In light of the loud demonstrations of last summer, which protested unfair treatment, many answers to my years of questions unfolded right before my eyes. It became exponentially clear that many invisible roadblocks had been strategically placed years ago to deter, stall and eventually stop people of color in their tracks.
When I embarked upon this brave, new world with my newly minted college degree in hand, I enthusiastically walked out into the new frontier. I felt as if I was equipped to handle whatever presented itself and immediately fell into teaching to fulfill a teacher’s scholarship obligation. It was a rich and gratifying experience but a after six or so years, I wanted more.
I completed another degree in hopes of entering some aspect of media. I visited printing companies, knocked on several television studio doors. I even tried advertising places and publishing companies to display my wares. Though the doors were cracked wide enough to look inside, they were not open. I heard, “Nope.” “Not today.” Or simply, nothing at all. As one acquaintance said, “What about no response?”
Yet through the tears, confusion, and disappointment, I was led to a variety of sages who held my hand and offered me hope. One former professor continually answered my letters and once reminded me that the butterfly is often illusive. I did not understand his meaning then and I still work to interpret it, but I think he meant that life does not always offer pat answers nor work in a straight line.
Then, my sages begin to appear through authors of the printed word. Wayne Dyer’s Your Erroneous Zones crossed my path and I studied it in-depth. I read several of his books as I clung to his positive outlook. I was even blessed to see him peeking in a door at a conference in Rosemont, Illinois, many years later. It was as if he too was holding my hand along the way. He reminded me to always bless my shelters and every traveler needs to hear that!
Quite by happenstance, I was introduced to Florence Scovel Shinn while browsing at Oxford Bookstore on Peachtree in Atlanta’s Buckhead section. Her book, The Game of Life and How to Play It helped me immensely. Her advice assisted me in drying my tears when things appeared bleak while the hunger pains and fear were overtaking my better judgment.
And just in the nick of time, Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World landed in my hands from an Atlanta friend. Every copy that I have owned of this jewel of a book has ended up being tattered, torn, and coming apart at the seams from constant use. Most pointedly, he taught me to persist until I succeed from his ancient scrolls.
The list of encouraging sages who have invisibly and silently held my hand is exceptionally long and I could never list them all. However, I absolutely must add Maya Angelou whose small and powerful book of poems found me at a bookstore in Delaware, Ohio. She taught me that I was indeed a phenomenal woman that needed to keep on rising.
Hindsight is 20-20. I am glad that I was unaware of the dark intentions that were set up to thwart my dreams and discourage my visions for my life. As the saying goes, “God makes a way out of no way.” Michael Jackson reminds us to hold hands in Whatever Happens. Enjoy!
September 14, 2021