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Sharing + Succeeding

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

As a native of Long Island, New York, I find my very being tied to what will forever be considered "home" for me. That is where both sides of my family hail from and the way of life from our hometown is ingrained in my values and belief systems. How I walk, how I talk, and my mentality of social constructs are all from home. Still… I am an Army Brat and contribute the cultivation of the woman that I am partially to North Carolina.

I distinctly remember Fayetteville, NC native- J Cole- dropping his Friday Night Lights mixtape during the fall of my freshman year of college. At the time, my family was living in Fayetteville and it was pretty cool having a direct understanding of this place that he so often raps about. It had been a while since I connected with a full body of work in that way. It hit my soul with such a force. Almost 7 years later, this mixtape is still in my weekly rotation.

There is this beautiful track on the mixtape titled Too Deep For the Intro where he samples Erykah Badu's Didn't Cha Know. One line (that at the time) truly resonated with me was "If they don't know your dreams, then they can't shoot them down." For years, I lived my life by this motto! Everything pertaining to my future was sworn to secrecy. I could not let the haters *insert eye roll here* in on my plans and provide them the opportunity to pray on my downfall right? Wrong.

"If they don't know your dreams, then they can't shoot them down."

I did not know it then, but I was actually making the path towards my goals much harder. I was creating unnecessary obstacles that God never intended to be there. I was blocking the potential blessings he was providing through other people.

Everybody has heard the saying "It's not what you know, but who you know." As I continue to dive into my career, I am finding this to be nothing but the truth. Almost every opportunity that has come my way has been based on WHO I knew, and more importantly, who knew me and WHAT they knew about me. Had I continued to keep all of my interests and future goals top secret, I would be nowhere.

Almost every opportunity that has come my way has been based on WHO I knew, and more importantly, who knew me and WHAT they knew about me.

Back in 2012, I started a Fashion + Beauty Blog. I was very vocal about my passion in fashion writing and one of my good associates knew this. He knew a lady that was looking for people to do some Press and Media coverage for the local Fashion Week and because he knew my goals, he put me on. That is where my start in covering Press + Media for fashion shows began.

That opportunity alone created a pathway for me to be 1) accepted into Teen Vogue's Fashion University (I never attended but it was a big deal to me that I was accepted); 2) Invited to cover Press + Media during the Kentucky Derby Fashion Week (again, never attended, but still on my #Goals List); 3) Invited to cover Press + Media for some minor fashion shows during MBNYFW (I am starting to see a pattern of not accepting life changing opportunities); and 4) Landed me a position as a Contributing Writer to Ming Lee's multi-million dollar brand-Snob Life (an opportunity I DID accept).

From there, I took my Fashion Marketing credits and transferred back into my HBCU where I created my own major. Fast forward to getting accepted into Teach For America, Johns Hopkins University for Grad School, and landing my job as a Middle School English Teacher. Before the school year started, I attempted to get to know some of my new co-workers. I popped in on people setting up classrooms and made small talk. In comes Syd. Syd is a 7th grade English Teacher and she was working on a PowerPoint for PTA. I briefly mentioned that I have a background in Fashion Marketing and would be more than happy to assist her with the presentation. We go to lunch that day, and she tells me about her organization Royalty in Training. She wants me to be apart of the org as Marketing Director. Long story short, I am a Middle School Mentor AND a Marketing Director of a Non-Profit Organization!

As I type this blog post, I SHOULD be finishing up some work for my second/summer job. This summer, I will spend a portion of my time living in Atlanta serving as a School Operations Manager for the Teach For America 2017 Atlanta Institute! Here lies another position that fell into my lap based on a recommendation from someone that knew me and my personality. I still had to apply and interview for the position, but the staff reached out to ME based on the recommendation. I never would have imagined having such an amazing position within an organization that I am so passionate about so early on in my life.

I am still a pretty private person and definitely do not believe that everyone needs to know everything- but I am a dreamer, and more importantly, I am a dream chaser. I have no problem with people knowing my future goals. I no longer fear people shooting down my dreams if they know them because they do not hold that power over my life. My God has a divine plan for me that no man can intervene upon. Nobody is that relevant to have the ability to shoot down my dreams. I have officially shifted away from "If they don't know your dreams, then they can't shoot them down." I still believe that "You should make more moves and make less announcements." though ;-)

Flowing + Glowing,


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