[This blog post has been revised and edited for publication.]
As I reflect back on 2019, I think about the many celebrations that brought me joy: my anniversary in Jamaica; my granddaughter’s first birthday; returning to my alma mater to help inspire students; and developing new friendships.
Then I think about the moments that could have defined me: cancer scares, car accident, deaths, and losing friendships.
And through the ups, fears, hurt and discouragement, there was one thing that changed my life forever: learning to become a new me!
In life – you will be faced with confronting things and people who will examine your shortcomings, lack of discipline, and whatever else they want to see in you in any moment. Then, you may even begin to internalize those ideas and even question your self worth. I’m not going to lie – there were times that I experienced when I found myself slowing down while driving by a liquor store. I would think of where I was in my feelings and if it were two years ago – I would face my fears with alcohol.
It was in these moments, I began to pray.
I prayed about feelings of loss and failure that consumed me. I asked God to relieve me of this pain. I asked God why. I prayed that the nightmares I was facing would be nothing but a bad dream and I would wake up and go back to a world that made sense.
I woke up the next morning. No dream. The reality of my life had sunk its teeth so deep into my conscious that it was hard for me to breathe. Imagine that? Imagine being consumed with such sorrow and despair that you couldn’t breathe.
Then I heard God speaking to me in a clarity that I was familiar with and knew it was real: do what you know! I thought about what I was hearing and the words continued to ring in my head: do what you know! Do what you know! Do what you know!
I have learned things happen for a reason. I have learned that God’s plan is not our plan. I have learned not to question what His plan is for me, but to answer it in faith and prayer.
Having gone through these emotions was the best thing that ever happened to me!
After 32 years of working for others – I was able to take this new chapter in my life as an opportunity to soar and create my own path.
I started my blog, which you are reading right now. The readership continues to grow and I’m hearing that my words are helping people – and that is the greatest paycheck I could receive.
I began producing my podcast, which debuted yesterday with great response! I have interviewed State Senators, educators, former Judges, artists and religious leaders. I am learning more about myself with this new podcast and having the time of my life!
I’m developing a documentary on a historic landmark in Boston. The feedback so far is overwhelming and I’m hoping to start filming in the summer of 2020!
I began working and contributing to my church in a way that brings me such joy and satisfaction.
And I have let go of feelings of despair and failure and have replaced them with triumph and glory.
Not everything is done the way we want it done. Not everything is our plan. I certainly didn’t want to wait until I was 50 to realize that all of this was in me, but I thank God I did; that I have the strength and power to overcome anything and to face anything head on – despite enemies trying to intimidate me. See, I don’t have money for others to fight my battles. I have God. His favor in me put me on a path where I’m creating and building and writing and producing and working with a sense of purpose I never had before.
It is in this moment, when I look back on my year with reflection, gratitude and triumph and for that I say thank you! Thank you for every road I have travelled which brought me to this day.
I am now a stronger, healthier, more confident and determined woman; a woman destined to create my path in every project and creation I build.
My purpose is this: do what I know.
Nothing will silence my voice or stifle my creativity. When someone throws a jab, duck and move in a different direction. I am ready to take on 2020 with a strength and wisdom and clarity that can only make me undeniably successful.