though. He looked at me in the eye and said “But you are really, aren’t you; you’re beautiful.” Although he still thought I had strange sense in clothes sometimes, he knew that I was getting to know who I really was and what I like instead of just following the crowd and he accepted and encouraged that. He encouraged confidence in acceptance in myself and in who I am.Note to self: A woman KNOWS WHO SHE IS AND IS NOT AFRAID TO SHOW IT.
When I went to Dubai for Christmas I came back with a beautiful handmade champagne coloured ball gown. He saw it and insisted I try it on. When I did, he looked at me for a long time without saying anything. He went outside to his car and brought out his video camera. He took pictures of me walking around, encouraged me to pose in it along with my glass of champagne and asked me several times with a sad smile if I didn’t realise how beautiful I really was. I didn’t.Note to self: A woman CAN APPEAR UNASSUMING AS TO HER BEAUTY BUT MUST KNOW THAT SHE IS BEAUTIFUL.
Although I love clothes I never got excited about underwear until I went to uni. Because of my size I often had trouble getting bras and they were always really expensive. At uni I learned there are more colours than black and white. I started buying matching underwear sets. My legs and armpits were always shaved in the unlikely event of me raising my hand to answer a question during a class at uni or an impromptu visit to the gym (ha!) or a short skirt requiring evening out.Note to self: A woman is AS BEAUTIFUL UNDERNEATH AS SHE IS ON THE OUTSIDE.
In the last 5 years I have learnt how to put an outfit together for any occasion in less than 10mins.
I have learnt not to care what my friends are wearing and to be happy with my own outfits..kind of :)
I have learned how to look fashionable even with no money.
I have learned how to drive and have my own car.
I have learned to socialise in a room full of people I don’t know.
I have learnt how to get what I want and how to pretend to be stupid so that I can.
I have learned how to look and feel sexy even when it’s that dreaded time of the month.
I have had my first all girl’s holiday and loved it.
I have learnt to live with my mama without arguing with her. Well almost ;),
I have learnt that mistakes don’t have to be repeated but even if they are its not the end of the world.
I have learnt how to wake up looking and smelling beautiful,
I have learnt how to spend the night at someone’s house without a change of clothes and still leave the house the next morning dignity intact!
I have learnt how to sleep without a head-wrap on and not look a complete mess in the morning.
I have learned how to cook and cook with hardly any ingredients.
I have learned how to bake.
I have learned not to touch my face when I’m wearing make-up.
I’ve learned the importance of a nail brush and threading.
I’ve learned not to wear foundation when I wear white or cream.
I’ve learned to completely epilate before going clothes shopping.
I’ve ALMOST learned not to leave my toe nail paint on until it’s chipped!
I’ve learned that even when / if relationships end, I can still have gained,
I’ve learned how to look after young children - to cook for them, change them, play with them, pray with them, take them out on public transport in the dead of winter, get them to sleep, discipline them, take them shopping and deal with a push chair, shopping and a wandering two year old all at the same time.
I can keep a whole house spotless even while entertaining guests,
I’ve learned how to ‘Meet the Parents’.
I’ve also learned - and this is very important; If you have an active sex life - I don’t care if you are a Christian - don’t pretend to yourself that when he comes over or you go over, that its not going to happen. Take those condoms you were given by your GP after your last STD test. Use them. Remember that an abortion for a sexual act outside marriage is a sin on top of a sin. Don’t play with God.
I am still learning to take constructive criticism,
I am learning to care more.
I am learning to take responsibility for my actions.
I am learning how to truly love, forget and forgive.
I am learning to be selfless.
I am learning to let go.
I am learning how to trust.
I am learning who God is, who I am and who He wants me to be.
The people around me have been major factors in these changes. This wasn’t meant to be a post about my ex but he was a huge part of my change. When I graduated and got my first graduate role as a Press Officer, he was the first person I told even though we were no longer together. He came round and we celebrated.
Our last days and nights together were beautiful but sad because we knew it was ending.
I know that there is a reason he was in my life and a reason it was him and not anyone else. He was not a saint – far from it, but he knew how to raise a woman. (Look out for my future post – When a man grows a woman
for more about this.) You may be skeptical; you may think he was just using me and in a sense he was. But he cared about me in a way that was nothing to do with sex or even our relationship as partners. If we hadn’t slept together we would have been and maybe would still be good friends. You may think everything he taught me was only an outward change. And it may be. But those changes made me evaluate myself and inwardly I was changing as I was made more aware of myself. He made sure no one would be able to use me the way he knew he was able to.
One time he asked me why I let him treat me so badly especially when I didn’t belong to him. He knew I didn’t. And I believe God allowed that experience to take place to help me grow. And grow I did. It hurt like crazy but then maybe that was just ‘growing pains’…. :) . So many times I’ve done things, accomplished others and wanted to call him and say, “look I did it!” Like a child with their father. He wanted me to succeed and although I’ve messed up a lot, I know if he saw me now he’d be pleased and he’d smile and say, “You’re all grown…you’re ready to be somebody’s woman.”
This is just me…I still have lots to learn as I mature and keep growing but that’s just me. If you want to know how to be the real perfect woman, read Proverbs 31….good luck!
Christ Couture Girl xx