Following your dreams really sucks! It forces you to stop with the excuses: “I’m not ready”, the “what-ifs”, and “maybe tomorrows”. To top it off, you don’t know if it will truly ever pay off. You can invest tons of time, energy, and money and still come out failing. Some win big, while others don’t win at all. Whether you win or lose, you actually put forth the effort. WordPress notified me earlier this week that I’ve had this website for a whole 12 months. That may not sound like that long or even important, but for me, that means a lot. In reflecting, I realized that this is more of a passion or dream than trying to garner huge numbers or clicks. Throughout my life, with the guidance of the Most High, I’ve fought for everything that I have: education, relationships, family, etc. However, fighting for this type of goal/dream is one of the most personal and vulnerable.
To give you context, I consulted with the Queen multiple times about creating a space where one can add to the conversations about Blackness today as well as be authentic as possible about my own thoughts. I didn’t share this with many people because I was apprehensive. You can’t tell everyone your dreams because not everyone believes in them or even YOU! The Queen encouraged me to make it happen and I remember I finally took a leap when I wrote my very first post about Don’t forget who put you on. I was nervous at the response that it would receive or even if people will care during a time where attention spans are shorter than an Instagram video. Yet, I felt accomplished because I did it. It was the first step in an awesome journey that brought opportunities I never thought about beforehand. Being featured on a podcast, writing for international outlets, and connecting with product owners, this has been amazing. I’ve learned a lot on the way to following my dreams of being a writer. I’m trying to add to the stories of yesteryear and create a legacy for the future. Below are three lessons that I’ve learned as I bust my ass for the dream:
- The power of being vulnerable: One of the toughest issues about writing is understanding how vulnerable you want to with the people. The pressure is even more pronounced because it’s the internet, which means whatever you write is there forever. In one of my earlier writings, I mentioned my newfound relationship with therapy. To be honest, that was a difficult decision because I understand that there is a huge stigma with mental health in our community. I recall the look that I received from a student after I shared that I went to therapy. They thought that something was wrong and I explained to them that the purpose of going was to be proactive before issues arise. I continue to normalize attending counseling in our community because we need to be doing it, especially our Black men. There’s too much happening in this world to not seek help and being vulnerable is the first step.
- Commit to the dream: One of my favorite quotes of all-time is “the proof of desire is in the pursuit”. I forgot where I heard it, but its so relevant to every aspect of my life. This is even more true for following your dream. Show me the work you put in and I can tell you how much you care. It’s easy to put off YOUR goals and dreams for tomorrow because you’re tired or don’t have the energy. You dedicate 8-10 hours a day working towards someone else’s dream, how much time are you going to dedicate to your own? After awhile, I realized I needed to commit to my writing just like I’m doing for my doctorate, work, and everything else in my life. It’s rough, but its possible. Even if it’s 30 minutes, touch YOUR work every day!
- Nobody cares about you talking: These last 12 months taught me the importance of believing in God and myself. Whether someone reads the articles or not, the goal is always to get my story out, to connect, and share with the people. It’s easy for me to continue to tell people what I WANT to do, but its better to tell them what’s been DONE. People pay attention to what you’re doing NOT to what you’re saying. I had to stop talking about writing and finally just DO IT! Like Lil’ Wayne said, “real G’s move in silence like lasagna”.
We have four more months until the end of 2017. What are you doing or going to do to accomplish your dreams? Have you started? Why not?