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Moving Forward


*Summoning my inner Sophia Petrillo*

Picture it. December 2016.

I'm sitting in bed typing my last exit paper for a class (my sixth paper for the semester) well into the midnight hours. My hands begin to tremble, my eyes, which feels like bags of sand, start to fill up with tears, and I begin to cry. Not that cute whimper cry you see women do in the movies--No. I'm talking full-on ugly, I want my momma type cry. Why? Well, I'm exhausted for one. But I'm also thinking about the inevitable debt I'll have and debating if it's all worth it. And because it's so late, I'm hungry--AGAIN! I wail through the remaining paragraphs of my paper and decide right then, I'm taking next semester off. And then I fixed myself a snack.

During the summer (before my meltdown), I created a non-profit scholarship based around the arts for high school juniors and seniors. I brainstormed for months trying to figure out how to present my idea so it would be successful. I filled out paperwork, created a website, and even printed business cards. Listen, I spent a little money here, okay. My ideas were grand. I was determined to be the kind of philanthropist I'd always dreamed of being. On a budget of course.

After taking the semester off, I felt ready to conquer any and everything. A little too prepared. Between schoolwork, working on my non-profit, and working 8-5, I could feel myself spreading thin. Week after week, deadlines I set for myself were pushed back. Responses from potential organizations never came, and other times life just got in the way. After a couple of months of silence, I received a response from a school who was interested or at least seemed interested. It was past my original Fall deadline, but it was still Fall. Excited, I followed up with an email to set up a meeting. No response. I followed up with another email, given the respective wait time, and, still, no answer.

I was disappointed and embarrassed. I told family and friends only to have not so much as a sprout from my idea. But here are a few things I learned.

  • I broke the "Make moves in silence" rule, and I have no regrets. I told family and a handful of friends about my new venture and learned the hard way of knowing who was genuinely excited.

  • I became more focused. So everything didn't pan out the way I imagined. *Sophia's voice* Big deal! Other things in my life were/are going exceptionally well. Can't just dwell on the ONE unfortunate thing not working for the moment.

  • I faced reality. Starting over isn't a bad thing; it makes way for new possibilities. Hence, the picture below. It was quite therapeutic.

Burning of The Business Cards

Just because your idea hasn't manifested, doesn't mean it never will; timing is everything.

I hesitated to write this post, not the sole reason for my hiatus, but because, who likes talking about their failures?! There's something about admitting defeat that makes us feel inadequate, but in reality, it's what strengthens us. Taking your losses quietly has its benefits. However, there's always someone who needs to hear your stories of "failures" to understand why you keep going and why failure will never be an option.

After a year, I wish I could give you a positive update, but I can't. I'm still in the "getting up" stage. I can tell you this--I still believe in my idea. When the timing is right, it'll be better than I imagined.

For those of you reading this--keep going. With every trip, stumble and face plank to the ground, make sure it's forward. Even if it's an inch, make sure it's ahead. It will definitely hurt but not more than the feeling you'll have if you give up.

Until next time, I leave you with this video by Inspire Discipline featuring my uncle (in my head) Denzel Washington:

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