"I'm educated but still like to do ratchet stuff": The struggle of living in your truth

“Sophistiratchet: A person of highly educated pedigree (academically socially and otherwise) fluent in various forms of public etiquette yet is equally knowledgeable of the latest trap music, updated on most prime time ratchet cable programs and conversant in the tongue of ratchet.”

I was strolling through Facebook bored one afternoon, and came across this post that included a word I never saw before…


In that moment I lifted my head toward the heavens, as the clouds parted and Angels from heaven said “This word was created just for you!”  FINALLY, someone could describe me to THE tee…and as I shared with my girls we all agreed ….This was US!

We have been kickin’ it for a couple months now, so y’all know me pretty well.  As you know, I’m a nerd who loves to read books based on research.  I really think that Kanye West was talking about me in The College Dropout skit (you know Lil’ Jimmy’s daddy who just kept learning and learning; only to leave he son his degrees). 

But on the flip side, you can find me discussing why Amina and Tara keep messing with Peter Gunz, while Millie rocking on any block, and bank head bouncing to “I luh God, you don’t luh God, what’s wrong with you?” To call me one without acknowledging the other wouldn't give you a clear indication of who Jasamine Hill really is. 

Why is it that society forces us to choose one or the other? If you’re educated the thought of being hip is almost a foreign language, and if you have ratchet moments folks are surprised that you have degrees on deck (especially in the workplace).  How can we be ourselves and still coexist without the fear of being judged?

The judge and the jury

In every corporate American office around the world, there lives a person who is referred to as the Queen Bee.  Now they are not the boss, and have no pull within the company but their opinion runs the workplace.  They set the status quo of how things should and will be ran around these parts.

To sum it up…..they are judgmental as hell, and of course roll with group of minions to co-sign their every statement (….and if a name didn’t pop up in your head it just might be you….sorry to break it to ya). 

In a conversation about music, you bring up that you really like the new Future album (well one of them..... he drops a new one every week).  The Queen Bee not only gives you the look of disgust, but comments for 30 minutes on how it is so classless to listen to “Hardcore HipHop,” with her minions nodding and adding their two cents which makes you regret that you even made the statement.  

So. the next time a coworker brings up music at the water cooler; you just agree with whatever is said, cosigning on a whole bunch of music you don’t even like; just because of the fear to be judged once again.  This is what researchers call normative conformity.  Simply Psychology defines it as a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group.

 Just like that, we begin to lose pieces of ourselves.  Imagine if this happened in every aspect of your life…everyday….every hour….every second...... Would YOU still be YOU or a new person that you really don’t even like?  

Deep in the man hole

One day, you are walking down the street minding your own business, when all of the sudden you slip and fall in a man hole (c’mon just go with me in this imaginary world).  Once down there you notice that there is a ladder to get out.  Would you stay trapped there or use the ladder to get out? I hope that common sense said climb out the hole (but we all know that common sense isn’t so common). 

When we continue to conform to society, instead of staying true to ourselves we fall into a hole confide by the walls that others create for us.  The kicker is that we do not even realize that we have the resources to free ourselves and GET OUT! Life is all about choices; you can either stay put or crawl out into freedom. 

Dance in the rain

How do we crawl out of this hole that we have found ourselves in?  The answer is actually quite simple so don’t think I’m going to give you this long thesis …….BE YOURSELF! (tried to tell you). 

Even in my own experiences, I know how hard this can be.  I told ya I’m a nerd who likes to read; and at one point I would hide who I was in fear of what others would think about me. 

..........but LOOK AT ME NOW!

Have you ever danced in the rain? I mean Marques Houston on “You Got Served,” pop, lock, and droppin’ it (and if you don’t care to get your hair wet I HIGHLY suggest it).  It is the true feeling of FREEDOM; expressing yourself without a care in the world….and that is how EVERYDAY should feel.  It’s a daily struggle, but put it to practice; when you feel yourself confirming to society; embrace it and stay TRUE TO YOU!

Everything that you’re going through isn’t always for you.  When you feel that you’re not alone in the situation, you are most likely to go with your TRUE self.  

Hell yeah, I like to listen to ratchet music, that have crazy dances and lyrics that make no sense, and I don’t care what you think.”  Watch as someone who would otherwise conform pop up.

I LOVE RATCHET STUFF TOO, and before you know it you start a Ratchet Revolution by just being yourself.  WOW! Now THAT’S a leader!

Yesterday I gave the GET OVER IT! email series an assignment that I would like to share with you.....

Putting it in action:
Today when you feel the urge to change who you are; ask yourself.....
- What is gained by losing a piece of me?
- Is it worth it?

When have you found yourself confirming to your surroundings instead of staying true to yourself? Share your story in the comments...