Maya Earls is a Philadelphia transplant working as a general assignment report for The Philadelphia Tribune. She is a self-proclaimed soccer nut and fitness enthusiast and an accomplished writer. Most recently, Earls received her Master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism in New York City. Her work has been featured in The Baltimore Sun, RVA Magazine, Haitian Times, and more.
Ka’Lyn Banks is a woman balancing it all. A recent newlywed, graduate student, content creator and digital community manager, she has a ton on her plate but does it with humor and flare. Studying at Bowie State University to obtain her Master of Arts in Organizational Communications as a teaching assistant, you can add professor to her impressive list of skillsets. Featured on XO Necole as one of three women who boldly quit their jobs and changed careers, it seems at least from the outside looking in, that Banks has found her stride. An advocate for women of color and against the stigmas of mental illness, Ka’Lyn knows exactly what she is working towards.
Gabrielle Hickmon is splitting her time between total world domination as a UPenn Grad student and writing for a generation that thrives off authenticity and forward thinking. She is the co-founder of The Reign XY which creates community and encouragement for millennial women of color. Created by Gabrielle and college friend, Toi, the site explores their journey from the college experience into the professional realm. Full of style, grace, and a love for politics, it’s easy to see Gabrielle as an emerging leader in the millennial generation that will affect change in more ways than one on both a local and global scale.
When I think of grace not perfection I see a second chance. I see an opportunity to embrace all of who I am fully, without regret. I sit and reflect on the times that I had no idea who I truly was. There was a point it was uncomfortable for me to be my true self. There were days that my desire for perfection made pretending to be someone that I was not feel ideal. At some point, I realized that all that time I was masking my pain and scars. I was ignoring what I needed to do to properly heal. Wearing a false mask enabled my self-hatred for many years. Grace is a constant reminder that my refusal to meet my true self halfway all those years was the path that I needed to take to become whole. It was the pain and the triumph that taught me the true beauty of growth, self-acceptance and self-love. I stand tall, perfectly imperfect, but gracefully me.
We're rounding out the week in the Growing into Grace series and I can't believe this month is going so fast!
It's really crazy how time flies. But I hope that you have really been sinking into the wisdom of all these great women that took the time to share some of their most valuable life lessons. I believe that in our transparency, we help each other grow. It's so important to me to make sure to continue to provide a platform where we can say, "me too!"
Welcome to week 3 of Growing Into Grace! Big thanks to those of you who have been following the series since week 1, and if this is your first time here, be sure to check out the previous posts. This is my third time doing the Growing Into Grace series, and with each new set of guests I grow to appreciate their gift(s) a little bit more. One of my favorite mantras is that "we as women can coexist"; sometimes we can get so caught up with what she has that we don't realize that it doesn't take away from what we have. One way that we can realize this is by knowing who we are and believing in our own gifts. Our next feature shares about the importance of knowing your worth, and speaking positive affirmations over your life. I'm sure you'll find something you can identify with; don't hesitate to comment or share!
Welcome back to the Growing Into Grace Series! I hope that you're enjoying reading the features as much as I am enjoying sharing them. I believe there is power in sharing our stories and the lessons they've taught us. There is no 'how to' guide for this thing called life, but there's something about the sense of universality that gives us hope that we too can make it though. Our next guest speaks to this idea of trusting the process of life, and knowing that you are equipped. Be sure to comment and share anything that speaks to you.