Why Hidden Figures has reaffirmed my #Yearoftheplantain

women empowerment holiday figures plantain

OK, this post is all about how arguably one the best movies of the year (so far, in my opinion) has helped me to get back on top of the #YearofthePlantain.

I should probably explain,  what the year of the plantain (pronounced plant-in, c’mon I am an Islander) is all about.

At the beginning of 2017 and a good friend of mine and I was talking about the amount of serious l’s (losses) we suffered in 2016 and realised 2016 had really taken us for bananas!

Now anyone who has ever eaten plantain and banana knows two things about these fruits:

1) They belong to the same family of fruit

2) Out of the two,  Plantain trumps banana any day of the week. If you don’t believe me, peep this graphic:

Bananas-vs.-Plantains

See! Plantain is definitely the superior out of the two!

So when I say 2016 took us for bananas, I mean 2016 treated us like we were ‘Basic Beckys’!  Work, relationships, friends, fitness goals and other frustrations were on the list and after reflecting on all of it, we had enough!

Like, who did 2016 think it was taking us for bananas! We are definitely a plantains in life so we needed to leave the basic banana antics back there.

So that was it,  we dubbed 2017  “the year of the plantain”- the year where we do not except nothing less than our expectations from anything or anyone including ourselves!

I’m sure my friend wouldn’t mind me saying, 2017 hasn’t started on a high.  In fact, she even referred to January and February as practice months and highlighted that March was indeed the month we were going to get our lives and act right!

So fast forwarding to Tuesday 8th March which also happens to be International Women’s Day and I was feeling a deflated. I thought it would be a good idea to watch Hidden Figures as I thought it would give me some inspiration and a kick up the backside.

My gosh, I wasn’t wrong; I had heard good things about Hidden Figures but didn’t expect to have the reaction that I had. I was so taken back by what I had watched, it practically brought me to tears. Watching it, I realised I had been slacking and I had been letting down not only myself but my ‘sistas’ (all the amazing courageous black women who have come before me.)

Watching those three ladies on screen, strive for their goals whilst in a toxic, unsupportive, racist environment and world and not give up, made me want to give myself the biggest stinking duttiest slap!

I had to remind myself; I am standing on the shoulders of giants like Maya Angelou, Angela Davis and my grandparents. Who came to England in 1950’s went through so much adversity and shit, allowing me to now have more choices available to me in life.

They didn’t go through all of that, so I or this generation can be mediocre and not live up to our full potential!

I think stood out for me the most was Octavia Spencer’s character Dorothy Vaughan character who realised she was about to be out of a job and replaced with a computer. So she took it on herself to learn about about computers in order to make sure her indispensable.

This screamed out to me the biggest lesson, as sometimes at work I have waited for management to fund training or see my potential but for some reason I was always overlooked.

But I realised, it’s OK,  people will not always see your potential and they don’t need to.Invest in yourself and make yourself indispensable! Why are you waiting for people to see what you already know! I have to do what Dorothy Vaughan did, invest in my own development.  You can’t waste time trying to convince non-believers, put things into action and make it happen for yourself.

When the movie finished, it just all clicked into place for me.  I can’t afford to not be great!  Too many before me have died and gone through great adversity so not only me but so we can have it just that little bit easier and be the greatest plantains we can possibly be.

So here’s to 2017, better known as #theyearoftheplantain, may I meet my expectations and may everyone around me live up theirs.

Bless Up

Leah

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