When I was younger, I wanted to be an author. But I was told that little black girls didn’t write books. Even when I saw books from Dr. Maya Angelou I was told that she was the exception, not the rule. So, I stopped believing in myself and I tried to release my dream of being a writer.
But I could not release the vision; I felt called or compelled to express myself. And so, I kept writing. I wrote stories, I wrote in my diary and I wrote letters. I memorized words and taught myself the different parts of speech. Words were going to be my tools, grammar was going to be my playground and providing thought-provoking lessons was going to be my legacy.
I was committed and so I prepared myself for greatness. I read the dictionary and the thesaurus. I practiced writing because I wanted to dazzle readers with words, tickle them with my wit, involve them in my storytelling and create vivid images that they could taste, touch and feel.
I was very excited but naïve and so I shared my dreams of being a famous author with friends. Some of the kids laughed at me and my dreams. Others ridiculed and discouraged me. Everybody had something to say and positive words escaped them.
But while they were laughing, I was leveraging. I listened to sermons, read books, and watched documentaries. I even tried to read some of my father’s college textbooks because I wanted to feel how big words felt in my mouth and how they felt written by my hand. I also read encyclopedias because at the time there was no google and no search engines.
I pursued my dream; I was relentless. Every day, I watched Donahue to learn more about the world because Oprah didn’t have a show yet. Every Sunday, I watched 60 minutes to learn how to craft stories and present messages. I read Ebony and Jet because there were the only magazines at the beauty salons. I read the Bible not because I wanted to be spiritual, but because I wanted to be smart. I was on a mission.
The kids continued to laugh at my dream, and their parents continued to label me as a weird kid. Most teachers and some adults continued to offer unsolicited discouragement. The naysayers had abandoned their own dreams so I guess they expected that I would also abandon mine. They were wrong.
I kept trying. I would not be distracted! I would not be disrupted. I would not be deterred. I had a dream. I had a vision for my life that my young mind couldn’t even fully comprehend.
Thankfully God gave me a few glimpses, a few glances and a few glimmers of hope to persevere. And so, I pressed on.
My commitment or my pursuit taught me an important lesson. I learned that when you are going after your dreams, you may look like a fool for a little while but keep moving, keep trying and keep believing. Why? Because it’s better to LOOK like a fool than to LIVE like a fool.
LIVING like a fool means that you are not living your truth, following your dreams or honoring your divine call. LIVING like a fool means living a life that others have prescribed, assigned or confined you to live. LIVING like a fool means settling for a life of misery, mediocrity, and mess! That’s living as a fool!
If you have a dream, look like a fool NOW – if you need to – so that you NEVER have to live like a fool in the future. Never forget that nobody needs to validate or verify your dreams for your dreams to exist or for your dreams to be fulfilled! You and only you have the power to PURSUE what brings your peace so GO FOR IT! (upcoming book, Deciding To Soar 2).
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