I grew up with vivid daydreams about how my life was going to go. From an early age I was taught, if you want anything in life, you have to work hard for it; my mother was my living example of hard work. Growing up in Riverside, California I watched her work tirelessly for meager earnings, in a gang infested neighborhood, raising me and my two sisters. My childhood looked normal, regular drive-by shootings and drug exchanges were just a part of the backdrop.
At the peak of racial pressures before the Rodney King verdict, my family moved to Newport News, Virginia, in hopes of a new life. The move left me feeling like an outsider, I tried to fit in but that never worked, I was teased for being different. Our migration to the east was greeted with devastating news, after a suicide attempt claimed the life of my half-brother; making me a Daddyless daughter. My biological father disappeared after the loss of his only son; leaving me to question, why me being alive, was not a reason for him to stay? I was ashamed to admit it, I wanted my father to choose me, the longing for a relationship I never had continued to break me into my adulthood. My mother filled the void, married an amazing man I know today as my father, but it never erased my incessant want to have my biological father in my life. I vowed to succeed past my pain, putting my dreams, aspirations, and goals first.
3 YEARS OF GOOD MORNING MESSAGES
During my early 20’s, after graduating from Norfolk State University, I felt the most powerful. I started sending 30 of my friends and family motivational messages, everyday. Many times the messages came easy, often times I struggled to find the motivation but something would always speak to me. 1100 messages, three years, and mini testimonials allowed me to see how impactful I could be. I used my voice to move people from their place of uncertainty to clarity. This helped me focus my energy on someone else’s pain, while avoiding my own. I couldn’t explain the rush motivating others had over me but the feeling didn’t fade as I moved on to tackle my bigger challenges in my life.
GETTING MY BUTTERFLY WINGS
I felt a powerful connection with the Natural Hair Community, the confidence women exuded about their hair was electrifying. I had lessons to teach, home styling expertise, and a voice to lend in the growing community; I launched SistersWithBeauty, October 10, 2011, after moving to San Antonio, Texas. My energy and time fully dedicated to creating content, shooting videos, and doing natural hair events. I didn’t naturally possess the skills to do what I was attempting, but through trial and error, I figured it out. Education, motivation, and being a reliable resource was how I set myself apart. I was successful in motivating my audience along their natural hair journey but failed to connect my own battles and obstacles with their struggles during transition. Never revealing my own fears and doubts gave me a sense of emptiness. I wasn’t being authentic and didn’t speak my mind, I was shrinking in the face of my own transition. I doubted every move I made, which allowed me to became stagnant in my life. I was standing face-to-fear, in front of my biggest breakthrough.
#BUTTERFLYTRANSITION CHANGED MY LIFE
By my early 30’s, my business was semi-successful, I was unhappy professionally, I was walking in fear, unsure of where to turn for help. I lost the grip on my emotions so much that I stopped lying to people when they asked, “how I was doing.” My emotional state escalated from minor sadness to full on depression. My passion for natural hair decreased as I cried in bed; feeling less powerful and more incapable of being myself, so much that I gave up and allowed myself to fall deeply and intently into depression. Hitting the bottom came with a mirrored image of what I looked like at my lowest point. I had always been the person to have it all figured out, I had succeeded past my pain but not in this season. My transition challenged me to evaluate my life; why was I running away from feeling past pains, fear, and doubt? My biological father disappearing, my brother committing suicide, and fears of succeeding in my business all came crashing down, overwhelming me. To survive my transition, I reached for motivation and journaling to help me to become stronger, regain my confidence, and shift out of my state of despair. I documented what made me feel better, and what didn’t help me, I became a student during my life transition.
Being triumphant during my battle with darkness was a result of being authentic and transparent during my depression. I gained the courage I needed to write my first book, Butterfly Transition; exposed my truth by telling on my secrets, so they could stop controlling my purpose. As a result I’ve been a panel speaker at the Congressional Black Caucus, coached women by clearing their path for breakthroughs, success and real transition, and been featured on Good Day Washington. My transition coupled with the attention placed on my self-development has allowed me to become a #TransitionCoach. I’m no longer trying to be the picture of perfection while in a storm. I’ve become abundantly more by giving myself grace to be the person that can help, aid, and be a resource of real, impactful change.
My biggest lesson learned:
“Never be silent in the face of your own greatness” ~Diana R. Ramsey
Diana R. Ramsey is the author of Butterfly Transition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Transitioning Your Hair While Growing Through Life’s Changes, a Speaker and Transition Coach. Diana’s dedication to live in her purpose is helping women throughout the world successfully transition. Diana first burst onto the scene, bringing an innovative perspective to the natural hair community, always encouraging smart consumer decisions from her followers. When she’s not teaching women how to successfully transition, she is in the office applying her technical intellect as a Project Manager. She’s spoken at Congressional Black Caucus, WHUR 96.3, Blogalicious, and been featured on Great Day Washington and HuffPost Live. Diana holds a Master’s degree in Information Technology Management from Webster University, and a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship from Norfolk State University. She resides in Washington, DC and is a lover of Saturday brunch, dipping sauces and thrift shopping.
I don’t fly by myself, I have an amazing team I call my #WingSquad. To learn more about my team, click here.