Maya Angelou at the Discovery 2000 conference.
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You know… sometimes when you are living in China .. and you have all the people staring and pointing; laughing and even the people back home are trying to drag you down or tell you what you’re doing is nothing .. no matter how kind you try to be and no matter how strong you are… you get a little down.   You start missing the feeling of acceptance and support.  Not that I don’t feel accepted by my husband and the wonderful friends that I have met.   But just kind of feel down.

Today .. for no reason .. I just woke up and felt kind of down… I was missing my grandmother, who passed many years ago .. and even my mother, who passed 6 years ago (we weren’t very close but she did always have something to say).  There are just days .. when no matter how good you life might seem at that moment you just feel a little … un-inspired.    I know you guys are probably thinking… “what the hell is wrong with you?”  … I know.. I have a wonderful husband, a just got a good job, we just bought a new car… but I just feel… blah…soooo…

I want to tell you guys when I usually do when I feel like this.. You might want to use it for yourselves when you feel discouraged.   One of my idols and mentors in life is the … wonderful, graceful and beautiful.. Maya Angelou.   I have basically grew up … on everything she has written and love her to death.   So, when I feel like everyone is against me, or I just feel broken … angry at the world.   She always brings me back with one of her poems.  Today this poem brought me back… as it always does when I read it….please read it and be inspired today!

I Still Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I‘ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

-Maya Angelou


6 thoughts on “Inspiration…

  1. Yolanda

    It’s normal to feel down from time to time, but the lesson that I learned during my time in South Korea is this: Do not let people know of your weaknesses or they will exploit them. I have trouble trusting people of South Korean descent now because of this. People complained that I was very quiet in China, but it was because I was trying to protect myself. I did not want a repeat of what happened in Korea with those back-stabbing people that I thought I could trust!

    Keep your head up and be strong! Don’t let your weaknesses show!

  2. Mayte

    I needed this today. I’ve been like this for a couple of days now myself and definitely needed this. Ms. Angelou is an awesome writer and inspiration to many. I’m glad to know you are inspired by her too.

  3. anon

    Your honesty is one of many things I love about your blog. Maya’s poem is awesome. I also find her poem “Phenomenal Woman” to be very inspiring.

  4. AMEN TO THAT! I needed to hear that today. Brought tears to my eyes. Still I Rise!!!!

    It’s also really funny that I thought of Alfre Wooderd saying this poem in the movie “Holiday Heart”. quite funny as her character was a crack head saying it. lol

  5. mira

    Maya Angelou is truly and insperation and such a beautiful being! Many of us can relate to how you are feeling, there are times when I wake up and cry and think to myself what am I doing here with no family, no close girlfriends (I mean really close girlfriends who you can share anything with), no support but when I feel this way I call my best friend in the whole world and she listens, she comforts, she supports and encourages me and this gets me by. Some times that’s all we need a voice from home to get us through or as you do read an inspirational piece of writing that will bring you back.

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