You are great at many things but that does not mean you should do all of them.
These words punch me in the face during an episode of Super Soul Sundays with Oprah. The guest gives an example of playing a guitar. If you pick up a guitar and become good at it, that does may mean you are the next musical sensation, you might just love guitars.
You could possibly make the best cupcakes on a whim that does not mean you should open a bakery store tomorrow. You are great at many things, that does not mean you should do all of it. This is made possible by how powerful your mind is. I dare you to set your mind on one thing you want to this year.
If you focus all your energy, it can only get away from you for too long. Remember the universe; the human laws created by God to ensure balance? They are all working for your good. I am great at many things. It took the #decade challenge in 2020 for me to reflect on a couple of them.
Take away every negative thing that social media has amplified and you have a source of enrichment. The #decade challenge had us give glory details of the past decade in the hope of inspiring someone else across the world. It is too late to think about privacy and what Amazon, Facebook and Google are doing with our information, so why stop cataloging our lives now?
My inspiration for the decade was by renowned director Ava DuVernay who details what paced success looks like with a touch of unquestionable great talent. When I look back at my 10 years I see a rambunctious young teen racing too fast for her own good and facing a serious case of identity crisis.
At 17 years old she walks into a theatre (No America I will not spell it as Theater, how else do you get the flair?). At 17 years old she walks into the Phoenix Players Theatre and try to convince a respectable director that she is the piece that is missing in his directorial career. She's the talent he has been waiting for.
She fails miserably but that begins a beautiful journey of dancing through different media platforms. She misses a few steps and fall face flat but still managed to make it through the decade. Will Smith has said in interviews that a lot of his motivation comes from the fear of losing everything he has achieved so far.
Kevin Hart says the same thing in his latest Netflix Docuseries. I totally understand where that fear stems from. If you grew up in a world where everybody lived off the same script, it is no surprise that any level of success would trigger intense impostor syndrome. Where I grew up, I sheltered an inconvenience I embraced out of fear.
Trauma was littered everywhere, so when I could get away, I hibernated. Being a loner also makes you the most trusted person in the hood. I was privy to so much and that kept me away from the streets, quite literally. To date only a handful of us made it out. There is a complacency that comes with living in the hood.
The sense of community, knowing how life is going to roll out and having just enough exposure to be cool but a strings budget to have sporadic fun. With that chip on her shoulders it was easy to talk herself into being great at anything. She was a greenhorn actor so she worked on becoming the best production assistant.
Three years later of balancing school and a part time job at Phoenix Players Theatre, a cash crunch bit and her broke antennae went up. The next opportunity was an internship at a radio station, then a host, back to production assistant, an art director assistant, TV production and literally everything that happens on a TV set she can do.
2016 kicked in and the economy packed her bags in a huff. Budget cuts led to job loss and she was not spared. An ad agency job saved the day but before she could redo her house interior décor, the company shattered. One more try, okay a million little tries and she scored a radio job. It has been as messy as that paragraph.
She loved all those jobs but she loved to survive too. Make it out of the hood. Pull her mother and cousins with her. Break these cycles and set up the next generation for success with a better chance at self-actualization. Hard work is sold as the golden ticket. That has proven to not be entirely true owing to systemic classism and organized corruption.
It will take a couple of posts to unpack the rot by the political class in this country. Today, she focuses on what she can do to achieve greater success with available resources. This part of the piece is credited to a friend who once called me in despair recently venting about how lost she felt. America moves too quickly its easy to disappear in the crowd.
It was after a day of reflecting on the past decade that culminated in conversations with people who told her that her aspirations need to be adjusted. She did not pack my bags and leave my mothers cooking for this. She listens. Quietly but you can hear her process each word.
When she speaks, I have a pen in hand because people say the best things on phone and I am trying to live with more intention. I have had a decade of scattered opportunities and living flustered because I was working to not be broke, as opposed to gearing towards success. Its hard to be consistent while crash dieting through opportunities.