People are so quick to say what a person is and isn’t capable of, but just know that they says aren’t what defines what is. If I could count how many times someone doubted my goals, I’d more than likely be rich! And the same for you. The next time you hear someone say, “Are you sure you can…” or “I don’t think you should…”, remember all those times where you triumphed inspite of the doubts.
As a writer I look forward to the days that I can publicly celebrate all the book lovers of the world! As one of my primary school teachers once said: Reading is a achieving! Reading is one of the best ways to keep the mind on its toes or simply help a reader be entertained or relax. Readers can usually find their minds being sharpened by every word taken in.
I wanted to share some really good news with you all today.
I woke up this morning and just knew that today was the day that I could report to the world about a life changing event. I expected the news would come in the form of an email. I let the sheets of my bed go and sat up to say my morning prayer. After wiping the crust from my eyes, I reached to my nightstand to get my phone and check my email. I scrolled and scrolled through the promotional emails that I received over night. But that was it. I didn’t get any special news. I scrolled and scrolled to double-check I hadn’t overlooked that “special” news. As a matter of fact, besides the sales that were happening at some of my favorite stores I received no news at all.
Just as I was about to take a small huff and puff, God whispered the sweetest and truest message to me. As His words came to me all I could do was smile. The message was simple. The best news I’d receive all day was the fact that I had another opportunity to live an abundant life. A life that was designed and perfectly tailored by Him.
Today, I was given another chance to live according to His word and reap the blessings that He sees fit. I’m breathing. I own bed sheets to let go of. I have a job to report to this morning. Heck, I’m writing this message. Even better, I’m getting the opportunity to share this BIG news with you!
The bigger, more special news that we will ever receive is that every day, every minute we are gifted with His mercy and grace.
Regardless of what we did yesterday or even years ago, today allows us to begin anew. We are able to start over and its all because God says it to be so. Let today be a continued realization of that or the beginning for you. You won’t wake up seeking the ‘biggest’ news of your life because you’ll know that you’ve already received it!
Until the next post, be blessed and continue living a passionate life… Out Loud!
“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a positive attitude while waiting”
Lesson #3 – Perfecting the Art of Wearing Patience Pants
This year I set a professional goal of obtaining my first nationally recognized procurement certification. I wanted to take the test in May, but due to the demands of the musical production I mentioned in a previous post, I concluded it was best that I did not.
Sub-lesson one: The art of balance and being realistic.
I was a bit bummed that I would have to wait all the way until October, but I am convinced if I would have attempted to take the test and perform in the musical, I was going to lose in one or the other area. Being able to take that decision from past experiences was a great move for me. In August I applied to sit for the exam. I was accepted and began the studying process. Was I excited about studying? Yes and no. Yes because I knew it was going to get me closer to obtaining the certification. No because I had not been required to study for a test in the last 5 years.
Sub-lesson two: Do what is required even if it is uncomfortable.
After approximately 3 months of studying at least 8 hours per week, October came and I took the 3.5 hour long test. Finally the hard part was over. Or so I thought. See, with my type A personality, waiting is not my best strong suit. I probably consider being patient as one of my areas of improvement. The hardest part of the entire 3 month experience was waiting 6-8 weeks to receive my test results. Yes, that is right, it took approximately 6-8 weeks before I was able to know the outcome of my test.
Sub-lesson three: Patience is an art form exists to test our ability to be faithful and trusting of the process.
So, for 6-8 weeks I worked on the art of wearing patience pants. Being patient must be apart of your natural abilities. The saying good things come to those who wait is true. I waited and waited. I, at some point before the 6th week, figured out a way not to even think about the results. When the 6th week came however, I made a point to visit my mailbox every single day (sometimes twice a day) to see if my results had been delivered. The significance in that is that I usually check my mailbox about every 3 weeks (sad but true). The end of the 7th week had come. The only day I did not check my mailbox in the 6th or 7th week was on a Saturday because it was raining cats and dogs and I did not feel up to bearing the weather. I simply said, “I’ll wait until tomorrow to check the box.” And so I did. Sunday morning came and as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror preparing for church I thought to myself, “The results are going to be in the mailbox today.” As I was leaving out I casually went to the mailbox and there sat a lonely white envelope. I pulled it out, read the return address and became screaming and hollering. I opened the envelope in less than 3.9 seconds and lo and behold I read: Congratulations! I stopped right there and began screaming even louder and louder in excitement. I was officially a Certified Professional Public Buyer.
Was I patient in the waiting process? Yes. Could I have been more patient? Absolutely. Rome was not built in a day. However, as stated before, patience is an art. I was proud of myself for staying positive while I waited. I was glad that I was able to be realistic in what I was able to take on when I did. I was glad that I could purposefully put myself in an uncomfortable situation and come out comfortable at the end. I did not doubt my reward. I had a level of faith knowing that I would receive the ‘congratulations‘. I just needed to see it on paper. I will have to continue working on it. But the process itself taught me so much on what reward feels like after being patient. The build up and the outcome together made me appreciate the entire 5 month process mean that much more to me. In life greatness may be delayed, but will happen all the same. The key is to patiently and productively wait for it, all while keeping a positive attitude. I have made a promise to myself that I will learn to be more patience and appreciate delayed gratification more. I want to be able to look back and know that I wear patience very well.
As you move into 2017, know that your rewards will come with the requirement of patience, but the key is that the rewards will come!
2016 was a year full of lessons for me. Every time I looked around I was learning something new or having something re-iterated to me in a different way. I would even say that I possibly just wanted to pay closer attention to what was happening in my life. Thus, the lessons just meant that much more.
So, let me give you a little background on the 2nd lesson 2016 taught me. I am an undergraduate and graduate school alumni. And like most Americans I paid for it on my own. Unfortunately, I never applied for scholarships to assist me. I should have, but I did not. I have a laundry list long of reasons that I never did, but to keep it short, I know that I should have. Fast forward to 2015, I ran across a scholarship for young professionals in the field of procurement. The qualifications were simple. Candidates were to be under 40! That was me. Or they had to have less than 3 years experience in the field of government procurement. That was not me, but I met the first criteria, so I closed my eyes and leaped. Applying for a scholarship was unchartered waters for me, but I leaped anyway. I submitted my application and with much anticipation, my application was declined. The scholarship would have been so helpful. It would have afforded me the opportunity to attend one of the largest national government procurement conferences. Without the scholarship, my chances in attending were slim to none since my company’s budget is not always plush enough for such expenditures. I read the rejection letter with disappointment, but I was convinced I would try again the next year.
March of 2016, I saw the enrollment period online for the scholarship. I again completed the application, submitted, and waited for the response. I took another leap. Not much changed from 2015 to 2016, but clearly it was my time and I was awarded the all expense paid scholarship. Talk about elated! I was much more than elated. I was grateful. Thankful. I was also aware of the lesson that came from it.
Life will ALWAYS have some moments of let down or disappointment. Things will not go your way 100% of the time. The key is our reactions to those moments. When I did not get the scholarship in 2015, I did not get pissed off and damn the entire scholarship agency to Pluto. I regrouped and thought about what I needed to do differently. In this instance, I needed to just be patient and get ready to take the next leap. In 2017, know that there will be areas that may not be favorable in your eyes, but the bigger picture is that you must continue to leap. It’s the unchartered territory that we are sometimes required to travel in order to see our goals come to fruition. You must continue to take strides towards whatever the goals are that you set forth. I leaped from 2015 right into 2016 right into my scholarship! I will continue to leap and I encourage you to do the same!
To honor my growth from 2016, I wanted to share some of the nuggets that I gathered. So, starting today, I will share 3 Things 2016 Taught Me. You can check back every day to see this and 2 other life changing lessons 2016 made evident to me.
Lesson #1 – Expect the Unexpected & Show Out
It was January 1, 2016 and my daughter and I had been prepping for at least a week prior for her audition in the ultra classic and infamous The Wiz produced by Hattiloo Theatre. My daughter has been acting for almost 4 years now and our daily prepping was nothing out of the norm, as I believe practice makes perfect and leads to success. As we sat in the living room going over her potential monologue, song, and choreography she simply said, “Ma! You should try out for it too!”
I was definitely flattered that she would even think I would be capable. I responded with a smile and said, “Me? You really think I should?”
With big bright eyes and an even bigger smile, she replied, “Yeah!”
“We shall see,” I responded. “Now, let’s get back to your monologue.”
We continued her practice for the remainder of the night and nothing else was mentioned of her suggestion.
On January 2, 2016, we headed to her audition, signed in and patiently waited for her number to be called. I gazed around the room looking at the hundreds of dreamers waiting to have their number called as well. Before I knew it, I began wondering and dreaming about what it would be like for me to be in the room my daughter and all the others would enter, stand before a panel of directors and production managers, and perform with all my heart. Up to that moment, as an adult, auditioning for ANYTHING was completely out of my comfort zone, more importantly, I’d never done it before. Without a whole lot of thought, I walked over to the sign-in table, picked up the pen and wrote my name down. I was officially auditioning for The Wiz. A little anxiety came over me, but not a lot because I did not think I’d be in the running to be cast. My daughter was called in. She performed a song and came back out and sat with me. What felt like an hour later, my number was called and I entered the open space with 12 eyes on me. They looked at me, smiled, and asked that I sing. And I did. I sang, what I felt was the best I’d done in a long time. That or the acoustics in the room were to die for. I finished my song, felt my heart jump back in place and thanked each of them for their time. The director then said, “Can you come back this evening for the choreography piece?” I was stunned for two reasons. One, because they wanted me to come back. I must’ve done something right. Two, because I am nothing close to a dancer and can’t be believe they thought I was. Either way, I was ecstatic inside and really started to feel the pressure.
I returned for the choreography audition and just as I knew it, I can not dance (at least not to be apart of a musical production). I was proud of myself for trying, left for the evening and thought nothing more of the experience. Later that evening, scrolling through my email, I saw that both my daughter and I received a call back for casting. Whew. We both screamed with joy and were pleased with the outcome. After the happiness and screaming died down I felt my heart jump out again. Reality started to set in. I thought to myself, “I could actually be cast in this production.” I became a bit nervous, but the way my type A personality is set up, I had no choice but to attempt to rise to the occasion. And so to hurry to the end of this story, I did just that. After call backs, I secured the role of Evillene and spent the next 3 months, including 30 shows, transforming into what had become my most unique challenge to date.
See, if you had asked me in 2015 if I were going to be in a major production and cast as a principle character, I surely would have laughed before I swiftly answered, “Who me? Nah.” The point is, I UNEXPECTEDLY found myself in a new realm; a world unknown to me. It was a world in which I was unsure if I was capable of matching the expectations of the directors, choreographers and ultimately the thousands of audience members that came out for 30 shows. What did I learn from my time as Evillene? Besides the fact that I was much more talented than even I knew or the fact that I was capable of receiving kudos and applause from reviews with absolutely no stock in me, I was more impressed that I was able to actualize the art of expecting the unexpected. This was not my first unexpected situation in life, yet it was the first that during the entire journey I was aware of what was happening. I was aware of the fact that life will throw all types of scenarios at us. Some of those scenarios good. Others much less desirable than what we could even wish on our greatest enemies. Yet, in either of those instances, we are fully equipped to rise to the occasion; to somehow be prepared or quick thinking, quick reacting, and secure in the act of trying. I further understand the art of performing with all my heart. It is a matter of being prepared to give your all regardless of a situation being planned or unplanned; being prepared to SHOW OUT!
As you enter into 2017, know that it will come with unexpected situations, people, and things. The unexpected is the inevitable. The unexpected may try to knock you up or down, but keep the mindset that overcoming and rising to the occasion is the only option you have at hand. Remember SHOW OUT in 2017!